Studification

24 Nov

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I’m studying a lot.

…Like over 100 pages into a notebook absolutely crammed, notated and highlighted within an inch of its life.

And I’m having a total wigging-out blast.

…Cuz “learning” is the all-the-time “sexy.” Just ask Einstein. Dude was a stone cold theory-flinging fox.

…Graham Bell gave some good brain too…

…But the best part about learning stuff is when you realize that the active process of doing it, is like the original version of the internet. In your head.

…Cuz “learning” is such a fucking black-hole process. You start out with a book on Picasso, and come up with a Google history, end-of-night, including everything from “cows of Peru,” “stained glass windows,” “famous nun affairs,” “African art influences,” “french prositution laws,” “Einstein theories,” “plastic arts,” “Francisco Franco,” “French Rivera,” “communist vs socialist,” “famous maquettes,” and “neo-expressionism” to…”Harlequin rose period,” and “Spanish civil war.”

The brain, when fed a suggestion of curiosity, goes on a total drunken bender for insta-knowledge as addendum to this other thing you’re actually trying to retain and process… until your Chrome has like 68 tabs open for cross referencing, your hand is getting writers cramp, you’ve reloaded the printer paper twice, and have totally run out of tape.

…It’s a good problem to have. When you like learning. Which I do. Only when you do it at this level of focus, it’s pretty fucking exhausting…making the eyes burn from bouncing back and forth, paper to screen…and forgetting to eat and drink things, cuz you were busy for like ten hours trying to find this one thing.

…But I digress.

…Not as much as the “alternate use for pickle juice” search (you’re welcome), or “scary Steven hawking quotes” (hey’ if I have to freak out, you have to freak out)…but still…

…It’s a thing.

And it’s been super fun.

…But I’m really tired now. and my contacts feel like sandpaper.

…So I guess that leaves this other stack of clippings for tomorrow.

…Except now I sorta wanna go Google Picasso. As he was totally not my actual topic of study at all…

~D

Texting: A Holiday Prep Guide

23 Nov

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Am leaving on a jetplane soon to visit The BFF in NOLA.

…I am by turn, excited and nervous about it. Cuz I never go anywhere certainly not alone across the U.S.. Certainly not ’round the holidays. Certainly not with almost no bucks after travel costs are all said n’ done. And I’ve no idea what to really expect…so I just make it up in a myriad of scenarios. Cuz I’m me and can’t just let a thing “be.”

…Which is how texting mini conversations like this happen:

Me: …We can do stuff suuuuuper on the cheap, right?

The BFF: Oh yes. Im basically broke but we can still manage to drink fine wines and eat fancy cheese.

Me: Your version of “broke” and mine are very different.

The BFF: We will go grocery shopping for the week and just cook all the time.

Me: …I love the cooking idea. Just NO jambalaya-gumbo fish food!!

The BFF: …Jambalaya is just rice, chicken and sausage. And gumbo doesnt have fish in it either.

Me: I think you’re lying and will cut em up all sneaky like and slip them in when I’m not looking. But I will know. I always know.

The BFF: You will get a fine sampling of cajun and creole food w/o having to eat any fish.

Me: Well fine. I guess. But I know you…

The BFF: …And there will be begniets. Just think about that!

Me: I don’t even know what begniets are…but as long as it’s hidden with no antenna or crustacean skeleton sticking out…I’ll try it. But I won’t promise to swallow.

The BFF: Subject: Beignet – Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beignet

Me: Kay…now I want like twelve.

***
Email exchange #4 of prob’ly 400:

The BFF: Here is a completely preliminary and not at all definitive guide to some of the many New Orleans activities we may take part in on your visit. Just to whet your whistle, so to speak. ;)

Go to this Tiki bar: 

https://www.facebook.com/TikiTolteca 

Eat Beignets 
(You already know about those) 

Get a Po Boy at Verti Marte or Parkway Bakery 

http://www.yelp.com/biz/verti-marte-new-orleans-2 

Drink at Tonique 

http://bartonique.com 

Drink at Bacchanal (weather permitting)  

http://www.bacchanalwine.com  

Day Drink/Window Shop in the French Quarter 
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Quarter   

Get Pho on the Westbank

http://dpbanhmi.com/DP_Bakery/Welcome.html 

Go to City Park and just hang out/go to Celebration in the Oaks 

http://neworleanscitypark.com/celebration-in-the-oaks 

Go see some graveyards! 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Louis_Cemetery 

Go see a Christmas Carol (we have comps obviously)

http://www.southernrep.com

Eat some croissants at the Maple St. Patisserie 

http://cargocollective.com/maplestreetpatisserie 

Ride Bikes! 

