Line-Dom, Character Actor: For Hire

13 Jul

I’m paid in wine and tacos, am only available post-walk and laundry-washing, and will task-master your ass, tight as a Drill Sergeant. 

… Or (perhaps more appropriately), a Dom. 

… Have taken up a temporary second existence as a line-driller, for all those assholes (whom I love),  who have off-book deadlines, unlike some people we know. It’s a bittersweet existence. Line-learning is the only part of the job I don’t enjoy, so I envy none of that sadistic frustration in cramming two hours or more of text into my brains. 

… But, the rest… 

… Dear God, I do miss the rest of it. 

… Character analysis, relationship discoveries in rehearsal, trying to get to the the bottom of a difficult moment, playing with the comedy to find its every button without breaking it… wresting out a shitty day in a good growl of anger or heaving sob, turning all of it to your supreme benefit and cleansing. 

Being an out-of-work Actor is as shitty as it gets in my world…(and it can get pretty damn shitty, so that’s really saying a thing.)  I miss my “out”  and coping partner like as if a part of my anatomy dropped off back there, and is just laying on the ground, useless,  depressing, and frankly,  not super functional. 

… Am trying to plug along best as I can, but instead of passing time making it easier, it gets more unsettling, my walks more intense and kinda anger-fueled (with nowhere else to filter daily frustrations),  and I’ve gone back to watching so much BBC programming, I have to actually think about not speaking in an accent,  as a natural default. 

This is my only way to cope. 

… And now, I’ve added other people’s scripts to the mix…drilling my poor theatre-family bastards harder than an oil rig in Texas. 

It is rough to be mid-30s, as a woman: period. 

… As an “actor,”   even more-so. 

… Even as a “character actor” … (which frankly has surprised the hell outta me.)  I thought NOT being an ingenue would have guaranteed me “roles for life.”  But, aside from Agatha Christie…no one wants you,  except as the very occasional spinster aunt, or  nosey neighbor. Hollywood states you’re too old to be a mistress anymore at this age…but, I’d even get those if they popped up anywhere on the boards around here…though, they seem to be “out of season,”  just now. 

… And though I am old enough to play early mothers and wives,  “maternal” and “submissive but supportive”  aren’t my specialties…I’ve done ’em, but only rarely with joy. And all the good “fucked up” delineations of these are in that 40s to 50s range. 

… What I’m built to kill at right now are shrinks, or lawyers, or P.Is ….hell, even a person in the throws of a nervous breakdown, or a junkie on  the street…where are those roles in the theatre cannon for women?

(…Outside of Miss Marple, and the cast of “Rent” types.) 

… Anyway… here I sit. Watching the boards and waiting. A perfectly good “that one chick” who can play just about anything needed,  provided someone wrote it down on paper at some point. And then theatres put it into their damn seasons. 

… It’s really about trekking the mountain, waiting for all the 40-something roles you get to at the summit, but meanwhile thinking, “How the fuck am I gonna stay limber on script reads and ‘town gossips’  when I’ve got Martha in Virgina Woolf waiting for me up there?!” 

… I dunno. Any other lady-actors out there feelin’ m’pain?  

Meanwhile: I’m on a severe FB diet, as I have long come to the conclusion that death and politics are stressing me out almost as much as my day job. Which means that almost any existence I have on it,  is me posting something I read from the Guardian on a theatre thing, an occasional blog about general nothingness, and/or how excited I am about this one show I’ve seen on Netflix. 

… In fact,  if I had money to put into stock or properties…(like for instance, had I won that last Lotto Mega Million) , I’d have invested heavily in Fitbit and Netflix, as they are my consistent saving graces. (Together with the revolving Repertory Theatre that is “English Actors In General”  c/o iTv and the BBC. ) 

… I just want to BE them. How is that wrong…? 

… Is it October yet? God, this” wait for vacation” thing is fucking arduous.

~D

Rent Paychecks & Food Orphans

8 Jul

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Am watching this show that makes me want to cook all the time…an artform I am rubbish at, but like to pretend I can do anyway.

