The New 40?

15 Feb

Dudes. 

…I’m outting my Mom. Today, she turned 60. And it’s really wierd. 

…Not because Mom is 60 necessarily, but that 60 isn’t remotely what it used to be -but our brains just can’t help going there in picture-processing. 

My Gram, at 60, looked not only exactly like a Gram, but also, every bit of 60. It wasn’t a crime then, to be that age, for one thing. And it wasn’t a crime to look it. 

Life had kinda kicked that whole generation in the ass…when you think about it…from being born in the Depression, to two back-to-back wars, raising a shit-ton of children in the Donna Reed years,  through sexual revolutions, civil unrest, a bunch of assassinations, forever chain-smoking cocktail parties, and then watching their kids deal with everything from Vietnam to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. 

…No wonder they looked every second their age (and sometimes, even more.) 

But Mom’s generation…the ones that survived Vietnam and drugs and AIDS and free-love fall-out… they sorta flipped this switch on the aging rules, which will never flip back again. All of a sudden, they were thrown into 80’s fitness kicks and people started divorcing themselves from butter sauces and “cholesterol ” became this whole thing…as did the magnification of youth-creams and serums and face-lifts…which my generation picked up and fueled even more. 

A state of social consciousness on the necessity to never grow older became this “thing.” A mother literally looking young enough to be their own daughter became some wack kind of goal in life…screwing with every time-table and half of the faces in Hollywood. 

(Blinking should never be a kegel exercise…but that’s just my opinion.)

…Mostly, the worrisome thing is that what was hidden under the “health” mantra, seemed to at the same time shame any woman who looked like she belonged or could claim her current decade on earth, any time at all after 20.

…Which super sucks. Not only for the woman in question, but the generations who follow her…thinking that these are (and must be)  the rules. Which gets into this whole political bent, I’m not even gonna get into right now. 

…But what I guess I’m saying is that:

My Mom turned 60 today. And she is a survivor of a lot of shit and a succeeder through even more, and I think that instead of hiding that fact, and this day– instead of masking or down-playing it…instead of pretending it’s less time, with less work, or less reason to shout that shit from the damn rooftops–one ought to embrace the flying fuck out of it! 

So: Happy Six Decades of planet-life, and the winning of every single day that got you here! Be proud of it,  Mama! 

Cuz, sure am! 

Love, 

~Your Kid

While We’re Cheating, Know: I Miss You

8 Feb

Cecil and The Theatre Husband, are rehearsing “Gypsy, ” just down the street. They open two weeks before I do (45 minutes, just South.) 

…Together: they are teamed up as Louise and Herbie…in the strange only-theatre-way that one can, directly after playing man and wife, (with me, as their  oversexed –or under, depending on how you look at it– neighbor),  in “The Underpants. ”

It kills me, that I’m not there, partaking of their awesomeness and swimming in the absolute ease and delight that it is to work with them.

…But I’m also kind of super exhausted from our first first act work/run-thru, on my only third day of blocking into “Bountiful,” with like an 80% new-people-to-me team. 

…And: we kick total ass.

For custody battles, we’re splitting other former loves-of-the-past. I get my “Arcadian” arch nemisis, and fellow-actor-turned-Director…they get my “Black Coffee,” Ingenu. 

…It’s like an acting key-party of people swapping, and we’re all getting really good sex, but it’s still kinda like: “…But, I like how you just know to do that one thing. ” and,  “I’m jealous of this,” and,  “I sincerely cannot wait for you all to kick ass but: I’m a little pissed I can’t be part of it too.”

…So it goes…with greedy, creative, bastards, like us.

It’s not about “greener pastures.” It’s about “having any fun at all without me.” 

…And it’s also the pride in one another. And the fact that our shows are staggered so we will all get the chance (ultimately) to bask in the creative, ridiculously talented glow of one another.*

(*We’re super humble, too…) 

 …But meanwhile: it makes, “How was rehearsal tonight? ” a kind of super-loaded question. 

…The kind where you’re like, “Good sex. Different. Learned a lot. Miss that ‘thing’ you do. ”

…And the other guy goes:

 “Yeah. Me too. ”

~D

Win-Losses & Trannies

4 Feb

I am pacing every room I inhabit with a bright yellow script -highlighted all to hell- as my companion. 

The script is fast becoming mutilated. They always do.

…I fuck up a line, cuz I forget which tense she’s in now, or which version of name-dropping she’s on, or where the hell that one line even comes from -which is why I keep forgetting it. So: I let a string of expletives burst out from self-frustration, and start again. 

…I’ve been doing this for hours, every day. Since Monday. 

…And I am very, very happy. 

This is the kind of thing that makes theatre people look like freaks. I know that. As much as I know that fighting with that yellow script over words, is an awesomely frustrating and gratifying kind of brain-foreplay right now. And my escape. 

