Archive | December, 2012

Waving Goodbye, From A Speeding Train

31 Dec

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So little time to spend looking backwards today, as I have so much planning, cleaning, shopping,  errands, lines and rehearsal time to focus on instead. 

…Have been burning the midnight oil a lot this week, and have learned through the experience that leaving the daily post for end-of-the-night, poses a number of problems stemming mostly from sheer exhaustion, and residual libation levels. I thought I’d try the more sober attack by forcing the keys beneath my fingers BEFORE all the madness begins…even while my eyes dart around the room noting all the hundred little things I need to clean and prepare for tonight. Trying m’best not to get sidetracked. Also: I really could use coffee. Am beanless and trying to tell myself that black English tea will work just as well. We’ve already had this discussion ten or eleven million times and know that it won’t.

…Meanwhile, as all this shit goes rushing through my brain, and the “to do” list of the day grows even while I’m just sitting here, I wanna take a second, make a quick glance back at the 2012 calendar to appreciate the places I’ve been along its life travels. A year of time has earned it’s place in the spotlight I guess. If for nothing else, than just the fact that the Mayan’s were wrong: we’re still here…and its up to us now to write the future that they clearly got too tired (or bored with) to keep working at.

For one, SWAL was born in June: a new blogging platform, in a new community of creative thinkers and doers…and I enjoyed being a part of it so much that five months ago I pledged the Blog-a-Day challenge, even though I hate doing things in odds, or mid-way through. 

…Every time I see the badge on m’blog I still have to fight the discomfort of knowing I joined part way into a thing, so my full year of achievement doesn’t fall on everyone else’s…that I still have well over half a year to go before my achievement is complete, and will then have the most anti-climatic ticker tape parade-for-one, in all of time. 

Should I have waited to join up with the circus at the stroke of midnight tonight?  I dunno.  Maybe. My little OCD buddy would have preferred it that way. But somehow it just seems wrong to plan that far in advance to run off and join a circus.  One doesn’t really “plan” it, one just becomes suddenly (without explanation) consumed with the community, art and wonder of it, and never looks back.  Which is what I did.  So points to me for being brave and all.  But then sometimes, realizing what a shit-ton of work being in one means, is sorta a pain in the ass.  Like for instance, when it’s four in the morning and I still haven’t done my post for the day. Or when talking about finding a penny on the sidewalk is about the level of excitement I have to offer the SWAL universe at-large.  I’ll try to do better…which isn’t to insinuate I don’t try the other times.  But it is true, I prob’ly could be a little more self-aware of free topic matter floating around me day-to-day.

…So, I will.

Next: A short season for theatre after a bustling one the year before.  Much longer breaks in between gigs, as nothing seemed pressing me to invest what it takes to do a show, at the level I’ve come to enjoy and expect.  The roles mean more to me now than they used to…not just grabbing at shows to fill the space, with hope that I will come ’round to actually be emotionally “in” them.  First of all: theatre is a lot of goddamn work. And at the level I invest in it: it’s the kind of work equal to birthing a new baby every two-to-three months…a lot of times painful, and messy, and frustrating, but ultimately joyful with mad amounts of pride in the end result that all we birth-partners have achieved.  Of course, sometimes you have a total dud too.  But mostly…mostly its been a year of happy family time, with new friends, new lessons, and new realizations. 

…As I carry on with rehearsals for the first show of 2013 (opening in less than two weeks time), I can tell this’ll be a year of upping the stakes again, pushing harder and going further than the usual casting and comfort levels.  Which is a phenomenal “starting” point, not to be wasted.  So I won’t.  Which means I’ve got some serious show scouting and auditions to hit this year…prob’ly further out of town than I prefer…but it’s a thing I’m totally prepared, at this point, to do.

In Other News: This was the year when The BFF took flight again, gallivanting to the melting pot of L.A. for reasons that I intellectually totally understand, but still emotionally find completely and woefully fucked up.  I miss her all the time. Yet by some kind of magic, when she visits, it’s like she never left at all.  She’s learning things all the time, and changing, but not changing in the ways that matter most, (and what I secretly feared), knowing what a soul-sucking enterprise that that town is and will always be. 