… My amended versions of fake recipes are entirely based on what seems like a good idea at the time, spun on its ear, with the hodge-podge of nonsensical foods and condiments I have to work with directly in my cupboard and fridge. This is because it was rent paycheck week, so I am poor again, but just as determined to invent something of culinary awesomeness with nothing at all but what I’ll refer to as the leftover Food Orphans in my kitchen.

… There is no lettuce, but I have zucchini and cucumbers. Lots of beans and rice…but no bread. Eggs without milk. Hot sauce in three varieties…and chicken broth…spaghetti with no sauce, and one can of albacore tuna.

… Every condiment in tiny takeout packet form, and every salad dressing…but no butter or sugar. I have a $12 Moroccan spice and a $3 Italien seasoning mix, but also a tiny packet of zillion-dollar-an-ounce Saffron, as well as a box of cornflakes, a thing of Shake-n-Bake, and cupcake decorations without ingredients to mix and make the cupcakes.

I dunno how half these things got in my house. Mostly, other people have bought them and left them, over time. Because everyone cooks there…not because the kitchen is posh and high-functioning…it is a galley with zero steel surfaces and a human dishwasher (me)…but mostly because I will ply free booze to anyone who will cook for me…so I can grate and cut things and pretend I know what I’m doing when I don’t.

Because I love food.

… And I love the process of making it.

… And so, when I go through friend-cooking-withdrawal… I click a food show on Netflix, get a burr up my ass, and go pretend I know how to go it alone with inventiveness.

I WILL FIND ART ANY WAY I CAN, AND PRACTICE IT, TO MY HEART’S DELIGHT… SO JUST SHUT UP ABOUT IT!

(The struggle is real.)

(… And not just for my palate.)

Next: Am starting to get frustrated with the ever evolving world of job hunting. You want this one who never calls, constant calls from all the ones you don’t want…the best jobs are too far away, the close ones are shitty, requiring your every night and weekend probable take-over. It has become a vicious cycle of the phone ringing and binging all day long, but always ending with anticlimactic fizzle.

My phone is quickly becoming sexually frustrated as hell, as I re-sweep the same damn ads over and over and over again, and Insurance companies haunt me like a mouth-breather on a crowded bus.

… Also, every accounting department known to man.

Trust me. You don’t want me in Finance. Or to sell things to people. You want to bury me in the back office where I can chew massive amounts of paperwork while speaking to no one…for hours and hours.

… Maybe I’ll start looking into the mortuary arts. It’s people-related, but only barely. It’s quiet, low stress, and there are no constant calls bitching about returns and repairs.

(No, but seriously. I should consider this.)

Meanwhile, why isn’t it 4:30 yet?

… Mrs. Johnson has arrived and gives zero fucks about the remainder of the work day. She just wants her forced 15k walk out of the damn way and a Pamprin cocktail with a whiskey chaser. And then: some pajama friend hang time.

… Which she’s damn-well gonna get. (I’ll have you know.)

The end.

~D

Mr. Jingles

29 Jun

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We have a mouse at work.

…We know this, not only because of tiny poop presents on our keyboards, and teeth marks through the package of every granola bar from the Costco box… we know this because we have seen him. At first, in darts and flashes of fur, and now in week two, the tiny asshole –bold as you please — just wanders from office to office via a sequence of holes in our crawlspace, meant to wire our Internet in.

… Traps have been laid, food stuffs have been sequestered, and we await his end-times. But thus far, he’s been too good at the game, and flaunts his wins daily. (Including his ultimate finger flip of shitting his tiny little shits, all over the place.)

Our Warehouse Chick has name him: Mr. Jingles.

He may or may not live up to the role.

Every day now starts with vigorous Lysol wiping of every surface and pen, no one so much as goes to lunch with a cough drop on their desk, and every sighting has become like an office drinking game (minus the booze and real fun.)

Someone: (yelled out) “Mr. Jingles!”
All Else: (answered, like a toast by all present) “Mr. Jingles!”

