Archive | August, 2013

Indiscreet Ink – Week 3

30 Aug



This one was a bear to finish, the kind of week I’ve been having certainly not helping.

…But it’s different, it’s dark, and it’s completed.

On time.

**Click here to read “SHE”, an exercise as part of Weekly Writing Lab**


Sex Farce

29 Aug


You know how actors are always saying things like, “Oh filming sex scenes are one of the top ten most un-hot things to do ever,” and they are describing how much of a pain in the ass it was for them to lay around naked, in a bed, beside Brad Pitt for a week to shoot it…?

…And you know how you sit there, and watch them give these interviews and say these things, and you want to punch them in the mouth…?

…Because your job is in no way even remotely like that, nor do you make the kind of money that they do while doing it, and the fact that they are complaining about any of it, really makes you want to hate them…?

That is why I won’t be saying any of that.

Except that it is sufficient to say: I work in the theatre, so I decidedly do NOT make as much money as you, and also (in the current show’s circumstances anyway,) am sweating a lot more nightly, than you do in a week’s time.

…While being continually “made love to,” classic film style. 

As a variety of people, in a hundred different scenarios, featuring dozens of acts of groping, smooshing, spitting, scratching, dusting, patting, plopping, straddling and motor boating, in a seemingly unending voyage of butt slaps, boob squishes, lip sucks, face smooshes, crotch dives, feel-ups, arm wrenches, leg locks, and what-all, I am technically getting more action than if I were married right now.

…And though often hilariously funny, achieving any sexual significance from this, is utterly out of the question. 

Even for the slowly, specific things. 

…Because when you’re mid-them, on a stage, the repercussions of the act are the last thing on your mind.  What comes first is where the noses go this time, for the right shot to the audience, and how to balance your two weights acting against one another, and how long to hold the beat for the other thing to happen while this is going on, and how to time the end of it, when the other thing is finished, and how not to laugh when someone tip-toes by as if they fucked up and were in the wrong place, adjusting to it now…which is part of the actual humor of the show, and requires everyone on stage to keep a straight face of focus, while they do it.

This all makes the sexual innuendos, anything but sexy to the people involved.  Furthermore compounding the fact that the speed and attack of these moments turns them into controlled beat-snaps.  Which means lips have more the consistency of grade school children kisses, than adult sensuality.  Then it’s, “where do the hand cuffs go,” ” how do we do this turn while stuck together,” “what’s a new way to straddle you that I haven’t tried yet,” “what if I bit him here,” and beard prickles, followed by sweaty nylon leg skims, and breathing all night in one another’s faces so that by the end we could reconstruct the entire day’s worth of food intake, by burps and accidental-on-purpose vocal spittings alone.

…What I’m trying to say is: Sex and comedy go together like strawberries and champagne from the seating section POV.  Hell there’s a whole sub-genre invented for it. But for the bedroom farce-ing actors: I promise you, almost nothing, in the entire world, could turn you on less.

…Which is why (I think) they threw the “farce” bit in, to begin with.

For us.

Cuz if you aren’t getting “off” in bedroom matters…might as well have a good laugh at it.

Am I right?


A Rehearsal Post

28 Aug


Sitting in the house, while an oddly masculine woman plans her debutant daughter’s party, as her husband schemes homicide.

Now: Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre interrogate our hero.

…There are only two people on the stage.

It’s a long one, (as far as they go in this show full of French scene madness.)

…Six and a half pages.

The finale of Act One.

Psychotic Nazis, world overthrow, frenetic gun brandishing, top secret-secrets, maniacal laughing, rampant crossdressing, murder, peepshows, and self-propelled seating.

Six pages.

…Oop! Back to beginners, I’m up!


Later: Just back from Scotland. Baking accidentally phallic bread loafs, tucking in murderers for a good night’s sleep, and watching a lover escape into the night, through the “rear window.”

…It’s been a full night already, and we’ve been at it less than an hour.

First, came an “underware parade,” for instance.

…This is how you know I’m in a show, cuz in real life, I haven’t worn so little as a one piece swimming suite in public in over a decade. Yet tonight began, trying on high heels and period underwear, while the costumer and everyone watched me parade around, flop about, and mock die, so they could talk function, light, and color notes.

…Like every other prop on stage.

…And now they’ve moved on.

…Via a slow motion chase scene.


Next: an assembly hall, featuring the oldest man in the world, and a fuck-all political speech that would make Aaron Sorkin sit up and take notice. Mostly cuz it’s so long and terrible.

…In all the good ways.


Nexter: Invisible car ride through the moores, followed by erotic ballet by handcuff.

…I’m telling you, this show has freakin’ everything!

And more.


Vikings & Sword Brandishings

27 Aug









Easter Eggs, In August

26 Aug


Run and works this week, with notes in between. Dialect coach in residence (poor woman) taking notes on how to keep the “terrible,” at least consistent.

It’s a lot like singing out of key, on purpose.

Also, the planting of more Easter Eggs. 

…Like a DVD menu of olde, where they’d ghost special icons that you could find by accident, and unlock a neat little extra scene, outtake, or blooper…we’ve taken an already written homage of a show, and have been planting Easter Eggs all over it.  It’s even breeding more Easter Eggs, on top of other Easter Eggs.

