Archive | June, 2013

The Heat & Some Tuneage

30 Jun

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Gwen and Cecily tag teamed some other badass dames, watching “The Heat” tonight, and laughed our asses off in some much welcomed air conditioning.

Listen, people: 90 degree weather doesn’t work well in the Pac NW.  We don’t know what to do with that shit.  And PERFORMING in it with a gillion watts of lights focused on us, in twelve layers before the corsets even hit…and suit jackets and silks and wigs and hats, was pretty much the human limit of human limits.

…It’s hard to be funny when your face is melting pancake and mascara in literal streaks down your face.  And it is hard to be genteel in that instance as well.

Gwendolen does not “wipe.”  She does not “itch.” She doesn’t even “blot.”  She just sits there and lets the sweat drop in lines down the back, off the neck, into the corset, soaking the armpits, as she sits, stands, launches herself at furniture and pretends to be delightful and cool as a cucumber throughout. 

…Nothing was cool.

Even the air conditioned theatre made no difference to us. Not when packed with bodies breathing hot air at us, as we bake under heat lamps. 

…And holding to what became the trend of the weekend, (after our phenomenal house on Thursday), the audiences across these past three days gave very little (and in some cases negative zero) help in energy throughout…whether they happened to be enjoying the performances or not.  Thus, forcing us to manufacture everything from scratch…and sometimes even dig ourselves out of the black hole vortex that they seemed to be sucking us into, in a sweaty, clinging mass of humanity.

Some blamed the heat.

…By today’s matinee, I had totally given up on any responsive expectations, and just went out there to tease and flirt and argue and reason with some characters I know. Played with the team with less feed-back expectation than an average rehearsal… so thus wasn’t thrown when that is what we got. 

…Then it was onto spraying down the drycleaning with vodka-water, laundry in the take-away bag…all the hats and jabots and cravats and cufflinks, earrings and watches, into our holding boxes…shoe-horned the shoes, aired out the corsets, wrote up our costume grievances, and beat it into an afternoon of heat waiting just outside the theatre doors that all but smacked us on our asses.

Gwen and Cecily solved the issue by taking refreshment of giant lemon ice-waters elsewhere, and following up with ice creams, before home and laying about like limp ragdolls until regrouping for movie times.

…A rest-time that included discovering a delightful new talent…her music happily floating from Naughty Girl’s speakers beside me.  A little Regina Spektor, meets Ingrid Michaelson, meets Lily Allen.

…A small collection of music.  She writes her own, and grabs studio time when she can.  I think she’s something pretty smile-worthy, and you might too.  Hear and grab her tunes if you wanna, here.  I’m pretty partial.

…And not just cuz she my Cecily 😉

~D

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One

29 Jun

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Early to bed was obviously not in the cards as planned.  Needed sleep will have to be borrowed later.

…As well as the plans for a grandiose gesture of an anniversary greatest hits album of reflections.

SWAL turned one today, you see.

One.

She is at 11,987 reads, with 215 subscribers, from 77 countries, in 352 posts, with one month left on my year-long blog-a-day commitment.

…Who knows what will follow?

Am very happy to call WordPress, my home, you all m’family, and to share the stuff that makes life happen, with you.

Thanks for a very Happy first Birthday, friends 🙂

…Off to bed now. For realsies.

Matinee to follow.

~D

Truffles vs. The Whole Box Of Chocolate

28 Jun

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Just a sick, ridiculously intoxicating audience for tonight’s Actor’s PWYC performance.

…The crowd (made up largely of students), were beyond anything we’ve had before in response.  (And our audiences have not by any means been slackers in that field, to begin with.)

Tonight, it was like theatre on crack.

Intensely interactive…to the point of distraction.  We loved it (do NOT misunderstand me), but with that kind of energy whipping you up, the adrenaline high coming off of it is like an orgasm, sustained across two hours.

…Imagine that for just a second. 

…Now put you on stage while it happens.

…A bit distracting, no?

The trick is to breathe, and center oneself.  Focus on your fellow actors and not get sucked into the tractor-beam of light pulling you out of the show you have rehearsed and falling for the, “If they like it with a little sauce, what if I add a shit-ton extra?” bit. 

…Lets see if I can settle on a metaphor, here.  Feel like I’m running in five directions at once.

It is SO incredibly easy to cater to an audience like this, and feed them more of what they want.  Takes discipline to say “No, I DON’T want this full box of chocolates, I’m perfectly content with these finely made few truffles.”