… Despite the disgustingness… we sorta all want him to win.

So it goes, in the totally classy establishment, I work in.

Next: My year of Fitbitting (and it’s erased blog) are the only current events I own. The blog (killed via Internet or some other technical burp during posting) was meant to celebrate my win of an every day constancy…my 365 days of ass-busting, my over 6.1 million steps, over 16,100 on average per day. But after it ceased the Web world, I thought: “Ain’t that a general F-you from the fates, who watched me work this hard all damn year…”

… So I didn’t rewrite it. That’s my finger, back at them. I did the thing, I know all it meant, I guess I don’t need the witnessing to own the full meaning of it.

Sometimes enough is enough.

(And somewhere, my shrink –prob’ly imbibing on an all-expense vacation I’ve helped pay for–just applauded.)

Meanwhile: It’s heat. And walking. And heat. And head cold ending.

… It’s finally regaining a sense of smell in time for 4th of July BBQ eating, setting friend dates, applying for jobs, watching the casting boards while salivating for just the right thing at just the right time… Hoping to be back into a happy and healthy head and life space, surrounded in higher pay, actual appreciation, and an artistic outlet to fully invest in.

… It could happen.

(And I wish it would fucking hurry up about it, already.)

~D

Insane Wisdom & Adorkableness

14 Jun

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My bottom left wisdom tooth has been driving me to the brink of insanity for the past three days.

…Actually, today is tolerable. The last two weren’t. Today it has downsized to annoying aches, which is a giant downgrade from the constant throbbing want-to-smash-my-head-into-a-wall-to-stop-the-pain, of where I have been. A LOT of Advil has been forced through my body, as well as many goops of Orajel. Monstrous goops. Essentially, I have no feeling (or taste buds) on half my face. Which I’m strangely okay with, vs the alternative.

… Because I refuse to go in and get this bastard taken out right now. Because they will want to take ALL of them out. And then, there will go all of my London bucks. And that shit just ain’t happening.

… At least I can say that at the moment, (due to finally getting some sleep last night.) Yesterday at around four p.m., I was contemplating oral surgery as a less painful “out” on account that these aren’t easy extraction teeth as they are growing weird… they’d have to drug me to the point of no longer feeling pain for some odd hours…which would be a first for several days now. And even with hospital anxiety, and a giant wave of pain to follow, I was seriously considering it. Because “now” is always more pertinent than “later.”

… But then, today, it was less horrid. Which fixes nothing, (I know), but if I can make it till mid November, at least I’ll be poor from fun, and have had a trip to look back on, rather than poor from teeth with nothing to look back on but stitches and more holes in my face.

It’s about perspective.

Mine, right now, needs to live in happy, hopeful places. So I am pushing that as much as humanly possible. A little too much food-happiness has been involved lately, leading to too much bottom and thigh happiness…but with a screaming mouth of pain, that should pull back some, and voila: balance will be restored.

… Have also been attempting to focus on only light and passive viewing and readership this week (after several weeks of intense historical and political gigs.) It’s all about simplicity, with adorkable things like “New Girl” Netflixing. Because: it’s easy. And I need something that is, right now.

… Even watching a person who is my literal age, with crazy Powerpuff Girl eyes, strange 70-year-old-woman-meets-kindergartener fashion sense, who crafts with construction paper for adult pleasure, and makes up songs about wildlife. It seems to make her happy. Which makes me laugh. (Frequently: out loud, for reasons I’m still not really sure about.) So we both win.

…And I can give myself a bit of a reprieve from election crap and horrible Orlando happenings, which seem to only anger and stress me out more.

For now: I bow for our losses, and set up for some quiet brain-away time.

Peace, loves.

~D

I’m Gonna Read Your Diary

2 Jun

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Cecil’s new theatre company is having a fundraising event with an open mic for the entertainment. Cuz Cecil is smart and knows, “why spend money on that shit when – if given the option – artists will whore themselves out for free.”