Our sources are coming from everywhere.  They begin with Hitchcock, but certainly don’t end there.  No.  That would be too easy.  And what about the people who come 5 and 6 times to see our awesomeness?!  We must give them more toys to unlock and find with every new angle of viewpoint, and actor they watch at any given time.  We are all bringing out new ones, all the time, either in accent, physics, intent, attack, music, prop, set and/or light.  So if you plan on coming to the show, and want to get all you can get out of it, you need to start boning up on cinema (in total), like right now.

Current features include (but not exclusively):

* Mrs. Danvers from “Rebecca”
* All the women from Monty Python
* Lister from “Red Dwarf”
* Sydney Greenstreet & Peter Lorre mostly from “Casablanca”
* The long kiss, from “Notorious”
* Inspector Kemp from “Young Frankenstien”
* Lili von Schtupp from “Blazing Saddles”
* Ronald Coleman in anything
* Elise McKenna from “Somewhere in Time”
* “The Maltese Falcon”
* Every train scene in every Hitchcock
* Murderers and milk, from “Suspicion”
* Tim Conway as the Old Man from “The Carol Burnett Show”
* Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”
* A song, as a key clue: “Shadow of a Doubt”
* The Hitchcock “MacGuffin”
* Art Frahm pin ups
* Field Marshall vonKluck “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”
* Cyd Charisse as The Woman In Green in “Singin’ in the Rain”
* “Lets Call The Whole Thing Off” by the Gershwins
* The shower scene in “Psycho”
* The married bickering of “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”
* “Call The Midwives”
* “Rear Window”
* The chase scene from “North by Northwest”
* Gil Elvgrin pin ups
* “Murder By Death”
* The birds attacking in “The Birds”
* “Clue”
* Plot share with “Foreign Correspondent,” “The Man  Who Knew Too Much,” “The Wrong Man” and “Suspicion”
* The no-nonsense Hitchcock blonde
* Death and theatre: “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “Saboteur”
* The ill-timed phone ring from “Dial M For Murder”
* The falling dummy body from “Vertigo”

And of course:

* Hitchcock’s own cameo

This is where we are starting.  There are more, even more “insider” than the rest.  They keep breeding, bit-to-bit.  And the more I re-watch the Hitch flicks, the more I see what they already threw in there as winks to begin with.  So many that they virtually fly by and are two steps past, before your brain even registers it. Which is good.  Cuz if we stopped at every station for every “bit,” this show would be three days long, come with a scavenger list, and an open bar tab.


The One Where Marty Flashes Her Dinners

25 Aug


Today was “friends” day. 

The Eyes n’ I decided to meet at noonish, and feel out someplace by the theatre for drinks, pre Marty’s matinee.

…Incidentally, you’ve met The Eyes before in other posts, only never knew it at the time, as she was a vague “friend” in all of them.  This was never to suggest her vagueness in importance, only due to my having no nickname for her.  Mostly because there is one thing that screams for usage, and sounds weird to both explain and say.  But you know what? Fuck it. My blog, my names.

So: “The Eyes” she is. 

…People who know her, would get why.  Aside from a Disney Princess, she has the largest peepers of anyone you have every seen…certainly “live.”  Bigger than Mila Kunis. Bigger than Audrey Hepburn.  Their ratio of collective space takes up roughly 2/3rds of her face.  These things are almost frightening they are so exceedingly present, with no makeup, just sitting there, blinking camel eyelashes at you. The rest is represented by petite bow-like features, dark hair and super fair skin.

…In fact, you know how if Barbie were a real person, she’d walk on all fours and look like Pamela Anderson? Well, The Eyes is like knowing the original Snow White, (minus the little people, and creepy OCD cleaning animal friends.)

So, now that you know the etymology, we’ll continue on our way.

…Where was I?

Oh yeah, Marty’s “dinners.”

The show: “Five Women Wearing The Same Dress,” by Alan Ball.  Think: updated “Steel Magnolias,” minus the heavy drama and plus a lot of language and sex talk.

The set-up: a wedding, wherein all the bridesmaids hide out in a house bedroom, getting drunk and high and dealing with social anxieties, politics, pain and what-all, while the reception goes on below.  The roles are for the most part archetypal, and could be left at that and still offer a decent amount of comedy and “amens” from the peanut gallery.  Thankfully, the director requested more of his ladies, and they had the goods to offer it, which opened up the work as a whole. 

…Few of the “lady show” type problems were present, actually. Prob’ly in part as the script was written and directed by men to add in that necessary part of testosterone, tempering the emotional excess.  It kept the easy pot hole “sappiness” at bay.  Also absented the unfortunate (and often present) disease I like to call “shrieking harpy syndrome,” which is a frequent guest star of women shows, where high pitched voices begin to rail on the ears until they all but bleed with pain.  He also cast it well,  which is always a good start, I think. A variety of ages, a variety of vocal textures, updated the script into the technology age, and paid attention to details. Then: he let these women work.

I liked ’em.

