Archive | May, 2013

Epic Lines

31 May

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A three-hour line-through tonight, with notes on every “and,” “but” and “the” out of sequence.

…Even though only got hit six times, in the entire script, it still makes me make this face:

(makes uncomfortable, displeased face.)

I’m OCD about lines…run them constantly while doing any task from work to home and back again.  I’ll run sections during my shower, on the way to work, while washing dishes, while waiting for reports to print out, on walks, and mid-pose while exercising.  This is not a task that anyone ever has to charge me with, but it is all we have until Monday, going into tech week.

…This is strange to me. 

Second show in a row, and one of only two (of 60-something main-stage), that I’ve done without weekend rehearsals.  It makes me feel that I’m wasting an incredible amount of work-time. 

I’m not quite where I want to be right now. 

…The development is fine, and the intent…I just need time on a stage to work it…to try different modes of attack for each scene, and so far we have been running, noting, and fixing them, instead of the former more “working in progress” kind of feel that I’m so desperately hungry for.

Not always, (but definitely where “comedy” is concerned), I like to have multiple passes of attack on lines and beats and moments.  Whole rehearsals devoted to just one scene and the many ways to encounter it, are without a doubt, my favorite kind.  It is so collaborative and experimental.  It helps you solidify who you are and your objectives.  It defines your physicality, more defines your relationship boundaries, and permits “happy accidents”…where something you might never ordinarily throw out there, is suddenly before you, and how you deal with it in the moment is so key to your character’s instincts that it teaches you more about their particular sense of self than prob’ly almost any previous homework you have ever done on them.

This play is such a showy piece of theatricality.

…It takes a steak and potato dinner and tosses it out, in favor of a five-course French dessert cart, with a host of pastries, candies and delectables, all dressed in complicated sauces, whipped creams, and sprinkles.  There is so “muchness” in fact, that wading through it all is half the battle.  Just to whip up enough air to get out one of these incredibly articulate run-on sentences, is a major feat, let alone doing it whilst moving, in the costume restrictions we will be wearing, and in a field of comedy that makes most Americans look and feel like even bigger elephants on stage than usual.

Comedies of manners are hardly our forte.

…None of which is to say we are in any way dropping the ball over here.  We are (quite frankly) working our asses off.  I just want more of that. With specific
detailing, faster cue pick-ups, and co-built “bits,” manufactured, and worked on, with such ease in presentation that they appear as lovely little bon-bons of pleasure, served up on a silver tray, throughout.

It’s totally doable.

And we have the time.

…I have no idea how in the thick of it, Mdm. Director is planning on getting.

…But I hope it is far. 

We are eager.

I want to be pushed to the edge now.

I’ve got a good team, a safe house, a delicious character, and an excellent director sitting here in front of me right now.  And I just want to use up every last drop of them.

Anxious much?

Yep.

I. Am.

~D

I Have To Go Be 16 Now…

30 May

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Regardless of the post-rehearsal double Long Island making me want to curl up into a ball under the covers and produce a lot of “Z’s”…I am here serving my devotion to you by my nightly blog.

…Because a promise is a promise.

…But a book is also a book and I have three new ones to take in, right now, courtesy of Dame Builder, who I’m playing teenage swappies with.  I loaned her the film, she loaned me the books, and together (though separately), we are feeding one another’s teenage angst and bubble-gum yearnings in the “Beautiful Creatures” department.

I want to be completely honest and say, “I really just wanna go get buried in one right now, no offence to all the yous.”

Had a full day, rehearsal was successful in being rehearsal-like, and we post-funk as a cast, like professionals. 

No big surprise there.

…So now it’s off to face-washings and some ridiculous southern-gothic sci-fi.

Huzzah!

(Also, it’s almost Friday. Another “Huzzah!”)

Now: onto virtual cupcakes of happy “Yay!”

~D

Victorian Commando

29 May

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The Fella just left from a cheese-eating, line-running, catch-upping date of yay: he over a beer, me over a whiskey.

…He brought me condiments, from the house, as he is in the final process of “move-out,” where he will be soon to join The BFF in the land of New Orleans.

Every theatre (and it’s people) in town will mourn his leaving, on scales: artistic, inventive, technical and in performance.

I frankly don’t even want to think about it.  So stop bringing it up.

…He helped me level out my TV sound system while here.  Cuz he’s a Wizard. 