…”Truffles” are good

“Truffles” are made with care and precision and the finer ingredients that experience has taught you will provide the richest, creamiest, most delectable bite. Every time.  “Truffles” are individule flavors of delicate perfection.

…Whereas an ordinary “box of chocolates” can be of any grade, in any brand, so long as they “go together.”

Sure, they’re tasty, but not as rich, and concentrated.  Not nearly as sinfully decadent.

…And Oscar deserves nothing less than our best.

So we did ours.

…And the audience did theres.

…And we all played together, and nibbled at goodnesses, and had a hell of a time!

Seriously.  I have no idea how in the hell I’m even gonna sleep tonight.  Adrenaline rush, like woa.

…But at some point, I will. 

And get to wake up tomorrow and go work at it all over again. 

…With m’friends.

🙂

Thanks, you PWYC nutters!  It was a hell of a ride tonight.

~D

Ship Edge & Pea Gavel

27 Jun

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So, a reprieve to the day.  About fifteen minutes in all, where the entire office just hydrogen-exploded with laughter, after snorfling giggles as quietly as possible through a series of phone calls with a new customer.

…We will call her “Helen.”

“Helen” is one of 21 new contract-customers whom I called for bookings today.  One of the 14 I Ieft voicemails for, with the usual schpiel of info about requirements and ya-de-ya-duh…and one of the 9 who have since called me back. 

…But apparently “Helen” didn’t know why she was calling, or whom, or for what, or really much of anything. 

To be fair, “Helen” is of the elder generation…possibly beyond the generation you would think of as the eldest, now living on the planet.  If she was 110, I wouldn’t be surprised.  If she was on the Mayflower, I wouldn’t be surprised, either. 

…And though I haven’t the slightest idea how a person with severe mobility issues, and self-proclaimed near blind and deafness could or would, go out alone into the world and purchase one of our products, she did.  Then promptly forgot all about it.  Until she remembered it again.  Then forgot again.  Necessitating several conversations tag-teamed by the WHS Pimp and myself, ending in tears of total gut-wrenching laughter.

…We did try to be professionals about it.  And we managed, on the phone.  Sort of. But that is all.

Here is an approximate run down of the scene:

WHS Pimp: (On phone) [Blah-blah,] this is [who-de-ha]…and how can I help you?

“Helen”: (On phone, screaming so loud that I can hear every word even from my office.) WHAT?! WHAT?

WHS Pimp: Hello, this is [blah-blah], how can I help you?

“Helen”: I CAN’T HEAR! YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP!

WHS Pimp: HELLO!  THIS IS [BLAH-BLAH]! HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

“Helen”:  I SAID, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” YOU HAVE TO TALK LOUDER.  AND SLOW DOWN!

WHS Pimp: OK. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

“Helen”: WHO IS THIS?  WHAT DO YOU WANT?!

WHS Pimp: MA’AM, YOU CALLED *US.*  IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH?

“Helen” : WHY DID YOU CALL ME?

WHS Pimp: AH! YOU MEAN WE LEFT A VOICE MAIL?  HAVE YOU BOUGHT A [BLAH-BLAH] LATELY BY ANY CHANCE?

“Helen”: WHAT?! WHAT?!

WHS Pimp: A [BLAH-BLAH.]  HAVE YOU BOUGHT ONE.  LATELY?

“Helen”:  WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

WHS PIMP: I THINK YOU PURCHASED A [BLAH-BLAH] RECENTLY, AND WE HAVE CALLED YOU TO SET UP A BUILD DATE.

Helen”: WHAT? WHEN?

WHS Pimp: ONE MOMENT AND I’LL PUT YOU ON WITH THE OFFICE MANAGER AND SHE CAN HELP YOU.  ALRIGHT?

“Helen”: WHAT???!!

WHS Pimp: ONE MOMENT, PLEASE.

(WHS Pimp puts phone on hold.)

WHS Pimp: Uh. Yeah.  We have a screamer.  She doesn’t hear well, and seems really confused.  You’ll have to talk slow. And loud.

Me: Yeah.

Me: (On phone) HELLO, THIS IS [BLAH-BLAH] HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

“Helen:” WHAT?!? WHAT?!?

Me: I THINK YOU NEED HELP BOOKING AN INSTALL, IS THAT CORRECT?

“Helen”: I DON’T KNOW. I WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE AND HE JUST WENT AWAY. WHAT IS THIS?