…Granted, I knew three of ’em before this, but even the three I knew brought new flavors to their work I hadn’t seen before, which is always exciting to see in friends, and also to study.

…Because, even if it is to support your buds, even if there is no paper to be written on it for a class, no test taken after, no comparisons needing to be drawn… even if it ain’t Shakespeare, actors honestly can’t help sitting and studying a show. Good, bad or otherwise.  We do still obtain the ability to genuinely enjoy it: yes.  But turn off that analytical aspect? No.  We’re too deeply ingrained in it.

…And when it’s a house you know, on a stage you have often performed on, that teaches you even more.  About the angles of cheat, the projection and vocal support qualities, the sense of how close the audience really is, versus what they “feel” like, from stage POV, with lights blaring in your face.  The amount of subtlety you can get away with on this stage of intimacy, versus other ones…how different the audience vocal responses feel and feed, when you’re immersed in the group and not directly in front of it, on the receiving end.  And, being a comedy, with the feed so immediate…to watch how that energy fed and infused and informed the stage action: also a treat.

It’s different from the seats, guys.  That’s all I can say.

…But still enjoyable as hell.  ‘Specially when a great delivery was spot on, a hilarious physical choice was nailed, a moment of total silence was earned, and some of those people are your friends.

…And some of those friends are your besties.

It is with great joy to note that today: Marty was brave. On a stage, in a room of strangers, she splayed, got high, got drunk, plopped, screamed, cried and cussed, took her clothes off, and flashed her ta-tas like a fucking pro. 

…Which she is. 

…And I know that.

…And did before this. 

…But, much like sitting in an audience, where the normals live, versus being on stage and totally immersed in it all…it’s nice every once in a while to step back, see it from another view point, and still come away saying, “Yeah. Theatre is a fucking awesome beast.”

…And so is Marty.


Germany, By Way Of England, With Some Scotland Thrown In

24 Aug


First stumble through of show tonight, sans bells and whistles.

…We congratulated ourselves by drinking after.  At this German bar called the Berliner.  I’d heard of it the last time I worked at this particular theatre, but we never went there.  We were doing “Anne Frank” at the time and thought it somehow wrong.

…So there were were, over stein-sized beer, in a variety of colors, eating sausages made from different meats, dipped in mustards, and screaming at one another over Oomp-pah-pah music, played by grown men in lederhosen, after spending all night in the Scottish moores, and English music halls, with a healthy seasoning of German spies thrown in.

Theatre is magical, and anyone who says different is an idiot.

First stumbles always teach you a lot.  Mostly about how far you have to go.  But tonight, with how tight our cast is and the intimacy level we work in, it taught us at least as many “good” things as “bad,” which was a nice “plus,” end-the-night.

So was that one porter.  No bitter finish, at all.

…Thing about beer though is, my guts are all full now, and I’m peeing every two minutes.  Which, (P.S.) , I need to do now.  Again. Time 32.

…So I guess I’ll go do that, then.

…And plenty of IM’s with Marty, who I haven’t seen in like a forever two weeks. 

She will light up tomorrow’s matinee, I’m sure.  And I’ll be jealous of all the bitches who are getting to work with her, cuz they aren’t me.  Which is what TRUE devotion and friendship is all about, really.

You’ve been told.


Things That Don’t Suck

23 Aug


It’s been the kind of week where I have to find some good now, or it’ll just bleed into my weekend. So here’s what I came up with:

* The two Harley dudes in full kit-out, sitting at a Starbucks table, sipping on lattes.

* The tiny Asian man who made my Yakisoba in a cast iron wok, the size of an inter tube, flicking the food and sloshing the sauce around like an Iron Chef pro.

* Eating with chopsticks.

* Finding every single way to get into a compromising position, sexually, on a stage.

* A first glass of red wine in several weeks.

* Potato chips.

* Improving an entire scene, while handcuffed to another human being.

* Finishing my weekly writing exercise on time.

* Nick and Nora Charles, as writ, by Dashiell Hammett, in the original novel. And how they are still so exactly like Powell and Loy from the films.

* Knowing who “Lillian” is, on the dedication page.

* My pillow.

* A fan blowing at night, in the summer time.

* Reading about writing residency programs in other places, and thinking, “what if?”

* It isn’t Monday.

* The invitation for the next wedding I’m going to, and how awesomely creative and hilarious of them it was.

* Ingrid Bergman in “Spellbound.”

* Ingrid Bergman in anything.

* The word “kumquat.”

* There is a place called a “cupcakery.”

* The total and complete non-amusement of a Capybara”


* Capybara’s dressed up like things:

…So it isn’t all just total shit, then. And that’s good to know.


Indiscreet Ink – Week 2

22 Aug


First sip of alcohol all week.

…A lovely “red.”

Finally completing, (or at least getting to an appropriate stopping section) of this week’s writing lab, after a good rehearsal.

…It was nice to have my head there too, for the first time this week. 

Home: early, comparatively, it was back to the earbuds and my writing prompt, playing on loop back at me, until five or so minutes ago, when I reached a doable stopping place. 