The WHS Pimp had brought in a kick ass sub woofer et al for office use, to which I said, “Balls to that!  I’m taking this shit HOME!”  And I did.  And set it on the lowest possible level.  And instantly became the kind of asshole apartment neighbor we all hate, with constant booming rumbles through the entire length of a movie. 

I made sure to put in a good action one to really show off.  The explosions were awesome, and the helicopter sounded like it was actually landing in my own living room.  I’m sure the neighbors thought so too.  But then, once The Fella came over, I had him fiddle with it to get a better talking balance versus the constant sound of impending doom that a sub woofer seems able to deliver by instinct.  He of course managed it beautifully, killed the added echo, upped the treble, and has it balanced like a dream.

…Only it’s too late now for ‘splosion movies, so I’ll have to play with it again tomorrow.

In the mean time: a second session of Pilates.

…And tomorrow: laundry and rehearsal, followed by post-cast-bonding…under the express encouragement of Mdm. Director.

Laundry is a total must.

Down to my default underwear again.  And I’m seriously considering going “commando,” over wearing that butt-floss thong bullshit, (which I keep only for such emergency purposes.)

…Only somehow, I don’t think “commando” wears well on Gwendolen.

…Something tells me, Mamma wouldn’t approve.

(Beat.)

…Course, what she doesn’t know, couldn’t hurt her…

~D

Foreign Awards & One Pound

28 May

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You guys, I lost all of one pound yesterday. 

With the effort I put into it, I expected to wake up at least looking like a distant cousin of Selma Hayek or something.  But no-go. 

…Also, it hurts to breathe.  As long as my abs don’t move at all, I’m fine.  But you can’t breathe that way without a corset.

…Who would have thunk I’d be wishing to be wearing one of those right now?

The workout today wasn’t fun, either.  Not even the floor exercises, never mind the full blown “Superman.”  But I’m muscling on anyway. 

I have hopes.

In Other News: In just a bit under my first year blogiversary, SWAL has won her first award, and just in time, as with two more readers I’d have been disqualified. 

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The Liebster Award apparently sources from Germany…(which means, like many actors, I can now claim international stardom, even if the home audiences think I’m for-shit.)  Qualifications are that you must have a blog, with under 200 followers, and get nominated.  That is all.  If you accept, it’s like a glorified chain letter of award-passings, (plus a required re-tag of your nominator and Q&A piece.) Then, you hand it onward to 11 others, with 11 new questions…and so it goes. 

…Problem is: most people I read have ten times the required subscriptions, so this could get tricky.

These awards (if you’re new to ’em) are just a neat little way to show your appreciation, and get more people to see your blog link.  It’s a love-in, really. Only with super safe sex.  As far as I know, no one has ended up knocked up yet, or acquired any kind of wireless syphilis.  Which is good.  Cuz according to Google, this baby has seen more action that a hooker at Mardi Gras. 

My top 11 picks to pass the Liebster Award on to are:

Somewheretoelsewhere
Artless Poems
Sketches From Memory
Frivolous Monsters
Mediadreamz
Asceline’s Fashion World
Scribe Doll’s Musings
My Meandering Trail
Nerd In A Comfy Chair
Ahundredauthors
Lill And Jill

Many thanks for the nomination from fellow foodie: Cate’s Kitchen Adventures …and here are her questions to me:

* How long have you been blogging for?

About 4 years. SWAL is my second incarnation, after the Mob found me and I was placed into a new Witness Protection program. It’s nice here. I like the neighborhood.

* What’s with your blog’s name?

I hate change, and hated killing off the last name in favor of a new one. But I think pin ups and period stenogs are awesome, so with that visual…followed by the clear fact it would be mostly day-to-day blurbs of a busy working girl…I went for the underplay. I think it fits her.

* How did you come up with it?

I don’t know. I guess it was better than “Not Another Bathroom Blog,” “Little Red Phone Booth” or “Hark! Another OCD,” which were my other options.

* Do you ever suffer from “blogger’s block”? If so, any hot tips on how to get through it?!

Yes. But only because I blog every day, and my life isn’t nearly exciting enough to really qualify that kind of readership. Thankfully, I’m an artist and actor who is constantly surrounded by other strange artists and actors. I also happen to have a fairly shitty day-job. So I suppose my advice for blogger’s block would be: “Surround yourself with eccentrics and try to look at horrible things with a darkly comedic bent. It won’t always work, but 80% odds, ain’t bad.”