… She isn’t being greedy in this…the fundraiser will pay tech, talent and designers on their premiere gig…but this being a fundraiser means if you ain’t got the change, you can donate your art-things.

… All my change being deposited into the London fund, I only have the latter to give. And even that I was gonna decline participation in, only cuz open mics make me artistically hive. I need more distance and like a damn character between me and an audience…this gig is far too much like public speaking, of which I am awkward at, in the supreme.

…But that was before Cecil asked me to do a dramatic read from her 13-year-old-self’s diary.

I have done so before. In fact, thrice to several small gatherings I have shared it’s contents.

Because frankly, it is magnificent.

The first time was on one of our “Drunk Tuesdays,” so named from its original conception, on a Tuesday where we decided to drink too much, read some plays, wander to the corner gas station for Scratch Lotto tickets and candy, and spend the walk back dreaming of the flat we’d buy in London with the winnings.

…We had so much fun doing this on a stupid day of the week where one generally does nothing, and not winning all the things we scratched, that “Drunk Tuesdays” became a thing…generally whenever we needed one, no matter the day of week.

… So it was on one of such nights, that Cecil began to talk about this boy she’d obsessed over at age 13, and this diary she’d kept over a short few month span. Would I like to read it?, she’d asked.

…And so, on what would turn out to be the next “Drunk Tuesday,” Cecil jumped off the couch, squealed that she’d just remembered something, and ran out to her car. There she had been toting what she called, “The Donovan Diaries,” which she’d gotten her mother to dig out of her childhood bedroom and send her.

… Already, it was amazeballs. Built by hand, with outer covers of black sparkle construction paper, hole-punched and loop-tied with ribbons, filled with about a half centimeter of ruled paper, partially filled in with multiple – colored writing, each color claiming it’s own diary entry, complete with a Prologue of who this was for, when they could read it, what they were to do with it after, and hints at occasional super secret codes and their super secret keys to them, somehow within a reason unknown, to be kept within these same sheets.

… And so: we read. In tag-team style. With a dead seriousness, and solemnity of truth that we all wished, at that age, to be taken with.

… And we did this, in between ugly-faced crying laughter from the audience’s side. Because there just was no other way to receive it.

…Because goddamn it, the strategy to getting and holding a “man’s” attention, knowing what to do with it when you have it, trying to deal with not wanting it when it is there, but do when it isn’t, and all the complications which come with this, are even funnier when you haven’t learned enough to laugh at yourself about it yet.

… And so, for reasons of sheer embarrassment, and truthfulness, Cecil has charged me with the task to stand at an open mic, not on a “Drunk Tuesday,” and share her humiliations with earnest solemnity.

… And I will.

… And the people will cry with joy.

… Because 13 or 23, you couldn’t buy a Cecil, and the brain it comes with, for a million dollars.

… But you can try your best, at the tip jar.

~D

Mind Palace Asshole

26 May

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You know how Sherlock Holmes retreats to his “Mind Palace” for reflection, concentration, and a little R&R? As a creative person, I *wish* my bloody brain was functional to work in that capacity. How amazing would that be… to have this little untouched oasis of a Happy Place to go to, when the turds of life spontaneously combust, leaving you surrounded in what feels like a constant film of putrid stink and forever diarrheatic unrest.

This is what it feels like lately.

…Wish it didn’t. Because, don’t we always? But, it does. And a brain that is built to fixate on the fact instead of run away and save you from it, sucks.

… Kind of everything right now, sucks.

Which happens.

So, there’s that.

Meanwhile, am trying to fight my body and brain through a rampant case of “don’t careism,” which makes every walk in fresh air and every shower, and every chore feel like it’s the end of the goddamn world if I have to do it.

… It’s like a whole month of being a teenager again. And I hated it enough the first time.