Like much of this week, the effort produced was not my best.  But it is there, just the same. I worked for it.  Harder than other times, to be frank, given the circumstances.  But what I did gain was the cinematic feel for the movie in my head, which the short story was intending to tell.  I don’t know how it ends, but I know it should be longer, the mystery deepen before gaining ground in full understanding, and at some point we come to know who and what are whom and what and it isn’t at all who you think it was.

…Meanwhile, I worked hard enough this week, so figure it out in your OWN head.  I’m done.

And as it is passed Midnight, I getta pre-date the blog (started before that), and yet still include the writing link. 


**Click here to visit this week’s installment of “Indiscreet Ink”***

**Click here for LAST week’s installment**



21 Aug


Today was the kind of day where a dude ramming into your car (while driving the wrong way, in reverse, at a stoplight,) is just the side dish.

…Which is exactly what happened.

On the way to rehearsal.

…After a day wherein Boss still exists
in his position, we feel like a guillotine is above our head, and everything is all-’round, fucked.

Puke. With chunks.


…And The Train Ran Him Over. The End.

20 Aug


Dear Longtime Readers,

You may recall at the beginning of this blog (or through the whole previous one before it), a personage titled simply as, “Boss.”

…Over time, he had acquired quite the cult following from you all…in that the readership and repostings of almost anything to do with him were especially popular.  Mostly because (I’m told), he cracked you up.  Which I never could understand really, as outside of morbid hysteria, I never found anything he did, the least bit funny. 

…Cheap, yes.

…Half-assed, you bet.

…Idiotic, most of the time.

…But “funny,” no.

Boss is the kind of person in your life who only OTHER people find funny, and only because they don’t have to deal with him like you do.  Also, there’s that every-once-in-a-while level of mind-blowing wrongness and stupidity that you almost can’t HELP being obsessed with. Like reading about serial killers, and the entire concept of Reality TV.

…If Boss were a channel, I have no doubt he’d do high digit ratings.  Well, for a good run there anyway…up to just after his wife had left him for a woman, which jump-started his track-suit-Axe-aftershave wearing, Pimp-daddy phase.  After that, he stopped coming to work, or pretending to care, at all…and we rarely ever see him, now.

…Rarely, as in not even once per month.

…Which means the story lines start to fall back a bit, with nothing to fuel them, and Boss all but disappears from the collective conscious of the you’s, though still in less amusing digital form of irritation, ever present to the us’s.

So it has been.

…For nearly a year.

Between Him, WHS Pimp and myself, there is no pretense of who does the work in our branch (the us’s) and who doesn’t even bother to get out of bed and shave most days (the him.)

…Then, just like most hucksters and grifters, “time” began to catch up to Boss.  We had seen it coming…oh, for a long while.  Truth be told, we assumed it would have happened much sooner than this.

…But, “this” is where it did.  And “time” has now caught up.  And with a drop in from Corporate today, wherein he was MIA, thereby throwing both WHS Pimp and I completely to the wolves, we had (finally) no choice but to act in kind.

Today, we threw him…in no uncertain terms…under the train.

…A train moving at full speed ahead.

An “Express.”

What we bought (after a three hour meeting, alone in my office, with WHS crew and Builder Bunnies locked out and left to whisper about it, in the yard,) was roughly one week and thirty days.

The Boss’ Boss will be here until Friday now (unplanned.) Inventory will be unfrozen.  And piece by piece, stick by stick, nut by bolt, every stick of material and stock will be recorded, allocated, wrapped, kitted, restocked, relieved, trashed, sold off, and/or scrapped. In that time, the entire inner offices will be paper audited, whilst we continue road shows, expected to also work and crew-out, load, conduct reports, process contracts and make and receive calls as if the whole process going on around us, is totally normal.     

…At the end of which, if we’ve been very good, and have managed to keep our own noses clean, he will go away until 30 days from Friday, with us still in possession of jobs and office keys. Then, in due time, an entire mass team from Corporate will arrive for a final audit, from number of ball point pens in the supply closet to roofing nails in the pre-assembled kits.

…And if we survive ALL of that…we MIGHT (just might) ultimately manage to salvage the branch, and keep our jobs.

…Boss, on the other hand, I don’t believe will be so lucky.

There is a 5:30 pm meeting, that “Corporate” will be holding tonight. Only one other person is to be present, besides the chief. It isn’t us…(as we did our jobs today, faced the giant, showed our work, and moved on.)

No one REALLY knows what will happen at that time.  But I’ve a sneaking suspicion, you’ll be needing to tune into another Reality show for cheap laughs, in future.

Change is a-comin,’ kids.

Just hope it’s for the better.


I Will Mutton Chop Your Ass!

19 Aug


First of all, it is important to note that the WHS Pimp has Muttons.

…Not the kind of exaggerated sideburn that Elvis rocked in the ’70’s.  The “old school” kind of muttons, that your Great Grandpappy rocked in like the Civil War.

His muttons mean biz’ness

…They take up nearly all his cheeks, bushing out in varying lengths depending on the season, a careful and precise trim to accent the jaw line below, with a 5 o’clock shadow on upper lip and chin, in between. In short, if you went about three days past “Wolverine,” but kept it manicured, you’d just about nail it.