* Where was the last place you travelled?

In State: Anderson Nature Preserve.
U.S.: Portland, OR.
Internationally: Vancouver, Canada.

* What’s next on your travel itinerary?

Theatre commuting. A lot of it. This counts. Trust me.

* Who would attend your ultimate dinner party? Alive, dead, famous or not…

Abraham Lincoln
Winston Churchill
Oscar Wilde
Dorothy Parker
Leonardo da Vinci
Queen Victoria
Shakespeare
Emma Thompson
Charlotte Bronte
Jane Austen
Stephen Fry as moderator
Beethoven as entertainment

* What or who inspires you most in life?

Art. Almost any kind. From talented people. It makes me hungry to live, love, create, and want.

* What does your perfect day look like?

A spring day in London, with all the museums to hit up, some eats in Covent Gardens, some shopping in Notting Hill, a rest in Greenwich, and a West End show ticket waiting in Will Call.

* Savoury or sweet fan?

Salt. Always. Forever. Especially if potatoes are in any way involved.

* Any celebrity crushes we should know about?

“I never change, except in my affections.” Although, some do last the stretch of time, my celebrity romances burn hot and fast, devouring everything in their path. Mostly, teachers I’m learning from at the moment. Currently, (therefore) they are: Oscar Wilde, Frances O’Connor, Greta Garbo, and Merchant Ivory (the team, as it were.)

* If you could, what advice would you give to a 15 year old you?

1) This won’t end the way you think it will.
2) Some day, you should do that one thing.
3) When the time comes, you should not do the other thing.

And now: Questions to my nominees:

* Your perfect 3-course meal? Drinks included. (In detail, please. I’m hungry.)
* Favorite place to Live. Favorite place to visit. Favorite place to play. Why?
* What is a special memory of yours?
* You can live for one year in any era of time. When would it be and why?
* What is one of your yearly repeat-read books? Why?
* If you could have the career of any famous person, (living or dead) who would it be?
* The last time you drank champagne was when, and why?
* Name five people on your celebrity “freebee” list.
* You are stranded on a desert island, with only five things. What are they?
* If you could erase the worst day of your life from your mind (the consequences of it, not changing in any way), would you?
* Name three pet peeves.

…And they’re off!

~D

Cowboys Playing Superman At Ninety

27 May

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Three sessions of Pilates today. 

My abs feel like they’re on fire. 

My legs are jelly.

…I’m seriously contemplating a fourth.

Apparently I’m into sadism at the moment.

I made the mistake of sitting down to watch part of a movie at one point getting up again to go pee, and was seized with the most amazing case of 90-year-old-hobble you have ever seen.

…Something like the exaggerated bow of a cowboy’s lollup, as if the horse were stuck permanently between his legs, and the bent-over (almost in half) incapacity to stand up of my once polio-ridden grandmother…in her later years.

…Much swinging of the the arms helps.  Think of it like swimming through the air.

My every muscle seemed to have been seized and viciously contracted…like a full-body cramp.  So naturally, I figured the best way to loosen that up would be another session of torture.

…Which totally worked.

I can stand up now and everything.

…Course that was about five minutes ago, when I first sat down to write this.  It’s prob’ly all gone to hell again.

…I am beginning to see why fitness breeds fitness. 

It has nothing at all to do with adrenaline. 

That is shit. 

…It has everything to do with the ability to walk like a grown up human to the bathroom and go pee.

That is all.

I don’t even wanna know what my body is gonna feel like in the morning.

…Maybe I’ll do some yoga before bed, to stretch it all out so I’ll be able to actually recline in the lateral position and not have to sleep hugging onto my knees all night long.

Vicious cycle.

Fitness bastards.

…Meanwhile, I found this new pose on the internet that’s for like full body tension and balance.  It’s kind of awesome.  (Not at all.) I call it my “Superman” pose.  It goes like this:

Prostrate on the yoga ball at your middle.  And slowly, and carefully, attempt to raise all limbs like you did as a kid on the feet of your mom/dad/uncle/older cousin, and “fly”…trying your best not to face plant into the hard wood floor.

I’m close to success.

…By “close” I mean “not at all.”