Me: WE SELL [BLAH-BLAHS.] I THINK YOU BOUGHT ONE. WE JUST CALLED TO–

“Helen”: (Apparently to herself. Or her invisible friend.) –WELL, I JUST DON’T KNOW, I CAN’T HEAR THEM! WHY DON’T THEY SPEAK UP?  WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME? WHAT?!

Me: …I’M SORRY, I…CAN YOU HEAR ME?

(WHS Pimp begins to giggle.)

“Helen”: …I JUST DON’T KNOW.  THEY WON’T TELL ME…

Me: …MA’AM.  IS THERE SOMEONE THERE I CAN SPEAK WITH WHO–

“Helen”: –WHAT?!  ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?!

Me: MA’AM, HAVE YOU PURCHASED A [BLAH-BLAH?] WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO BUILD THEM.  DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INSTALL DATE?

“Helen”: SPEAK! UP! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

Me: (Veins popping out on neck.) OK. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

“Helen”: WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME!  NOW.  WHAT DO YOU WANT?

(WHS Pimp giggles harder. We begin the process of confirmation and build dates. It is a longer process for having to scream and re-scream every sentence of it. Finally:)

Me: …SO YOU HAVE THAT ALL DOWN, THEN? ALL THE REQUIREMENTS?  AND DATE?

“Helen”: WHAT?

Me: YOU HAVE THE DATE?

“Helen”: THE DATE?  IT’S WEDNESDAY. JUNE SOMETHING…

Me: YES.  I MEAN THE DATE OF THE “INSTALL.”

“Helen”: THE WHAT?

Me: YOUR INSTALL.

“Helen”: 14TH.

Me: NO, THAT’S THE 10TH.  WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: WHEN?

Me: WEDNESDAY.  THE 10TH.

“Helen”:  TODAY?

Me: NO, YOUR BUILD DATE.

“Helen”: 14, JULY.

Me: NO, THE 10TH OF JULY…WEDNESDAY.

“Helen”: WEDNESDAY.  THAT’S *NOT* THE 14TH!

Me: 10th.  10th.  WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: THAT’S WHAT I SAID!

Me: OK. WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: …AND WHAT WAS THAT ONE THING CALLED AGAIN?

Me: THE BLOCKS? OR THE DRIP EDGE?

“Helen:” YES.

Me: BLOCKS OR DRIP EDGE?

“Helen”: YES! ARE YOU HAVING PROBLEMS HEARING TOO? DO YOU NEED ME TO SPEAK UP?

(WHS Pimp snickers louder.)

Me: NO, THANK YOU. NO. I’M JUST TRYING TO FIND OUT IF YOU MEAN THE BLOCKS OR DRIP EDGE?

“Helen”: YES.

(WHS Pimp snorkles.)

Me: WELL…THE BLOCKS ARE JUST…”BLOCKS”…FOR UNDER THE BUILDING.  THE DRIP EDGE IS FOR THE ROOFING…HELPS GUIDE WATER AWAY FROM THE–

“Helen”: –SHIP EDGE?!

Me: NO, “DRIP.”  “DRIP” EDGE.

“Helen”:  SHIP?! SHIP?! THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT.  WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH A SHIP?

(Whs Pimp starts getting tummy giggles.)

Me: NO, “DRIP.” “DRIP” EDGE.  “D” AS IN “DOG.”

“Helen”: WHAT?! 

Me:  “DOG!” “DOG!”

“Helen”:  WHAT?! DOG?!?

Me: “D” AS IN “DOG”…”DUH-RIP EDGE.

“Helen”:  WELL I DON’T KNOW.  BUT YOU’RE COMING ON THE 14TH, SO I GUESS I’LL SEE WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT, THEN.

Me: THE 10TH.  WE ARE COMING ON THE 10TH.  WEDNESDAY.

“Helen”: WELL, I WROTE IT DOWN *SOMEWHERE.*  ONLY I CAN’T SEE.  MY GLASSES ARE…WELL…I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE.  BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE THEM, YOU SEE.

Me: AH. YES.  THAT MAKES IT ROUGH.

“Helen”: WHAT?!

Me: THAT’S ROUGH!

“Helen:” SO.  YOU ARE COMING TO MY HOUSE.

Me: WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen:” : …TO DO WHAT, NOW?

Me:  TO BUILD THE [BLAH-BLAH] YOU BOUGHT.  FROM [YA-DE-YA-DUH.]

“Helen:”  OK, DEAR.  WHATEVER THAT MEANS.