Now, I dunno if you realize this, but it takes a face to pull that off.  Your average dude can’t just yank this one outta his back pocket and saunter down main street while rockin’ it. It takes a certain je ne sais quoi…a generous amount of mountain-man meet old timey gravitas.  A face that tells a history.  It takes someone with an intriguing demeanor, who looks like they could go from “jolly” to “kill a man,” in almost nothing flat.

…Like a Hell’s Angel on a “Toys for Tots” run.

This, is the WHS Pimp.

…And though by “casting type” he fulfills all the above-said requirements, the dude is one of the funniest, easiest going humans…in the world.  So accomidating, and such the “good guy” that he (like most “good guys”) consistently gets fucked for it, (in all the wrong ways), by the people he stands by and bends over backwards to help, the most.

…Namely: Boss n’ the Builder Bunnies.

WHS Pimp, is the kind of dude that will take shit n’ make gold with it, for reasons surpassing understanding.  (While I just throw it back at people, like a primate in a cage.)

…And today…the poo flew.

It flew big time.

…From three hours BEFORE the office opened, until the MOMENT it closed.

Today was the kind of day where NOTHING goes right.  Weekend contractor accidents screwed up weeks of schedules, with people now in casts…already booked up a month in advance, road shows backed up in Customer Service, Shipping fucked up container load deliveries, Inventory reallocated our own stock to other branches without asking, Contractors went MIA, and customers and Corporate stormed with screaming freak-outs, as we were on the phones doing our best to adjust the schedules accordingly.

…By nine o’clock, we had blown through an entire pot of coffee and felt like we’d already been at the day for 15 hours.  By ten, we were volunteering to swap departmental homicides and make it look like an accident. By ten-thirty, we were making suicide packs.   

…And then, something happened that in over a year of knowing WHS Pimp, I have never seen.  Not even once.

(…And you must understand, we’ve seen about every “low” that either one of us could possibly have.  Because this is the kind of place which brings out the absolute, psychotically, pissed-off, ridiculously worst in EVERYBODY.)

…But, in ALL of that time…

…With ALL of  the things I have seen…

…Through ALL of the shit-storms…

…I had never witnessed WHS Pimp bust out into “Wolverine.”

Until today.

It took roughly three hours of non-stop, antagonism from Corporate, Traffic, Customers, Boss and non-stop phones and emails to bring him to the brink, the absolute edge of the precipice…when then: the wrong Contractor, picked the wrong time, to go “Build a Bitch” in his office.

…Not an irregularity.  It’s what this guy routinely does.   And what’s more, what he does EVERY Monday, while WHS is busy loading him up for his full week of building. This has never changed.  No one expected it ever would.  But today…today, this Builder Bunny had picked the wrong day to play his “pitty me” record.

Suddenly, with a growling BOOM, the office just beside me, went off like a hydrogen bomb.

…And being as it was Monday, and being as it was that same dick head complaining about the same things…being as we were swamped with phone calls that just never ceased, and Boss was (again) MIA, and people were literally waiting in LINE to scream at us some more, for things we had zero power to control.  Being, as it was the first time, after over a YEAR of goddamn infuriating accommodations, making gold out of shit being thrown at him, for the zillionth time…

…The satisfaction of sitting, in total silence, muting incoming phone calls, and listening to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, just there beside me…aimed at full force on this guy, was about the goodest thing to happen within those office walls since…oh…since the invention of “ever.”

It was a fury.  It was non-negotiable.  It was terrifying.  It was something never witnessed from him before. Aimed at a person, who had WELL earned it, with interest payments, going back across at least 16 months of time.

It was…


As hell.

…In that so thoroughly enjoyable, “seeing-karma-come-uppance-at last” kind of way, that mostly only happens in movies.

So, I shut up, and just enjoyed it.

…And the Builder Bunny eventually exited (as dismissed to, in no uncertain terms.)

…And I continued on with my paperwork,  and answered a few more screaming phone calls, yet managed strangely enough, to smile all throughout.

After a while, WHS Pimp emerged from his cave, a bit of growl left, but not much. And I looked up.

WHS Pimp: Sorry ’bout that.

Me: –Nope.

WHS Pimp: Weren’t on a customer call I hope.

Me: –Uh uh.

WHS Pimp: So, we might have another issue to deal with.

Me: –Kay.

WHS Pimp: Down another Contractor, could be.

Me: –Right.

WHS Pimp: But I got an idea for cover.

Me: –Kay.

WHS Pimp: I’m just gonna sit here for a bit and cool off…

Me: –Right.

WHS Pimp: Then maybe see…

Me: –Uh huh.

WHS Pimp: So, we’re on the same page, then.

(Long beat.)

WHS Pimp: So.  Anyway.  Yeah.

(He turns to exit back into his office.)

Me: Mad-Fucking-Awesome-Unbelievable. 

(He stops.)

WHS Pimp: Boss is gonna freak.

Me: Yep.

WHS Pimp: Then, what?

Me: He’ll get over it.  And ass-hat over there with either build or not.  The world doesn’t end.

WHS Pimp: Kay.

(He goes back to his desk . It’s quiet for a bit.)