Walk in Crescent Park! 

http://www.reinventingthecrescent.org 

Take a walking tour? 

 
Go see this amazing cellist play in the St. louis Cathedral for free! 

https://holiday.neworleansonline.com/events/cathedral-christmas-concerts-4-3/

Go to the Frenchmen Night Market  

http://frenchmenartmarket.com 

More to come! 

Me: I LOVE Cathedral-playing cellists, numerous drinking establishments, plays, food, and doing stuff when normal people are sleeping!!! This is gonna be too FREAKING COOL.  And also like, super secret-back-door-non-normal-touristy.  I get my own guides who LIVE THERE! And also: Graveyards are like my favorite thing outside of book stores and THOSE ones have got to be amazeballs.

I CANNOT WAIT!!!!

***
The BFF: …So, on your last night in nola, we will be hosting a holiday cocktail party to introduce you to all of our friends. Cocktail attire is manditory.

Me: Shut up I’ll be so socially awkward…we better drink alot! Remind me in like a week. CUZ ILL BE PACKING IN LIKE ONE FUCKING WEEK!

The BFF: You’ll be fine!! And yes, yes I will.

Me: I’m sick excited. And scared. Cuz I’m me.

The BFF: Dont be scared. Its us. We will take care of you.

Me: I know. I’m a nerd. Did you forget? I’ll remind you often in that week…

The BFF: You are a nerd. But dont stress. Its going to be great!

Me: I know that too :) Am having pre shocks of awesome. Like was at World Market yesterday and thought of you (as always) and I was all: “OH! HEY! We gotta stock a bunch of wine for late at night….oh wait they just drink in the streets there! Oh hey, we should bake this thing! Oh hey, what about that?! Xmas cookies!!!! Oh hey, do I need gloves and stuff just in case or will it really be like 60 degrees there….?”

…Things like that. Then I get all excited and happy!

The BFF: :D also, yes bring your pea coat. It gets a bit chilly.

***

Me: Um. Do I need bug repellent for monster blood-eating plague passers?

The BFF: Naw they’ll all be dead by then.

Me: …So all I have to worry about is stepping on their decaying carcasses. So: boots.

…also, what’s the swamp death probability ratio in winter, tween alligators and sink-pits?

…luckily I’m on my period now, so won’t have to worry about that part…like when my bff in high school went to the Congo and was warned all the animals off the trail would smell it and go psycho so she’d have to “watch out.” Whatever the hell THAT means in darkest Africa…

(P.S. I’m only partially joking.)

The BFF: No swamp death! Thats not a thing.

Me: I think it maybe is. They just Dont tell the tourists. Also: voodoo. So you’re not supposed to piss off the natives or accidentally desecrate something by say peeing or puking on it.

The BFF: Exactly.

Me: …Which is prob’ly a lot harder than you’d think, what with all that wandering around and drinking freely thing they all do. But I’ll try my best. Gosh. So many things to remember…

***

…Which is why I rarely actually go anywhere. Frankly, even the anticipation prep is exhausting.

But it’ll be so freakin worth it once I’m there, with two of the best humans on the planet to be m’guide :D

~D

Little Games We Play

18 Nov

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It’s been a slow day.

…You can tell cuz this morning, WHS Pimp and I took to emailing “did-you-know-this-exists?” to each other…under guise of actual “work.”

…Like that super important Memo Change #33757.

Keep in mind, our offices are exactly three steps apart.

Also: We ran outta Keurig cups early  this morning.

…So the WHS Pimp had to find and plug in the old Mr. Coffee machine…dig up some leftover filters, and this bag of grounds which have been ossifying in the supply closet for about six or eight months.