…One need not worry about that with The BFF. 

…She was born at the age of 35, and only gained personal strength, purpose, insight, intensity and integrity since then.  She’s fine.  She will always be fine.  Even if her BFF is sitting here freaking out about the 20,000 ways of possible scenarios in which she might possibly NOT be.

…I fucking HATE it how she’s always right about shit.  (‘Cept when she’s wrong…which happens too, upon occasion…but only sometimes.)

2012 was also The Year Of The Marty. 

…This is in reference to a once in a lifetime event that occurs, which has great significance. Like seeing Halleys Comet. The last occurrence on this scale of magnificent glory happened during the original Year Of The BFF. It just means that fate said, “You don’t know it yet, but this person has mad power to consume your interest, beat the shit out of your wall-building defenses, will challenge you often, and bring you tons of joy.” All my friend soul mates and family in the past, have added a new most important member to the clan this year. For which I am ecstatically thankful and always will be. Which is as sappy at I’m gonna get about that. So shut up, and pass me the french fries…

…And in closing: This was the year of re-evaluations.

Acknowledging that palettes change several times within a lifetime, I spent several solid tracks of the year, exploring and re-visiting things that have never been my particular taste or track of enjoyment, but felt was time to revisit again, never-the-less. Where one or two new tastes were found having been acquired…there were definitely those of solid disgust which HAVE NOT altered in the least. I know now, that they just never will be my cup of tea. And with that comes a kind of guiltless freedom, as the proof that “I tried it” was there…oh, so very embarrassingly obvious for all to see, in some cases.

…So there was that.

…Several “theres” and several “thats.”

…And though I continue to struggle with one specific highly palatable, yet pro’bly still glutton-filled-fest of a bad idea, which seems to haunt me, going on years…at the moment, I’m able to be reasonable about it. Which means, “I win. For now.”

…And that’s something.

Happy last of the year, all!

…May your day of past reflection and happy expectation be an exploding cork from a good bottle of bubbly, to you all!

~D

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A Break

30 Dec

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Delighted day of a break from emo worlds of blubbering, and snotting on a stage, as well as paper-working, adult babysitting and all the other fun stuff it is my privilege in life to do.

I washed dishes today and did laundry.  That’s about the extent of how far I was willing to go.

Now I’m looking at (hopefully) a full night’s rest…uninterrupted by strange dreams, or alarm clocks…followed by a double run of Act I on set for the first time…followed by a whoppin’ New Years Eve celebration of yay…followed by the beginning of a New Year that will be stellar-amazing.  I can already tell, ahead of time.

…Because I am gonna MAKE it that way.

And speaking of “stellar:” shout out to “K” and “A” the newly engaged, and “J” the recently Birthday’d.  I miss you guys like mad, and look forward (with drool) to the day that we can all sit around and catch up on the million-and-one life things that have happened with the latter part of this year.

Meanwhile: twelve days to Opening.

Time to dig the spurs in and go for it.

~D

We Three

29 Dec

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Marty, our “Joe,” the Rat Pack, Oceans 13 and an a lotta smokes are still occupying mi casa as I speak.  Post a very hit-and-miss rehearsal, a couple bottles of wine, and some killer tofu stuffs hidden behind the mask of many, many good spices. 

…We are bonding hard core right now.  We may be BFF’s  by the end.  I dunno. 

Mostly we are trying to accomplish compare-contrast of our personal relations of the past and why they suck…sorta like an ongoing Oprah episode, minus the baby-daddy moments. This is why theatre families are so valuable. It almost never matters how fucked up you are personally, there is always another person at LEAST equally, if not more screwed up, or codependent than you are or have been. It’s sorta like comparing scars. “Here, I have this one from that one dude that totally fucked with my head.” “oh, yeah, but I have this one from that one chick that la-de-dah’d.”

Always raising the stakes.

…It’s like Improv really…you always say yes, and add on.