I used to hate this part: getting off-book. I’ve decided that I don’t now…and maybe never really did. I wanted the words right away so I could get to work. Only, that was part of the work. The agonizing over every word choice and its place,  just as much as the playwright once did…this is where the relationship work starts

…Why can’t she stick to a goddamn topic even within any three sentences in any one monologue?!  She’s like a bee,  flitting from flower to flower without any structure whatsoever. And then all of a sudden: she’ll bounce back to that one flower over there again, or that one over there, with no transition of thought, and no complete communication on any story she starts, at any time. 

…My God, she is frustrating to track. 

…And that’s gotta be exhausting as hell to live like,  you would think. Always amped up about something, always chattering away about another, always splitting focus as many ways as possible, so she ultimately doesn’t say much of anything, until all at once: she explodes for what seems like a totally superficial reason. 

…Trying to track and learn her words, I feel more empathy for her fellow characters than herself. 

…Sitting down to book-work of WHY she is like this –in between line sessions — I’ve become her insider-champion. 

…In between: I’ve got a lot of damn work to do. Which is fucking amazingly lucky. And so this weekend, I will continue to pace and recite and yell at myself and her and Horton Foote, as the bastards we all are for putting me in this situation. 

…But in all the good ways. 

…Which is the only solace I’ve got at the moment with a fucked-up car transmission and no money to pay for it. 

I work ten minutes from home. I can borrow a car for rehearsal commutes. Mine hasn’t totally blown up. As yet. But it will. There’s nothing I can do about that. Which helps me mentally: not at all. 

…My brain this past week has been pulled from here to there, with worries,  frustrations, anger, hyperventilations and total fears …absolutely just as erratically as Jessie Mae in this script has. 

So: from where I sit now, here’s two things I know–

1. If I keep myself busy enough to not think about it as much as I can, maybe I can delay the inevitable from sucking the absolute life out of me, in the mean time. 

2. Horton Foote might be a fucking genius. 

~D

Honest Fight

19 Jan

There should be a way to fight this, “dirty. ”

…There should be a mental equivalent of brass-knuckle-packin’ fisticuffs you can haul out…and hair you can pull. You ought to be able to scratch it’s mutherfucking eyes out, bare-handed. You should be able to draw and see blood, to leave a wound with a scar that you can visualize later at other shitty times,  so you can point at it and say: “See?!  Kicked your ass that time, so I can damn-well do it again! ”

…If there was a way to fight this shit, dirty. I’d have long since done it by now. 

 …It can’t possibly be more taxing on my body than the only way I have to fight it: which is this absolutely exhausting step-by-step process…which besides the drudgery of “sameness, ” costs more and more frustration and stress with less and less yield. Because my brain is not playing fair. 

…So, IT can fight dirty as hell…and I’m stuck with throwing walks and meditation at it, feeling like some chumped up asshole whose just letting the inmates run the asylum from plays of sheer overpowering insistence. 

I don’t like losing. I don’t like being tied and strapped up in a helpless configuration of a straight jacket that my brain from time to time gets thrown into. I am in one right now…truth-told: I have been for a while. I am exhausted from fighting it. I keep waiting to find the combo out, and can’t. I’m doing all the “right” things,  fighting cleanly by all the “right” rules. 

…And it all means dick. 

It is beating the shit out of me. 

…And I have no choice…none whatsoever…but to let it. 

And it makes me mutherfucking FURIOUS. 

I am exhausted. I can’t work any harder than I am. I can’t screw a pretend smile and positive outlook on my face any more hours a day than this. I am losing my sense of personal strength as I try to temper my temper…my ONLY available asset I feel confidence in. I want to let the Hulk out and do a shit ton of damage…to show my brain that my will and fight IS stronger than “it.”

…And while that would feel absolutely AMAZING for a while: liberating and ass-kicking and power -infusing…I know that you cannot strong-arm this shit to “win. ” It is a lie that makes you feel good for a time..but it ends up costing so much more in the end. 

Like: your sanity. In full. 

…My rage right now is so great, that to unleash and feed it would be to throw a fifth of whiskey down it’s throat, tear off all it’s clothes, and go on a wild ride of nights full of random, wild, fuck-you, abandon. 

…Which is all fun and games and liberation. Until you wake up alone, in some other person’s bed you don’t know, and can’t remember what the hell even happened. 

My rage at my mental illness is exactly like an alcoholic blackout binge. 

…How else am I supposed to fight it? How else do I feel like I have any power at all?  When every “good for me” weapon is so supposedly “peaceful” and “enlightening ” and so very often feels totally and completely ill equipped for the monster fight it wakes up to…every day now for quite some time. 

I am tired of fighting an honest fight. 

I am tired of taking long walks every day in fresh air. 

I am tired of trying to refocus and meditate. 

I am tired of pretending I’m not scared about 11,000 ordinary things on any given day. 

I am tired of trying to spin my mental nightmares into something funny to laugh at in public, as they continue to privately terrify me. 

You are my people. This is this fucking blog’s purpose. I am standing here saying,  “I know I’m not alone. There are a lot of us. And we are all fighting and all tired.”

