Archive | 1:58 pm

Damp Rag Dolls Of Death

6 Aug

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It’s been hot here.  This is a huge abnormality involving the temperature reaching into the 90’s or more, leaving most western Washingtonians in sopping puddles on the floor.

…And yes, I do know, “That ain’t even hot” to most places on this earth.  I was born and bred in California, people…believe me, I know what naked thighs on plastic car seats in freeway traffic can do to you.

It’s different here. 

…We don’t have much in the way of air conditioning or swimming pools.  I guess cuz one figures one can “muscle through” the heat, all two days a year that we get some.  But then when it actually arrives, we completely lose our shit…filling up the hospitals on dehydration-induced I.V. diets, and finding reasons to stand in front of the open refrigerator for hours at a time.  People start scalping fans on street corners, cuz every store in the state already sold out of ’em all…and the ice cream parlors and 7-11s turn into raving meat-markets of insanity.

…Even at home in a cooler brick-covered fortress, my plants are falling over themselves with almost-death by afternoon (though I water ’em every morning.) And my fish give me looks at feeding time like, “Fuuuuck.  I know we’re tropical and all, but seriously, we’re poaching over here!” 

It prob’ly wouldn’t be so bad if one had nothing to do during these few days a year, when this happens.  Take off to a lake or something?  You betcha!  But in keeping with all other “conveniences” in life, it just never works out that way.  The way it goes is: Hottist day of the flippin’ year, go spend four hours trying to look impressive at callbacks while you rain out of every pore, pitting out even behind your knee caps…then go home and get dolled up for a formal cocktail party you’re already two hours late to.

Taking showers after showers, (because you’re already sweating before you even get around to doing your hair)…doesn’t help.  Neither does trying to sausage damp appendages into nylons…because though it ain’t the “style” (and you might die of heat exhaustion for it), you simply cannot bring yourself to allow the bleached whiteness of total anti-tan to further embarrass you.

…Then, add some alcohol to the mix.

…Delightfully flavored champagne cocktails, and tables full of tiny eatables, which do not (in the heat) quite balance themselves out.  Dream of an evening, though it may have been, the stone-cold-sober payback the following day after only two drinks, lasted across two meals and five gillion glasses of water…well into something like 3 PM. 

Just a rag doll of soppy, heat exhaustion and brain aches…starfishing across the couch in the living room, refusing to move until around one this morning… when I decided it might have finally cooled off enough to risk getting ready for bed without feeling like I’d run a triathlon directly after.

Success at last!

…I even slept okay…and had only just the teeniest of dehydration headaches, come the 6:30 alarm.

Today, we are back to the more reasonable high 60’s, low 70’s.  About where my California relations start layering on fleece jackets and complaining about the cold.  THIS is where we are “at home.”  THIS is the language that we speak.

…Not to bitch and moan about the one true experience of “summer” in our summer…but, man!  I am just NOT built for this kinda thing anymore.

…Somewhere , in another reality plane, my Mexican ancestor’s just shook their heads, took back my ethnic card and disowned me for going full Gringo.

It happens.

~D

Holy Orders & More

6 Aug

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Callbacks this weekend. The theatre was booked, so we moved to the alternative space. 

Let not the irony escape you, that for at least two of the theatre’s in the area, the “alternative space” is a Church. 

…Historically speaking, whores and actors have been categorized together as equal opportunity offenders to these conservative numbers…(only possibly outdone by actors playing whores), since the beginning of time. Together, (or apart) they may say they accept you as one or both such members of humanity walking through their doors…but you better believe they’re gonna do their damndest to make sure when you walk out again, all that “nonsense” has been wiped clean, and you will be a fully functioning contributor to society once again.

…Unless you’re Lutheran or Unitarian I guess.  Cuz they sorta specialize in the, “whatever works for you,” category. Which is super rare. I know.  I’ve grown up in a whole lotta churches.  This one time?  I even wanted to make it a semi-calling.