It kinda amazes me how totally screwed up actors are. I know we are by “reputation,” but I almost never believe it, really. We are all a hot mess for our own reasons, and part of the joy of what we do is realizing that a ton of other people are equally fucked up…and that’s why they understand what we do when we do it.

Right now they are on the sofa, YouTubeing this ghetto South African group, Die Antword…which is a particular favorite train wreck husband/wife music group that Marty found this one time and is obsessed with. It’s sorta her party trick. And its beautiful.

…Like many things that Marty does.

Dear Lord…they found a new video of them.

…Also, it’s three in the morning.

…But we are at my house, being totally responsible. And cheap. By drinking free booze.

Rehearsal for tomorrow (or today, if you count by sleep) was cancelled again, for reasons that I still don’t understand. Our “Joe” is tending to the tater tots in the oven, I’m posed over the keyboard in responsible notation of events, and Marty is Nicki Minaj-ing. We are a hot mess of ridiculousness.

…Again: its 3 a.m.

It’s what we do, as a race: “actors.”

…And magically: tots are suddenly before us in a bowl, Regina Spektor is hallooing to us, in a Capella, and we are wearing shit-eatin’ grins.

I love us.

A lot.

I feel a giant glass of water and sleep is soon on the horizon. And as the “old lady” in the room (by like 7 years), I call the bed.

…Let it be known.

~D

Gobfesting

28 Dec

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Just got outta seein’ the mind-blowing Cirque du Soliel: Worlds Away in 3D, with the whole Les Mis intensity still in my head from two days ago.  In short: my creative juices are full and wanna play with renewed fierceness. So its good that I have something to do that with then, am I right??

…Done now striking all m’Christmas stuffs, some cleaning tomorrow and I’ll be ready for a house invasion on New Years Eve, post an awesome rehearsal…cuz I just decided it was gonna be.

For now: m’tummy is full of chicken gnocci soup, and the intense need for some PJ pants and a mug o’ tea. So I’m gonna go tend to that and watch “MIB 3” in ridiculous clarity on my new toy.

Life is good!

All hail: 3-day-weekend, part two.

~D

Commedia dell’Ham

27 Dec

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The only fun thing about running lines at this point (a total necessity) is to fuck with ’em by punctuating them with ridiculousness. So when I get to this point in the process, I just let it all hang out.

…Personal favorites are Telemundo-ing them to such great lengths of unnecessary melodrama that it is all but impossible to keep a straight face.

…Also adding inappropriate accents. 

…There is something about doing Shakespeare in a wide Wisconsin yowl that makes you want to piss your pants…like, every time. 

Look, if you HAVE to run these words over and over and over and over again in your head…to the point of incorporating their thought process and sentence structures as a second nature, you might as well have some fun with ’em. ‘Specially the dramas. One can only live in that kind of head space for so long…you have to be able to divorce your emotions from the words at some point or you’ll just launch into depression on a consistent basis. I like to fix this by reciting them while rocking out to music set as loud a possible, or at a speed mirroring that dude who used to do those Micromachine commercials when we were kids.

Dramas “at speed,” are fucking hilarious.

…Raising stakes to that level but without taking the time to segue from one thought process to the next, suddenly makes your character sound like a complete schizo, with totally unreasonable commentary and validations. Like today, for instance: running the worst emo lines of Act III, had me scrunching to the floor so as not to wet myself with the hilarious help of a friendly cue-giver. Every line spoken absolutely flat, on their end, was responded with mine in a highest-stake faux meltdown of wailing that would make Gloria Swanson look like an amateur.

…Which, because I like to pace while running lines, went a little bit like this:

Them: (Sitting in a chair.) But. Why. Oh. Why. Did this happen.

Me: (While walking out the room.) –I don’t KNNOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!! Beeecaaaaaause iiiit DIIIIIIIIIIIIID ! Iiiit HAAAAAAAAD to!!!!

Them: Now. We. Will. Never have. A normal life. Again. Why. Oh why.