…It mostly tastes of burnt twigs mixed in used engine oil, with a soupçon of battery acid to finish.  Yet we are forcing it down with a grimace, because: Caffeine.

…Also: It’s really flipping cold right now.

Both The Pimp and WHS Chick are bundled up like Randy from “A Christmas Story,” wobbling around the yard with the dexterity of The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as they load and unload product from the trucks.  Watching them try to maneuver the fork lift is bonus fun…as it requires a two-man team to do anything at all.  One to sit there, in a fused-bundle, without any movement radius at all…like an overstuffed pillow in traction…the other to stand behind or in front as the actual “eyes” of the driver, to tell them what to do.  They are just super uncomfortable-looking, with puffs of white smoke, constantly-blowing out of their mouths as they scream at one another over the motor.

…I can’t hear them, cuz I’m inside, where it’s warm-ish.  

(Apparently, they can’t hear one another either…)

…But I can imagine their conversation.  Cuz frankly, there’s nothing else to do:

WHS Pimp:  …To the left!

WHS Chick: …Mine or yours?!

WHS Pimp: (not hearing her) No!  Left! Left!

WHS Chick: I think the gear is frozen!

WHS Pimp: (still not hearing her) I said left! Left!

WHS Chick: …It’s won’t jam in! 

(Giant grinding sound.)

WHS Chick: Fuck-cock-a-shit!…Hear that grind?! It won’t ease in!

WHS Pimp: — Holy Hell! What are you…?!  Stop!

WHS Chick: …There it goes!  It’s in now!  Where do I go?!

WHS Pimp: Fig Newtons!

WHS Chick: What?! It sounded like you said “fig newtons”!

WHS Pimp: Eclaires! Eclaires!

WHS Chick: Why are you talking in food code?!

(I notice my tummy is grumbling. Guess I’m hungry. Back to the window:)

WHS Pimp: –What the hell are you…??! What’s happening?!

WHS Chick: (standing up from the seat and cupping her hands over her mouth.) WHERE DO I GO…?!

(She tries to look behind her, but the hoodie blocks all peripheral vision, and she can’t turn at the waist as she’s too bulked up.)

WHS Pimp: (still not hearing her.) What?! You want me to do it?!

WHS Chick: What?!

WHS Pimp: You getting down?! You wanna guide instead?!

WHS Chick: I can’t…I can’t hear you!!  My earmuffs are…Where do I go?!

WHS Pimp: Okay! I’m coming!

(He jumps over to her in a feined slow motion run, like Neil Armstrong on the moon. They yell at one another face-to-face over the motor.  Warring puffs of  breath-smoke colliding in the freezing air.  Lots of gestures are attempted as a mapping out, but with little elbow movement, it’s hard to make out what the gestures mean. Some agreement must have been made as they return to their posts.  WHS Chick revs the engine and takes off the brake.)

WHS Pimp: Alright! Now, go left!

WHS Chick: …What?!…

(I take a drink of the death-coffee and grimace, like a dog-yawn. the end.)

~D
 
 

Don’t Forget: It’s An Honor Just To Be Nominated

17 Nov

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It’s regional BroadwayWorld.com voting time again!  The Seattle nominees have just started the web-rounds and are being picked up, voted on, and passed on by like half of my FB contingent. 

(Theatre Peeps, Unite!)

…Our Seattle division is made up of roughly 150  companies/groups/entities…and those are just the ones registered at our main theatre-hub on Theatre Puget Sound’s listing page. No doubt dozens of other companies exist as well…(for a fact I’ve worked with one not on their pages, which made in into the nominee rosters in several categories this year.)

…So I’m not a math person…but even at 150 companies doing 5 shows in a mainstage season (allowing for those with second-stages also running, to make up for the companies with less productions/special events/command performances, in a single season), that comes to 750 theatrical events…from the touring show big boy Paramount, and the Broadway Musical launcher 5th Ave…to tiny black box Stone Soup, and community theatres like 4th Wall Players.