(She promptly hangs up.  WHS pimp busts a gut.  I glare at him.)

Me: Thanks for that.

(About thirty seconds later, the phone rings.)

WHS Pimp:  [Blah-blah] this is [Who-de-ha], how can I help you?

“Helen:” WHAT?! WHAT?! WHO IS THIS? WHO ARE YOU?  SOMEONE CALLED ME FROM HERE.

Me: (With a grin.) Ahhh…sweet, sweet karma.  The instant fast-food gratification kind….

WHS Pimp: YES, MA’AM.  I REMEMBER YOU.  “HELEN”, RIGHT…?

“Helen”:  HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME?! WHO ARE YOU?!  WHAT DO YOU WANT?!

(A near carbon copy of the identical conversation I just had, takes place.  The longer it goes, the harder I giggle…eventually necessitating a bathroom visit so as to not literally mess myself with laughter.  By the time I return, we are at:)

WHS Pimp: …LEVEL.  NO, “LEVEL.”  THE GROUND.  “EVEN.”  “EVEN.” SO IT’S…”EVEN.”

“Helen”: WITH WHAT?

WHS Pimp:  WITH…THE “GROUND.”  SO WE CAN BUILD.  WE CAN BUILD ON ANYTHING AS LONG AS IT’S LEVEL.  DIRT, GRAVEL…

“Helen”: –WHAT?!

(I immediately start snickering again.)

WHS Pimp: DIRT. OR GRAVEL…LIKE PEA GRAVEL…?

“Helen”: T-GAVEL? WHAT?!

WHS Pimp: NO, “PEA.” “PEA!” PEA GRA–

“Helen:” —I CAN’T HEAR YOU?  WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?  SHIP EDGE AND T-GAVEL???

(I laugh harder. WHS Pimp with quivering voice tries *not* to.)

“Helen”:  …NEWFANGLE WAYS. I DON’T KNOW…

WHS Pimp: “PEA!”  “PEA!” AS IN…”PEAS IN A POD!” PEA! GRAVEL!  GA-RAAAAA-VEL!!!!!

(I am crying and holding onto the desk, open-mouth drooling on it, freely. No sound at this point is even coming out.  I am sincerely glad I have already peed. “Peed.”  “P”…as in “Piss myself silly”…)

“Helen”: P-GAVEL?!?

WHS Pimp: NO.  “PEA.” “GRRRRRAVEL.”

“Helen”: …WELL I DON’T KNOW.  IF YOU WANT TO. 

(I whoop a belly laugh.  WHS Pimp smiles and shakes his head.)

“Helen”:…I GUESS I’LL SEE WHEN YOU GET HERE ON THE 14TH.

WHS Pimp & Me:  THE 10TH!

“Helen”: …WELL, I KNOW I WROTE IT DOWN. SOMEWHERE…

WHS Pimp: THANK YOU!

(He hangs up. We totally bust a gut, crying all over ourselves.)

WHS Pimp: I bet she calls every day until the day we build it, wondering who the fuck we are and what we want from her.

Me: No takers.  Too easy.

(Long pause as we calm to silence.  Staring into the depressing abyss, after the one bright spot of our day.)

Me: You know? I’ll prob’ly end up just exactly like that. And this is just karma having a good premonition fuck with me right now.

WHS Pimp: …Yep.

The End.

~D

Naughty Girl

26 Jun

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After two years, I’ve added a new member to the family. 

…Jumping ship to Sprint, for the pure purpose of securing the specific phone I’ve been lusting for, (in a price range I can actually afford), she is now on her way to me.

…And will soon be making others lust after her as well.

…For I have built her a custom case…spending hours tonight, flipping through google pics for just the right image to grace it.

With a pour-out of Scotch, and the Julie London Pandora station on in the background for inspiration, I surfed to my little heart’s content, pulling and pimping pictures from classic films specifically…as I decided her sleek frame and saucy smarts insisted on it. 

Grant and Garbo, Davis and Dietrich…I spent a very enjoyable twenty minutes just on “Classic film kisses” (and highly suggest a decedent play time with that when you have a moment)…moving then into Hurrell’s portraits as a main focus, then full-out Noir.

Noir is where I remained the rest of the evening.

…Wonderful shots…shadows and smoke abounding.  God, they knew how to light in those days, and had these face that just slap you stupid with seduction.