Me: (While walking back into the room.) –Wwwwwwweee aren’t LIIIIIIIIIKE that!!! We aren’t!!! WE AREN’T!!!”

Them: Ok. So we aren’t. But then. What.

Me: (Pacing.) Listen!

Them: (Silence.)

Me: (Pacing.) Listen!

Them: (Silence.)

Me: (Stopping and yelling at filing cabinet.) LISTEN TO ME!!!

Them: I am. Listening.

Me: (Pacing back out of the room.) –We can NEVER go baaaaaaack! It’s alllll DOOOOONE for us now!!

Them: But. Why.

Me: (tearful-vomit-screech-of-pain-from-the-other-room)

Them: Why.

Me: (Heave. Heave.)

THem: Why.

Me: (Walking back into the room.) IIIIIIII DOOOOOOON’T KNOOOOOOOOOW!!!! It’s all because of “THEM!”

Them: Damn. Them. Damn them. All. To hell.

Me: (Gesticulating madly.) —Oh! Oh! Oh! It has come to THIS!

Them: Yes.

Me: (Falling into chair melodramatically.)— I KNEW it!!!

Them: I’m cold.

Me: –The END!

Them: Are you cold.

Me: –The END of EVERYTHING!!!!

Them: Lets not. Talk about it.

Me: (Standing and wailing.) GODDAMN MY LIIIIIIFE!!!!

Them: I’ll go. Cook us some dinner…

Me: (More wild gesticulations.) What care I for food?!

Them: You have to. Eat something. What.

Me: Nothing!

Them: What.

Me: NOTHING!

Them: (Beat.) What.

Me: (Calling out with all the power of Stanley from “Streetcar,” while sinking to my knees.) EEEEEEGGS!

Them: Fine. I will make us. Some eggs…

***

…This is not a literal translation of our line sequence of course, it’s more a general flavor. Wouldn’t wanna give the end away and all. But the point is: I laughed lots while doing it, which is exactly what WON’T be happening tonight when we run the scene for three solid hours.

…And I really needed that.

~D

Dear SWAL 2.0

26 Dec

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It’s time for our monthly dose of Dear SWAL letters, with special thanks to Marty for passing the questions on from her working establishment. For our last installment, visit here.  For the rest of us, lets launch right in to the problems and solutions of the masses NOT in matters of sex, tech, and relationship circumstances, as per usual…but with special emphasis (this time of year) on customer service.

…These are the kind of things we retail workers of the world would LIKE to answer you, if only we wouldn’t get fired for it:

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Question: “jesus h christ…this mole goes on for ages and says absolutley nuffinn…just the the blokes on here……how can someone waffle on for sooooo long and not say one thing that is worth even 2 cents?”

Answer: “lord love a duck…Welcome to the world of dating, friend. Better get used to it.”

~

Question: “I do not understand the instructions on downloading. I do NOT have kindle. I do NOT have facebook. Only Windows XP on Microsoft. Could you please email me EASY to install instructions for reading this ebook.”

Answer: “You mean easier than the ones in the highlighted box next to the order screen that says: ‘You don’t need a Kindle to read the book. You can download the Kindle reader for your cell phone, tablet or computer or you can read the book in the “cloud reader” on Amazon, so there’s really nothing holding you back.’?”

~

Question: “How the fuck u.got my email address nd got into my.inbox ya sneaky fucj.”

Answer: “It’s this whole magical thing where, when you order something, we get your info so we know where to send it. Ya mindless idiot.”

~

Comment: “PLEASE HIT THE NAIL AT THE HEAD. STOP WASTING MY TIME. IF YOU WANT ME TO BUY JUST TELL ME NOT USING WORDS ON ME WITHOUT TELLING ME THE REAL STUFF.”

Answer: “IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE STUFF, BUY OUR SHIT. (Consider the nail, “hit.”)”

~

Comment: “Don’t waste your time sending me further crap regarding the devil species known as women. I have a dog that is better then any woman could be. I was curious about what you had to say but why bother when women are at best a distraction. I still love them but only on the porn sites as they are not much good for anything else.”