I keep having to be my own guidance counselor, with mental conversations like:

Me: You need to get up.
Other Me: Why? I have only slept three non consecutive hours. I don’t care what time it is.
Me: Well, you should. Also: you smell.
Other Me: *You* smell!
Me: I know this. When was the last time you took a shower?
Me: Yesterday morning.
Other Me: After a full work day, and walk. Then you just peeled off your sweaty shit, put on pajamas and laid on the couch all the rest of the night.
Me: So!
Other Me: So, you are a petri dish of gross. You need a shower.
Me: Fuck showers! They’re all wet and crap! Then I have all this hair, and have to shave…everything on my body practically… and then there’s all the teeth brushing and–
Me: –Did you just fart?
Other Me: I did. You wanna make a case of that too..?!?!

Also:

Me: It’s time to do dishes. And laundry.
Other Me: No.
Me: Yes. It’s time.
Other Me: I can just clean this spoon. It’s all I need right now.
Me: What about a plate to eat on.
Other Me: I’ll use the box lid.
Me: You are pathetic.
Other Me: I am “practical” and “inventive.”
Me: Yeah, well, how you gonna “invent” your way into some clean underwear tomorrow. Those are your last pair. The default kind, that you hate, which ride up your butt all day. How fun is that? Is it worth being too lazy to launder better ones?
Other Me: It is, in fact.
Me: Now you’re just being stubborn.
Other Me: HAVE WE MET?
Me:… I mean, it’s one thing when you have two shows you’re rehearsing and performing in, to live like this. But right now, there’s just no excuse at all. You have nothing. No actual daily purpose at all.
Other Me: You are a giant asshole.
Me: Upon occasion, yes. Also: you need to sweep. Like, woa.

… So, this is what I’ve been doing with myself lately…in case you happened to be wondering.

A whole lotta empty bickerings and bitchings with myself…waiting for something to hit the boards that I can transfer my focus to and reinvent a reason to give a shit, again.

Petulant artist-child, that I am.

~D

The Burgermeister Meisterburger Troll

25 Feb

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Have survived another visitation by Corporate for inventory count, calling it out loud as I watched the rental car pull off our lot.

…Every quarter the counts have to be made, which (in a perfect world) should be the only time we see these people. But (of course) it isn’t. Not when you’ve gone through all the management changes and shit that we have. For a bit there, the bastards were occupying our lobby and reproducing like fruit flies…tag-teaming one for the other…or sometimes swapping two-for-one, across months and months of time.

…Since then, we’ve gone from 32nd in the Nation to 3rd, and finished counts in 2.5 days instead of 5…so: here’s hoping we’re off the shit-list now, and those asshole good-ol-boys can go dick around in someone else’s lobby for a while.

“Why so hostile?,” one might ask, (if one were anyone other than a late-middle-aged white man.)

…The reason is, of course, due to the fact of how little has actually changed in Corporate America since the Don Draper years. And having to try to do actual work while it actively fights against you in the form of dozens of long-lunches, loud conversations by your desk, no tangible answers for anything important, half-assed problem solving, and lots and lots and lots of cigarette smoke.

The Chief-Boss of our region is actually one of the longest-term employees of the company, therefor, likely the most useless. He paces the lobby on this cellphone at all hours, wheezing and attempting to cough up the same deep phlem ball he’s been culturing in his lungs since prob’ly 1956. Through this, he yells into the phone, as if attempting to cover the west to east coast miles in lung power he obviously doesn’t have, in between puffing on an unending supply of Winston’s.

…This bastard, every time he comes, soaks our branch in hotel suit, mini bar, write-off Happy Hours, and BMW rental fees, across weeks at a time, while constantly on the phone with other places, doing whateverthefuck, but certainly not in the least helping with things here.

…In fact: he smells up the place, drinks all the coffee, and yells so loud on that fucking phone, it’s like a major battle just to get my own crap done. And so: I despise him.

You would too.

…Even if you didn’t know that he looks like the love-child of Burgermeister Meisterburger and a Troll from Trolls 2.

…But now: you do…

…And now he’s gone…

…For (God-hope) at least a month or two…

…If we gotta have this 1960’s office crap, why can’t we at least get the benefit of the old, “bottle in my file cabinet/flask lunches” to compensate?

~D

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