…And the bulk of those shows include like…well…”actors” in a multiple number, usually…sure some starting with one, but a lot reaching to casts in the 10’s, 20’s, 30’s and sometimes above.

…So when you put it like that…even an average number of 750 productions with only two actors per show (say like doing “Educating Rita” for instance *wink, wink*) …is 1500 artists…and it usually takes a hell of lot more than just two people to do a show.  

…Which isn’t even getting into the Tech Design teams and Directors.

So keep this in mind for a second:

For this season, if you’ve been nominated as an Actor in a play or musical, up against thousands and thousands of other performers…you got enough cold vote write-ins to place you in one (or more) of only 13 categories (50% each sex + one unisex “Person to Watch” slot.)

…If you’re a Director, you’ve made it into 1 or more of only 2 categories.

…In Costume, Choreography, Lighting, and Scenic Design…you get 1 category each.

…In Music/Sound…3.

…In Writing and Best Production…2.

…In Best Event and Theatre…1.

…So, I mean…whatever the tallys end up being…I just wanna say:

“Congra-tu-fucking-lations to all my friends and theatre compatriots in crime for making the lists this year! It IS a big deal…it IS an honor to be nominated.  With the talent-goods we’ve got in this region, every vote of confidence which put you on that list to begin with, is really something!”

…Thanks for sharing your scenes and stages with me, O talented ones :)

Happy voting, all!
~D
 
 

Weak Trees & Sneezes

12 Nov

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Am fighting a nose-cold.  

…It just showed up today and is affecting nothing else in my body but the nose.  Which is weird. Cuz every cold I get starts with a fever and goes straight for the chest.  But not this one.  This one aches not at all.  It doesn’t scratch, burn, or itch either.  In fact, if I could just remove my nose for the day and put it on that hanger over there, I wouldn’t even need this Sudafed at all.  And I wouldn’t be spending so much time worrying about what the nose-cold could morph into ‘tween now and all these auditions I’ve got lined up,  less than a week from now.

But none of those things are the case in fact.

…Know what is though? 

I have weak trees.  

…Like Tom Hanks in “The Money Pit.”  

…Granted, we had GIANT-FIERCE wind-gales last night.  But I mean…it wasn’t a hurricane for cripes sake. Or a frost.  Or a snowfall.  So it seems a little melodramatic to me that this tree, one door down from my walk-up, saw fit to uproot itself entirely over the whole thing.  

…At least it fell away from the cars instead of last winter’s snowstorm death-toll which felled like eight…just on our block alone…across multiple Jeeps, Subarus, Volvos, Mercedes, and Honda Civics at total random, without class distinction or insurance coverage. 

…Night, after night, after night. 

Our street is getting bald now.  And these weren’t new trees.  These were monster 80-year-plus bad-boys, with root balls bigger than the cars they fell on.

…In comparison, last night’s tree was a mere teenager. And yet, it made it through Snopocalypse 2013, so I don’t understand how some wind took it out so completely, overnight.

…That’s like my nose-cold making me go blind or something.

Great. 

Now I’ve something ELSE to freak out about…

Tea.  

I need more tea.  

…So I can pee my nose-cold out before it gets dark outside and turns me blind. Or I die by over-exposure to my root ball. 

Like that damn tree.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another…

~D

 
 

How To Cover Your Bases Like A Boss

10 Nov

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For the first time in…well…”awhile,” I’m showless.  Not only not tag-teaming ‘tween a performance for this one, while rehearsing another…but totally without a role at all. 

…No idea what “next” is, nor the “next, next” after that.  Which is not a norm for me, cuz I like to stack my plate. So, naturally, instead of taking time off to enjoy the break of not having lines to learn or blocking to run…I’m spending lunch the day after closing my last show, trying to find m’next three  jobs.

When you’ve no solid idea of which way things are leaning…no pre-casting already taking up some of the slack in that department…it means you’ve gotta go straight to the boards and start shopping.

…Which shows are being done where? With how long a rehearsal schedule… running which date to which?  It isn’t about just finding out what is “next,” it’s about making a combo of line-ups…one show which could allow a second to follow without conflict or too much mental/physical strain. 