Answer: “This devil species member has duly noted your comments and cancelled your order. I feel compelled to tell you, however, that bestiality is still illegal in most countries, and frankly: your resolved abstinence elsewhere only saves the world at large from a hugely horrific task of having to copulate or accidentally breed your specimen of humanity any further. Have a nice day.”

~

Comment: “YOU ARE AN IDIOT ! AND IF I EVER GET A CHANCE TO MEET YOU THE FIRST THING I WILL DO IS TO MAKE CLARETTE SPRAY FROM YOUR FACE ! YOU ARE AN INSULT TO ALL REAL MEN YUOU HUMAN PIG ! !”

Answer: “Sorry you got dumped. Here’s a coupon for free chocolate.”

~

SALES ATTEMPTS

Comment: “my name is Prince Williams I have worked with three different spell casters on internet and i got no result…when i asked them for refund, they never replied to my mails again and it got worst when threaten to reveal all i asked for and let the one i wanted to cast the spell on knows about it too…While i was working with him, i was as well working with another and the other did not lie to me…only God has saved me from that.if you want to save yourself from all this contact Dr B he helped me with my spell.: and he will give you the help you ever wished for.”

Answer: “Dear Prince Wills: Though it may feel like it, we are not at this time casting spells to aid in relationship advice. We thought we’d try the old fashioned way of reasoning and communication, first. We are also unable to accept solicitations, specifically centering around the dark arts. We will gladly tackle a hydrogen bomb break-up, but not with the use of crippling voodoo, free-will eradication, and/or smelly potions. Sincerely, SWAL.”

~

Comment: “Get a rael suger mummy ,suger daddy,lesbiance sexys.in all conutry that are ready to pay any amount to an indevidual in 30 mins that can also last fore bed or sexualy vibrant. that can help you in all aspect of life,they can as well take you to travel art or to work in any company of your choice in the world.they are avalible now in…abuja…in lagose … in portac…in uk…in nigeria…try as much as posaible to grab one them to mark your history.”

Answer: “We are not currently in the market for sex trafficking, organized slave-trade, or peeing on people to mark our territory. Even for our ‘art.’ So kindly fuck off. Thank you.”

~

…More Dear SWAL next month, and until then: back to our regular programming…including tomorrow’s (prob’ly slightly hysterical) review on tonight’s “Les Mis” attendance…for which I am so exited, I could just pee!

~D

Displaced Stuffs & A Happy Christmas!

25 Dec

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Playing with all my new toys, and finding homes for them around the house. 

…This is no small feat as my little home is already jam-packed, and in some cases a little displacement has had to take place. This always takes twice as long as it prob’ly does for other people, because changing things around makes me second guess the new options. I know I need to just make a choice and leave them till I get used to it…which won’t be for several days…but I keep getting all impatient and shift and re-shift them endlessly.

…Two and a half hours later, my brain is so “done,” you guys.

…Meanwhile, tomorrow am back to work, then home to strike the decorations on account that rehearsals this week need me to. I need enough time to clean  before the small New Years party Marty has nominated me to hold for all us cast adults. We’ll be too busy working scenes on the night of, and not enough time after to dress and get anywhere else afterwards.

Am uncommonly excited about it 🙂 

…No better way I can think to usher in the next year than with a bunch of family, after spending an evening doing something I love.

The bar is stocked.

Marty is floating food ideas in her head.

…And I can only do so much futzing ‘tween now and then, what with a full work schedule ahead.

Sitting here now with “Bells of St. Mary’s” on, sipping some Ceylon Orange tea, trying to calm my brain a bit as I gawk at Bergman’s face, roughly the size of my own, looking back as me from a new significantly larger TV screen. In fact, I keep getting sucked into it and forgetting that I’m s’posed to be writing something.

…I love you and all…but Bergman close-ups outrank you.

Don’t feel bad.

…They outrank pert near every person who has ever breathed.

And that’s the truth.

Ask anyone.

~D

P.S. Incidentally…in this last hour of Christmas, you should totally watch this:

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