Me: (Hollaring from my office.) Freakin.’ Awesome. You’re my hero, man!

(From the other office, a very slight chuckle can be heard.  As if: he knows it.)


A Break

18 Aug


…Sometimes a girl needs a break from 24/7 lines, murder, and mayhem. 

…Not necessarily a “girl break” (ie: An Austen or RomCom film fest, featuring junk food and heavy sighing.)

Sometimes, all you need are some snarking smart-asses, and some sex.  Then, when you remember that you’re single, you have a buddy over n’ say:

“Hey, Justin and Mila…wanna have a foursome?”

…And everybody lives happily ever after.

This movie is magical in that it talks the way people really do.  (At least, my kind.) Also, makes fun of the sappy stuff, proves that laughing and sex can be a GOOD thing, and that friendship is mightier than the screw.

…Which, thank God.  Am I right?!

So, there is that. 

…An evening’s release from dark lit rooms, killers lurking in shadows, and dead bodies laying around just everywhere. 

Tonight, tousled sheets and funny bedroom bossings took precedence. Okay, sure, it was on a screen, but yuh takes what yuh gets, kiddies.

…And yuh bes grateful to the miracle of  “the BluRay.”


Ode To A Line Run

17 Aug



Running them ad-nauseum, just to make sure that they stick.  Mini pockets that don’t. For any number of reasons. 

…In this case: quick-succession repetition.

Pamela Edwards (the Brit), has a habit of repeating what she and other people say, forty or fifty times, but in slightly different orders.  Remembering which one we are on, gets tricky.  Also: the “one-worders.”

…This is an actual thing.  It’s not the proper name (prob’ly), but it’s what I call them.  They happen in Mamet, and comedy, frequently…and in farce, they run rampant. Mostly to show awkward social skills and sexual tension.

When you put someone who repeats things constantly (only in slightly different order each time) in a one-worder situation, you get something that looks a little like this:

(…Actually, you get something that looks a LOT like this…in that this is directly from the script.)

Hannay: That’s alright. Well —

Pamela: Well–

Hannay: –we ought to be–

Pamela: Yes —

Hannay: –going I suppose.

Pamela: Mmm.

Hannay: Right. Um —

Pamela: Yes?

Hannay: Which —

Pamela: What?

Hannay: — room are they staying in?

Pamela: Who?

Hannay: What?

Pamela: Who?

Pamela: Those two men?

Pamela: Sorry?

Hannay: The two men you overheard?

Pamela: Staying in?

Hannay: Mmm.

Pamela: Well, they’re not.

Hannay: Sorry?


…Believe it or not, these kind of lines aren’t the easiest to get.  Not only because you are telling a story about nothing, and have the panic situation of cutting the other guy off in time…(often having less than one word in order to remember what yours is again), but also the fact that if you fuck up at any point in the sequence, it all goes to absolute hell in a handbasket.  The beat-structure HAS to be the way it is written, or it’s like throwing a stick through the spoke of a bicycle, going at full speed down a heel.  Crash and burn, baby.

…And I guess the lesson I learned today, (while picking metaphorical gravel out of my bloodied hands, knees, and face), is that I have some more work here to do.

By the third section of this repeated dialogue style, I had completely lost any sense of rhythm, in utter despair of constantly fucked with word repetitions, and the final clip in my one-wording cue-a-thon turned into this: (Actual lines in quotes.)

Prompter: “Well…”

Me: Yes?

Prompter: No, “well.”

Me: “Well.” Yes?

Prompter: No.

Me: What?

Prompter: “Well…”

Me: And I said, yes.

Prompter: No, ‘yes.’  Just “well…”

Me: What?

Prompter: It’s just, “Well.”

Me: Mine?

Prompter: Yes.

Me: So this time it’s just, “Well…” and “Well.”

Prompter: Yes.

Me: Okay, so take it back to the beginning.

Prompter: That was the beginning.  “Well…”

Me: “Well…you’re a free man…”

(Long pause.)

Prompter: “…Anyway.”

Me: Yes?

Prompter: “…Anyway.”

Me: What? Line?

Prompter: “…Anyway.”

Me: No, not ‘cue,’ my line.

Prompter: “…Anyway.”

Me: I know that’s next, but what is my actual line?

Prompter: “…ANYWAY.”

Me: What?  Read the whole thing to me.

Prompter: “Well…you’re a free man anyway.”

Me: Oh, it’s the end of the line this time.  Cuz it began it before, the last time…

Prompter: Right.

Me: …Followed by…?

Prompter: “Right.”

Me: No, I know, I get it.  What’s the next cue.

Prompter: “Right.”

Me: “Right” is the cue.

Prompter: Yes.

Me: Can we go back?

Prompter: “Well…”

Me: “Well.  You’re a free many anyway.”

Prompter: “Right.”

Me: “Saved the country too.”

Prompter: “We both did that.”

Me: “Not really.”

Prompter: “Anyway…better be um–”

Me: Yes?

Prompter: “Right.”

Me: What?

Prompter: No, it’s “Right.”

Me: Which one?

Prompter: The first…one.

Me: So it’s Yes, Right, What…?

Prompter: It’s, “Right.” “What.” “Quite.”