…I was like five, and my Dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

“A Nun and Actress!”

This tiny alteration to my otherwise lifelong goal, was a bi-product of having just discovered “The Sound of Music,” (of course.) It, never-the-less,  freaked him the fuck out.  As a student of Catholic Parochial Schools, I think he actually preferred the route I went. Which is only barely the lesser of two evils. At least this way, my “sins against humanity” would only involve making an ass of myself, with a possible last-minute repeal for my soul when the time has come. After all, I wouldn’t REALLY spend my life killing people, stealing their husbands and generally whoreing around…only “pretending” to.  This was better than a career of morbid servitude, beating children with rulers due to strict patriarchal demands and personal sexual frustrations.

…It’s “something,” and one should take what one can get.  Meanwhile, Mom found it hilarious and still likes to tell it as an anecdote at parties.

It was a short lived dream.

Despite the teachings of Julie Andrews (and Rogers and Hammerstein), a person cannot be both these things, sadly. (I’m sorry, it had to be said.)  At some point, this dawned on me. About the time I realized that raising seven step-children would prob’ly suck,  and I’d never actually “fly”, like Sally Field. This all directly coincided, by the way, with my first viewing of Audrey Hepburn’s “The Nun’s Story,”  wherein I was shown quite frankly that a life of almost total obedient silence, and floor scrubbing, in head-to-toe black polyester in the Congo, prob’ly wasn’t gonna allow for much stage time.  Clearly one of ’em would have to go…which is why I am not in Orders today. 

Also: I’m not Catholic.  And, they frown on cussing.

…Sadly, the “celibacy” bit, isn’t the issue…

…Anyway…where I was going with this was: Actors in a church are like one of the most outstanding “wrongs” you can imagine.  Especially when they are plying their trade.  Even if the offenders are “of faith” themselves…(obviously belonging to one of the less restrictive sects), and use their “powers” for good, not evil.  Since I belong to no sect, have my own “deal” with the powers that be, and play a revolving, reoccurring set of baddies, bimbos, bitches and ne’er-do-wells every time I pick up a script…it sorta freaks me out a bit to exercise it all in a place I was taught as far back as I can remember, is “Holy.” 

Also, it’s confusing.  Because I think of theatre almost exactly the same way…which some might call “heresy,” but I just call, “human truth.”

Either way you cook it…the entire experience can just get weird.

…Try doing Mamet in a Church foyer, for instance (been there.) Or play a lesbian putting the moves on someone’s wife, in the Sunday School room (done that.) Or murder a man in cold blood (yep), or ride a dude’s leg while he grapples your boob within three feet of the main sanctuary (achieved.)  Surround yourself with people screaming “Heil Hitler!” (on tour even.) Damn people to hell (check), ruin their marriages (several times), sell your body to the highest bidder (even for beer)…and swill booze in a pub while singing the raunchiest lyrics you can wink at (done, done, and yep.) These are things that might (to some) seem just a little disturbing…and not only to the people who aren’t participating in the events, believe me.  Which just means: when you walk into the building and know you have to do the things you’re gonna have to do in it…you sorta have to divorce yourself almost immediately from the restrictions of reality or you will never win, rehearse or conquer a role, pretty much ever again.

…I don’t know what that means in the mainframe of things…after all…it is only a “building” when you get right down to it. We don’t actually MEAN to “defile” it with our baser-humanity instincts and involvements (sometimes put to song.)  All I know is, this weekend I realized (for the first time) the double irony of it all.

…Think about it: Once upon a time (for about a week and a half), I wanted to be an Actor and a Nun.

And I am.

…Total, dedicated, penniless, servitude…as my calling requires…reaching out to humanity as a whole, without discrimination, in complete observance of all rulings sent down from my betters, as practiced within the walls of the Holy Church.

…Even the celibacy bit: still works.

…Which is all to say: “Look Ma! I made it!”

I’m sure she’s just proud as hell right now.

~D

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