When I actually get the guts to let go of the ground, I teeter for about half a second before everything morphs into slow motion as I either list to the side, colliding with the couch, or shoot my hands out last second to save my forehead from cracking open on the floor.

…Meanwhile, mid-pose (for that whole half a second) my insides quake and contract at rapid speed…much like a spectacular bout of puking-prep just before one hurls. 

It’s honestly a lot less fun than I remember playing “Superman,” being

…Just as like an FYI to cross off the list of things you may have somewhere, that you regret no longer being able to do, as a grown up.

You’re welcome.

~D

Marty Times, Beautiful Creatures & High-Five Monkeys

26 May

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Nature walks, and College talks, and Marty hang time wherein the English Nutter (Emma Thompson for the new readers), Jeremy Irons and Viola Davis go all WTF awesome on a teen-movie that totally kick “Twilight’s” ass. (Aka: “Beautiful Creatures.”) 

…We delighted much, and gabbed at the screen and took turns wanting to be English, so we could grow up and become these beautiful people who act better, even as Americans, than Americans do.

They so very clearly had way too much fun.

…Also: many killer costumes. 

As guilty pleasures go: a total hands-down win.

Then we moved onto some BBC “Richard II,” followed by Nick Swardson in “Seriously Who Farted?” (Naturally.)

…Totally laughed, and at times, to the point of pain.

…Which is always good, plus saves on ab work outs later.

This was the part that killed me with most though.

…For me, it’s all about the dance.
 
~D

Where Am I?!

25 May

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“My Own!  But what own are you?  What is your Christian name now that you have become someone else?”

***

…It’s one of my favorite Gwendolen lines.  That is until it came to life in actual circumstance, and then ceased to be funny to me.  Which, of course, will be funny to everyone else who reads this post.

Apparently, they have changed the name of my apartment building. 

No notifications went out, only there is a new sign outside, where once another hung, announcing the historical name (reaching back to the 20’s.)  It is a fairly classy looking establishment, made of old brick with window workings in stone moulding, complete with inset cursive “E’s” above all the main pass-doors, lending an over all esthetic that I have always been pleased with back before I even lived here and put it on my list to some day do so.

Now it seems a moot point: The classiness, the historical integrity, and the cursive “E” above the door.

For reasons that only landlords can understand, our building was given a rent price hike, only to announce shortly afterwards that the building they owned behind us, would be soon undergoing an entire facelift. Conveniently funded by us, it would seem. As if this would somehow excite us or something. The news was actually sent in the form of a press release, tucked into all of our door jams, and went on for paragraphs and paragraphs about the various stages the face lift would undertake and why the modernizing was key to building a new aesthetic to blah-de-blah-da, in the contemperary artistic style of who-de-ha, for the fleur-de-fleur of B.S.-ness. Marty was here when I got it, and laughed so hard when I read it aloud, that she cried.

…So then, the facelift commenced, and new name was given to the new building.

…But nothing was said about ours. Nothing was done to ours. Ours had never changed, except in rental price.

…Until today.

Ma was the one who noticed, when we met up for a walk.

Ma: “Um, so, when did your building name change?”

Me: “What? Never. It’s the one behind us.”

Ma: “No, yeah, I know. But you have a new sign now, too.”

…And fuck me, if we didn’t.

Know what our new updated, fancy name is?

“Brick House.”

Yeah. I know.

Know what immediately comes to mind when reading this?

Yes you do.

Don’t lie to me.

It won’t make me feel any better.

I already know the answer.

I know what you thought.

I fucking thought it too.

Everyone will.

You thought this:

Yes. Welcome to your classy, newly rent-hiked home everyone!

It’s only the worst name ever, second to if they had called it “Shit House.” That’s all. Second-worst-name-ever, we can live with, right?

…Meanwhile, the cursive “E’s” cower in total humiliation at the greatness of pride they once owned. And with one swift kick in the ass, the romanticism that was…back when names gave character and meant something to a home…has been slammed to the curb.

…And I get to pay extra for the privilege of it.

Yay, “progress.”

~D

P.S. Ok, so I might have blown it a little out of proportion. The name is not that bad. But it might as well be. And I won’t tell you what it really is. But only to protect the poor innocent bastard for what it must now forever deal with. As a handle: it’s still stupid. I don’t like it. I never will. I hate change. The end.

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