Me: “Right.” “What.” “Quite.”

Promper: Then, “Yes.”

Me: THEN, “Yes!”

Prompter: — Right.

Me: THERE’S where it was…I knew a ‘yes’ was somewhere in there.  So, cue at the top of the one-worders again?

Prompter: “Anyway…better be um–”

Me: “Right.”

Prompter: “D’you want to–”

Me: “What?” 

Prompter: “Nothing.”

Me: “Quite.”

Prompter: “Better be going.”

Me: “Yes.”

Prompter: “Got the decorators in and — you know…”

Me: “Certainly do.”

Prompter: “Well — bye.”

Me: ” Bye.”

Prompter: …And scene.


Prompter: Want to run it again?

Me: Not even with a bottle of Jameson in my hand.

Prompter: So…a break?


…So this was my break.

I guess.

…Obviously have some more work to do.

…So, I guess I’ll go back to doing it. Then.

Think kind thoughts for me…


Indiscreet Ink: A New Chapter

16 Aug


It’s up, kids…and running. 

Every Friday, SWAL will be including a link to our new Writing Lab Workshop Notebook: “Indiscreet Ink.” 

…This stuff will be naked, and raw…often unfinished, in any number of style genres…and levels of taste, texture, and emotion.  This is just a workbook, for open forum exercises…meant to blow out some creativity, not earn a Pulitzer.

…With that in mind: read it or don’t.  Like it or not.  It’s m’new challenge of the year, replacing postaday.

Not to worry, loves…SWAL ain’t goin’ anywhere.  She’s just taking the passenger seat for awhile.

…And that’s okay. 

She covered a lot of miles last year.

Time to put someone else in the driver’s seat for a bit.


Art According To Sylvia

15 Aug


…Am seeking a name for m’new Lit blog.  Thought I’d start with some quotes from the brilliant and famous…and several hours later: here I still be.


No kidding, if you’re disenchanted with the creative process of words, in the least…you should pop on over to this page, and it’ll cure it for you.

Meantime, I’m still trying to rip myself away, and focus on the new house I’m trying to build for my new Group works.

…So I’ll go and do that then.

…But not before first leaving you with this:

“…Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ― Sylvia Plath

So, there is that.

Now: stop making excuses, and get to work.


Back Home Again

14 Aug


Last night, while flicking through files on my thumb drive, I came across my old writing group one from several years ago, and opened it for a looksee.

…Some interesting bits and pieces…a lot I had forgotten about.  Prompts that had been given me, fifteen minute in-group exercises…pictures and music clips I’d used to assign as inspiration to others. Every conceivable genre, and length, and discipline…from short stories to long-form, scenes, dialogues, and poetry to what-all.  Mystery, love stories, gothic ghost stories, horror, comedy, period…you name it. It was a fun time capsule to break in on, suddenly without planning to.  Especially when I hit one specific blip: a noir detective story that had me cracking myself up with how thickly I laid on the Dashiell Hammit of it all.

…All in good fun, of course.

…And it got me thinking.

In the time I was part of that group, I had produced reams and notebooks full of random nothings, exercises, thoughts, ideas…rough forms of characters and plots and ideas. I had written two full length plays, (one with the group itself, and one on my own)…and started a novel…a historical monster of research which sits to this day, in that same folder, untouched since those last meeting days…at 100 pages, yet to be finished.

…What I’m saying is: I recognized the importance of the weekly exercises and assignments…but the value of the fuller works is what the group’s point was meant to lead me towards.  And it had done it’s job.  As long as I had stuck with it.

…And maybe, this full year of blogs, was a certain form of “exercise” meant to prep me for something bigger.

What if?

…So, with this idea in my head, (and the knowledge that “schedules” as they are in today’s world, simply cannot allow a guarantee of an every week meeting time), I shot an email to a bud, and we two instantly built a digital, brand-spankin’-new writing group.

…Yet to be named.

Writing prompts are given out on Fridays.  To be fulfilled in any genre, at any pace, to any purpose, in any discipline we like, so long as it is turned in on the following Friday.  At which time, we (wherever we are) read said pieces, and pop onto IM, or fire our emails for a discussion, directly following.

…We’ve started half through this week already, so we have something to share on Friday.

…He’s been updating ever since, here and there on the progress.  And how good it feels to be at the keyboard with creative intentions again.  And tonight, I finished my piece.  At twelve typewritten pages.

…My first piece: a scene.  My prompt: a quote.  His prompt a painting I’d found. His discipline: TBA.

All I know, is that good, bad or otherwise in final piece result…it sure felt good to get creative again.  With words and ideas, in a specific character environment.

…It’s good to be back “home” again.

I’ve missed it.


Inter-Office Peace Treaties

13 Aug


I’m taking a break from voicemails for a bit here.

…Also, there’s this huge-giant spider in the bathroom that is too big to kill.  It’ like Aragog from “Harry Potter.”

…Ok, maybe not quite as big as Aragog, but big enough that it is winning the turf war. 

I’m thinking of putting a post-it on the door as warning for the WHS Pimp in the morning…but I dunno what to write on it that doesn’t make me sound like a total “girl”…and thus get me made fun of.