…Which ushered in one of m’fav dames in the good ol’ MGM golden years of cinema. Someone I’d be totally cool with being when I grow up (minus the 3 husbands): Ava Gardner.

If you haven’t yet, you should watch her. Or, hell, even just look at her.

…If you hang around me much, you’ll have plenty of option to, now.  She’s been selected as the new poster girl for the newest family addition.

And as I name virtually everything, (further referring to it upon occasion in my blog), may I introduce you to the new kid in the house, and digital BFF: “Naughty Girl.”

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…We are gonna get into SO much trouble together.  I can’t even wait.

…Especially leaving her face-down on every surface I can find, as a terribly titillating conversation starter. 

…Among other things.

(heh, heh.)

~D

This Is Being Recorded, For Training Purposes

25 Jun

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Open Letter To The Customer Service Department:

Dear [The Place],

I really wanted that thing.

…I wanted it so much, that it was almost worth the 40 minutes of totally wasted time I have spent with you today. Beginning, when your website errored TWICE in the final page of payment…after re-entering all the order, billing, and shipping, info, immunization records and twelve kinds of proof that I am who I say I am, beginning to end, two-times. 

…I wanted it so badly that I even called you up…a thing that I never do…because I spend 8 fucking hours a day on the phone as it is, and everyone who knows me, knows that I freakin’ despise having to be on one any more than I absolutely have to.

….Which is why being put on hold three times, directly after, was super awesome.

…Almost as rad as being hung up on.

Twice.

Two. Times.

After which, I called YOU back.  Both times. 

…Had to wait through the song-and-dance phone tree again, just to get relaunched on the same waiting list pool-from-hell, and listen to the same scripted text as read by a zombie, which apparently you all feel is necessary to reintroduce to people…even ones you have hung up on, who have already heard the shpiel twice, and say so before you even begin for the third time.

…This LAST drop, however, was my limit.

Maybe I don’t really want that thing so bad, after all.

…Maybe almost nothing is worth the total frustration of 40 minutes on a commissioned-sale purchase, which a totally incompetent C.S. Rep is going to pocket even five cents of.

Maybe this is fate telling me to hold back for better things…in different colors…at higher speeds.

I dunno.

But what I do know is:  somewhere there is tape on it all.  It was being recorded for training purposes. (Or so you claimed, no less than eight times in the course of my constant batting from one malfunction to the next.)

…One hopes you at least consider getting in on some.

“Training,” that is.

Just something to think about.

Signed,

A disgruntled Non-Consumer

~D

A Win, By The Numbers!

24 Jun

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Wanna know some awesome?

New stats just in for “Earnest:” 

…At the completion of our second weekend, we’ve pulled into the 4th highest grossing show of the season, (of 6.)  That is not trend sells, that is total box office.  Which means if “Earnest” closed today, we’d be 4th of the season.  We still have three weeks left of our run.

…Further fun?

We are #1 in weekly grossing ticket sales…not just of this year, but of the entire past two seasons.

This (of course) is due in large part to our killer reviews, brilliant designers, amazing direction, hands-on SM wizarding, and some pretty funny people on stage.

…And these numbers are something to be proud of, not ONLY because we’ve yet to even reach halfway into our run, but because Summer is a difficult theatre sell with all the blockbusters hitting the screens, people taking off on vacations, and everyone rather being out in the sun than anywhere else, that is not.  And also the fact that this is not a musical, features no children, and is a small cast.

…As an idea of house projections, for instance…(set by people who watch the trends year after year)…”Earnest” was set at a 38% ticket sell projection.  We are currently holding at a 70% average.

…Uber exciting news in numbers, buckage, AND (not least of all), hope for the future.  Because combining that with “Twelfth Night’s” ALSO surprise final numbers, proves that the classics are very much in healthy attendance and demand in the arts and theatre arena in the area at present.  SUCH a welcome piece of info for so many of us actors in the region.  Good solid scripts, good solid roles, proven over time.  Who could ask for anything more?  Especially with things like “Pride & Prejudice” coming up around the Holiday season.

…And as I finally finished the final press trailer (which posted today)…we can only hope a new bump in sales will follow, pushing us past our often quivering closeness to full-blown sell-out performances.

…Especially Thursday.  As it’s Actor’s Benefit.  And we are all poor.

(hint, hint)

Thanks to the friends and fam who have already come, to those who plan to, for the ones who will see it several times, and the ones who bring fresh blood with them when they do!

These are YOUR sales numbers too!  We couldn’t have done it without yuh 🙂

~D

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