I know that. 

In the same “deep-truth” place where I also know that in some nondescript amount of time…just from out of nowhere, I will turn a corner…my brain will settle down a bit, and some semblance of peace (or at least far less struggle)  will come again. 

…But that time is not now. And while I fight on, I needed to stand up in the room and say:

It’s bad times. 

I am frustrated. 

I am very angry. 

I am tired. 

I am still FUCKING IN HERE. 

~D

On Days When I Only Do 3 Things

17 Jan

Here’s the deal: Anyone who knows me,  knows that I multitask like a mutherfucker. 

 …Seriously. I could win awards. 

…And it’s only cuz: that’s how my brain works. I don’t know another option. I’d prob’ly sleep a hell of a lot better if I did. But it isn’t in me. 

…I am a person who needs ten things to happen at once,  because five is just wasting time. I honestly cannot remember a point of my life not being like this,  and I come by it honestly,  as my mother is exactly the same. 

…But with that,  I also have this artistic mind. So I want to mutli-task that,  too. 

…And I get really irritated (and/or feel like I’ve totally dropped the ball)  if I don’t deliver on that. 

Sunday, I did three things: drank two cups of coffee,  ate breakfast,  and saw a movie. That is all. My entire day was soaked up in three seperate things I didn’t even combine when I could, so obviously : I lost. 

…Lost “what, ” I dunno. But I didn’t do “the job of me. ”

…So that rolls into today both needing to overachieve (like you can make up on it or something), or at the very least,  self-dictate NOT to be the “waste” that yesterday was…(though it wasn’t really…and I know that in the reasonable part of my head, where I’m allowed breaks like everyone else.)

…What I’m saying is: with no rehearsals to go to, lines to learn or work,  or crap to be responsible for: I just had a lazy Sunday…which felt irresponsible and weird. And guilted me into caring much too much about going to work on a Bank Holiday. 

The end. 

~D

For Piss Sake

11 Jan

It is the third day of Boss being at the Corp meeting out-of-State. It is the fourth day without a printer/fax/scanner, the second major fire day due to Customer Service order entry errors at Corp, customers keep calling to make last second product changes for shit we do not have in stock… AND, the sewer lines are shot, so I have no place to pee out this well-intentioned tea-detox I started,  last night. 

…Technically, we shouldn’t even be OPEN without a working place to pee. And yet, here I am,  squeezing my pee-part muscles as hard as I can, because I am the only one here (again), and am still waiting for authorization for the multiple thousand-dollar repair estimate to be “ok’d,” by a guy who can pee any fucking time he wants to,  off the side of the goddamn yacht he’s on right now, at the Corporate meeting. 

(…And I know this to be true,  as I saw the Yacht Club dress code requirements, stipulated in their travel itinerary.) 

…Am super glad I started that Calm sleep app two days ago…because “exhausted ” on top of this would have pushed me over the edge. Right now,  I’m rested, supremely irritated,  and really really have to pee. 

…It could be worse,  is what I’m saying–without invitation for it to become so. 

A printer is “supposed” to arrive today. The WHS Chick is “supposed” to come back from her ongoing 3-hour-long paint pickup trip (at some point), and whatever all that may be: I AM leaving early today (after all this ditching business) and someone else will have to deal with the Roto Rooter guy this afternoon. 

…Cuz, fuck this noise. 

In Other News: Put in for another audition that popped up from outta nowhere on the boards, it doesn’t look to be raining after work during my hill-hiking time,  and am doing bud script brainstorm session with my Pan of a Princess Leia after dinner. 

So: this now-crap is all cosmetic dirt under my feet. Very, very soon. 

…Oh look,  the FedEx truck. Gotta go learn network wiring now… 

~D

McWinkerson

9 Jan

So here’s a first: think I put the wrong contact in my right eye…cuz everything’s been blurry and off all day. And it’s more than just a little annoying. At this point in my paper working day,  it’s given me a headache and made me nauseous. 

…So now I’m taking my “lunch, ” pacing the office while winking through one eye so I can type this without vomiting. 

(…she said, with hope.) 

It hasn’t been a great Monday. 

…But I’ve had worse. 

(…this is me: being positive .)

Oh,  hey,  and while we’re on that subject: didn’t get the show,  but did book a paid stage read in Feb. So…that’s like getting the vaccination shot and feeling only nominally like shit, versus not getting the shot at all and wasting away without aide. 

… I still feel diseased, but with the “good drugs,” so I don’t notice it as much at the moment. 

…Which is helpful. 

…What isn’t so helpful is the pacing and writing with only one eye. Things are getting squidgy. 

Shut it down, dude. 

But first: if you haven’t yet — see Bright Lights, and find whole sadness of joys. And also: add to your life-list for someone to creative-crush on you as eloquently as Viola Davis does on Meryl Streep. And also: try to be more like Meryl Streep…just like you know: in general. 

Over-and-out. 

~D

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