…Cuz my working area is large…across three counties.  So it’s not just, “This show starts rehearsal and opens…then what?” It’s: “This show starts rehearsal here, and opens there, but that show begins rehearsal about three-quarters through the other one…can I do both considering they are in two different counties, and have enough recoup time from that super physical show and this super wordy one? Then, what’s the third follow-up option after the first closes and the second has begun its run?”

Scheduling even the hypotheticals can be tricky…not to mention the second and third-alternate options. And then, what do those alternate option shows do to the schedule following that?  This means basically three separate scenarios laying out in front of me right now: Option 1, which because of placement of performance dates means an only two-show set-up, ‘tween now and end of May.  Option 2, which gives three back-to-backs, booked solid. Option 3 which means no casting in first or second show preference,  leaving a third and fourth try open for others.

… Season set-up like this requires a lot of picking and choosing.  What are the roles you really want? Who do you want to work with? How do the shows fall on the calendar? Are you willing to chance it all on one, or all of them, to give up other show options? Or do you set up a fall-back alternate knowing how bad it would already suck not to get the roles you want, but even more so if you are also sitting at home with no job at all? 

…There is always a give and take in these instances. And even when you know where your heart lies, it means dick until you get the offer call.  It’s Lotto odds for an actor to get what we really want, to begin with. Even for the secondary and third choices, we’re damn lucky to be considered at all. Not to mention that sometimes the seasons are so banging, it’s like there’s nice, meaty fun just everywhere you look…and choosing at all becomes an agony.

…Which is all just an incidental to the fact that it is entirely possible you won’t book anything at all. Cuz there are like six zillion actors in this world.  And even Union odds are 1 job in 10.  So…good luck with that.

But you know what?  This is what an actor has to do.  To prepare every scenario of what-if and then book the audition slots, prep the pieces, and show up to fight it out.  And even if we nail it…it is entirely possible that hair color, height, weight, politics, size of any one piece of anatomy being too big or too small, or the casting agent or director being hungry, grumpy, or needing more caffeine, can still TOTALLY tank it.  Even if you don’t.

That’s show biz. Rejection option any time for any reason. At all.

…So, there’s always that to consider.

Which means, the ONLY POWER an actor really has, is to be “prepared.” For anything.  And everything.  Including winning the role. Or losing it.  And what comes after, is where the next adventure begins.

But it doesn’t start at all, if you don’t get out there and try.

…Which is why I’ve already booked 6 role option audition slots for just the month of November, alone.

Now, onto prep.

:)

~D 

 
 

The One Where She Actually Goes Somewhere

6 Nov

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Listen.

This is kind of a big deal.

I just booked a flight.

…With money I don’t necessarily “have.”

…In that it “exists” but only in the literal sense.  It is actually like spoken for on behalf of bills and Christmas gifts and things.  But  talking to The BFF last night…after way too long of not, on account of schedules and general “life-getting-in-the-way” crap… I decided that I no longer cared.

…So this morning, I booked a nonstop flight to NOLA for a week in December.

…Because, as an adult, judging the need for wrapping paper, other-people gifts, and happy creditors…I choose “me” instead.

I am a selfish bastard. This is not new.   

What IS new is that I just sunk a lot of bucks (to me) to travel to the other part of the US, to be with my sister.  And ABOUT FUCKING TIME! 

…To ride a bicycle in 70 degree weather through the French Quarter, instead of wade through the rain, here. To sneak in all the secret night spot eateries and meet some four-star chef friends…to drink openly in the streets…tour all the theaters, see The BFF’s show.  To uphold our Christmas traditions of cookie-baking, five-course-meal-at-midnight-making, and drunken “White Christmas” sing-alongs.  

It isn’t really real yet…’cept only sorta.  It’s still that “hope” and “wish” and “intent” feel I’ve had for like two years now to actually DO the thing, instead of just TALK about it.  Only now, it’s actually happening.  I’ve got a mo-fo flight itinerary in my mailbox, yo!

I’M GOING TO NEW ORLEANS ON VACATION TO VISIT MY BESTIE! 

HOLY CRAP!  

…AND HURRAH!!

Peace, y’all.

<3

~D
 
 

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