I mean, if I put something like, “WARNING: Arachnid of death, enter at own risk,” I’d never hear the end of it.  But if I wrote something like, “Enter with boots on and please kill me” that might send a mixed message.

…For instance, what if it decides to move out in the middle of the night, to wherever it came from.  Then in the morning, maybe WHS Pimp comes in and finds nothing behind the door…but leaves it open…and I just assume he took care of it, but forget about the post-it…then close the door to go pee at some point, and look like I’m inviting permissive homicide to any and all who walk by.

…And WORSE, what if its still in there with me, at the same time?

These are the kind of things I think about, you guys.

…Especially when my bladder is full of an entire pot of coffee and “freak-bug” in there, won’t let me pee.


…Maybe we could hold like a negotiation for a momentary peace treaty…which lasts just long enough for me to do my business.  I tell him, I promise not to go near him with any large, heavy, squish-inducing object, and he promises to stay within my eyeline the whole time, and not move an inch. 

…Then, (of course), by morning, WHS Pimp can artfully announce an instant ban on all inter-office peace treaties, and kill him dead with his steel-toed boot.  And maybe wipe the creepy guts and leg-appendage-pieces off the wall as well.

Call me just another crazy Politician, but that whole thing sounds really good to me.  It’s like a really violent, version of “good cop/bad cop.”

…Or, you know…Europe. In the thirties…


Old Habits…

12 Aug


…die hard.

So, I’m back…blogging. Cuz what the hello else do I do?

…Today was about work, and spending a lot of money to become a legal driver again. Tonight is about Cecily visits and Hitchcock’s “Lifeboat” and “Rebecca.”

….”Rebecca.” My all time gothic fav. My several times per year required read. My personal literary obsession.

Daphne du Maurier and Hitchcock were beded more times together than any other combo on his screen. You may not know it, but he knew her pop, Gerald, (an English theatre biggie), and because gothic mystery and sex are some of his favorite things, so was she.

“Jamaica Inn,” “The Birds,” and his first American film, “Rebecca” were all Daphne’s.

…And this one: my particular favorite because of the level of frustration, the brilliance of building a character so specific whom you never see, the sexual tension…all narrated by a person who is never given a name.

…And…my most influential nod at the German in my show. A fucking brilliant, and best villain of all time (who isn’t a villain.)

…Mrs. Danvers.

God. I love Hitchcock.


Good EEEEEEEEve’ning

11 Aug


He never got an Oscar, but he’s m’top choice of subject for my final, 365th blog of the year.

…That’s right, tonight is IT, sweeties.  I’ve done did it.

A blog a day for one full year.

…Come rain, shine, sleet, snow…come crap-days or fine, during rehearsals and shows…two a.m., midnight, or noon-thirty…every day: a blog.  Something.  Prob’ly not great, but there…as I promised they would be. 

…And tonight, instead of focusing on what in the hell it all means in retrospect, I’ve decided not to.  Mostly because (in keeping with the trend of a lot of these entries), I haven’t the time.

…I’m studying, you see.  Up to my chin in show prep, I’m twenty films deep into the Major General of Maguffin: Mr. Hitchcock himself.  Taking notes like a good girl on all the intimate, insider details of his famous blonde Divas and their particular brand of “yum.” (Not to mention his love affair with the naughty villain Dames.) It’s not like I’m unfamiliar with his most famous of trademarks (second only to his profile)…but undertaking becoming three of them, requires a new swipe at the film stock, with a new filter in focus. 

I have always been a GIANT Hitch fan.  His sick little macabre sense of humor, his constant re-invention of the cinematic wheel, the thumbprints he uses on scripts he shoots…and how many ways he can manage to make “murder” and “suspense” one of the sexiest foreplays EVER, made him a favorite from day-one. 

…I’m already holding his early Hollywood classics like “Rebecca,” “Notorious,” “Spellbound,” “Suspicion” and “Shadow of a Doubt” snugly in my head from repeat-repeat viewings.  His golden years as well, with “Vertigo,” “Rear Window,” “Dial M for Murder,” To Catch a Thief,” “North by Northwest,” “Psycho,” “Rope, ” “Strangers on a Train,” “The Birds” and “Torn Curtain.”  When I say, “I love me some Hitchcock,” I seriously mean it.  I’ve twenty of his titles (well known and lesser) in my own library so far, with an Amazon wish-list holding the rest, plus every new bells-n-whistles Bluray and Criterion version of any already owned ones.

…Which made watching this show, “The 39 Steps,” IN London, IN the Criterion Theatre, with all it’s zillion Easter egg nods at Hitch “other” works, about one of the dork-coolest things I’ve ever panted through while wearing a shit-eatin-grin the entire time…in my life.

…Tonight, I’m playing with my old friend again.  Watching old favorites in a new light, with a goal in mind, and having a whole lotta fun while it’s happening.

So, excuse the lack of anniversary touting from a full year’s work come to a close.

Tonight, I’m just too busy to bother.  I’m on a date. With the Master of Suspense.

And it’s hawt 🙂

So ends this blog (and “North by Northwest.”)

…What, oh what, will come next???


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