Archive | January, 2014

Too Soon

28 Jan


Came up for air too soon tonight, and got the theatrical version of the bends.

…See…because artists like to filter shit.

When the world gets too real, or horrid…or just really horrid, we feel the need to escape and throw it up immediately to get it out of our systems.

Like cheap therapy.

…So we will often think, (in total error, with sometimes devastating circumstances), that instead of actually facing a thing as it stands, we should chew on it a couple times and spew it out of some artistic orifice…frequently having nothing at all to do with the initial problem, and think we can just call it a day.

…Lose your job? Knit everyone you know a Christmas sweater.

…Bad break up? Volunteer to throw a wedding shower for a friend.

…Someone you love dies? Audition three days later, for a comedy.

…You know…things like that.

Now, sometimes this actually works in your favor. And on a freakish percentage of time, it goes big. Which is when you get things like Salvador Dali, Stephen Hawking, and Adele. But by and large…this is mostly art which should be practiced privately. Somewhere where it is totally excusable to look like a junkyard, with reactivated adolescent acne, unable to focus whatsoever, or bathe yourself.

….Mostly to avoid total and complete humiliation, when rejoining the functioning world once again.

Self preservation.

…But then, sometimes…for obvious reasons…our reasoning really blows in these times of emotional artistic horror…and we bite off more than we can chew. We think things like:

“I’m going to keep my callback appointment to that comedy after what happened three days ago…cuz I need to get out of my head where I’ve been wallowing without sleep or correct motor function, for days. It’ll be like a four hour break from being me. I’ll just filter the crap into that.”

(P.S. Artists can be woefully blind to their limits from time to time, with disastrous consequences.)

Needless to say, it didn’t go well.

…My worst attempt at filtering emotion or life-crap, EVER.

…Worse than the time I egregiously took up writing poetry for an afternoon, to prove to myself I could go legit instead of just blog.

…Or when I thought I’d get over my writer’s block by trying a serious portrait, after sketching nothing at all, for over ten years.

…Worse, even, than the time I thought I’d beat the, “thirty curse” nonsense, by getting totally wasted on five kinds of alcohol like a pro, the day before tech, ending up with my first (and to date) worst hangover ever.

…A new, embarrassing total low.

Bad reading. Bad choices. Bad showing.

…100% effort, severely handicapped, to about 12% performance capability. My own fault. Entirely. Nothing whatever to blame on any other field.

…I’d learned the lesson already, forty times last year. Why the hell didn’t I retain it?

Comedy is really fucking hard.

…It’s hard when you are running on all cylinders, at full power. More so, when perturbed, stressed or anxious.

…Impossible, when making stupid choices, and all you can think in your head when you sit down afterward is:

“He would have nailed that monologue. It was just the kind of story he told best…”

…And then you realize, you just put him in the past-tense.

…And you sort of want to vomit.


The Biggest Guy

25 Jan


There’s a story from when I was just a little thing of a human…

…In the small town Gram, Gramps and my Aunts and Uncles lived in, was this old grocery store…always smelled of freshly butchered meat from the back stalls where the bright red beef layered in lines just off from the pork and chicken, amongst the garnish greenery…where every conceivable household tool, lightbulb, baking good, camping supply and candy type was somehow crammed into this tiny space on the main street, serving as that old timey type of country general store.

…Precious little has changed in it even now, decades upon decades after…probly even still owned by the same people, where Gram could somehow cash a check, get stamps, buy the brisket and catch up in all the town news, while they opened the brown paper bag for filling.

…And it was there that, as on many occasions, mom stopped one day on the way to visit Gram and Gramps, to pick up something-or-other needed for dinner. Walking through the backdoor access by all the meat, with the smell I knew so well, wafting after me, I pealed through the aisle almost instantly…(a thing Mom never let me do, but apparently I had far beat her into the store,) yelling out as I went, “Uuuuuncle Biiiig Guuuuy!!!” For my uncle at that time worked there, and I’d just seen him from the back of the store.

…And I’d ran to him and he’d pick me up, tall as a giant Swede (the only one of the six brothers and sisters who’d inherited the gene, left mostly served with the small Irish stock), and red-faced or not, he made a big to-do over me, cuz I was the first niece, and totally spoiled, and knew it.

“Hi Boo!” He’d said…his nickname for me hailing from Boobear…

…Little did he know at the time of course, but he took one for the team that day…as all his buddies forever and ever afterward…all through high school and the years and decades to follow after, would call him “Big Guy,” with not hidden smirks on their faces. A family nickname, but not generally known to the outside world. And I had outted it.

…It fit, cuz it was true.

The Biggest Guy, in all the good ways. Everybody always agrees. Sure brawn, and sturdy…but big in laughter with the biggest sense of humor and the biggest giving heart…biggest creative juices, and always always always the biggest champion and protector of the little guy…whoever he may be.

…Age doesn’t change things like that. And it’s nice to know that sometimes…sometimes it happens in this life that a hero never slips from his place of height in your heart. Sometimes they manage through all the hell and high water that life throws at them, to still retain that bigness of character and humor and well- earned devotion, which first gained them their hero title to you…all those years ago.

…And you know what…he’s never once lost it. Not for any of us. Even last time we visited, crowing the end with the giant bear hugs he gives the best. At 33, I still squeezed him with all my guts and said, “Love you, Uncle Big Guy!”

…”Love you, Boo, ” he squeezed back.

…And that, today, is my last memory of him. Because I chose it to be, instead of in a hospital bed in an ICU ward, somewhere in Portland…where family has been sitting vigil and praying…and he has been fighting and winning small battles for his life, and his son, for nearly two weeks.

The Biggest Man I ever met…in morals, and life value, and being a good human…and father…and brother and uncle…the Biggest Man I will ever know, decided it was enough today, and passed away.

The sink in my gut and tear at my heart is completely irreparable. And because of how he lived his life, I am certainly not the only griever at a total loss of capacity to understand the how and why of it.

Uncle Big Guy, in the sky:

Thank you for your youness, the ten hundred thousand laughs, the nips of Jack Daniels, the peace of the farm life, and every twisted, hilarious way of looking at the ordinary and finding the extraordinary. You’ve taught me endless everythings in how to be a good human and appreciate every ounce of life we are given…to the fullest. I’ll try to do better. And laugh more. Always.

Love so full, it hurts,


Adventures Of An Idiot Gnome

16 Jan


Office is slow again today. We’ve run outta things for Idiot Gnome to do…so WHS Pimp has launched her on the outter yard to pick up scraps and clear nails.

…Meanwhile, we sit in  the lobby having totally inappropriate office conversations in between incoming phone calls.

…Idiot Gnome has only been doing this for about 40 minutes, and has already been in here four times to amend her homemade “hazmat suit,” guarding her against the evils of dirt and stuff.

It begins with a 90 lb 5’2″ person, layered in three hoodies, a puffy snow coat, blue rubber gloves…inside of shop gloves, tennies, and optioned goggles…(Which we keep on hand for welding projects.)

…She now weighs in at approximately 125 pounds, and is clearly having issues with the bulk, waddling around like that kid from “A Christmas Story” movie, whose so puffed out, he can’t put his arms down.

From time to time, we clock her through the lobby windows.

Her return trips of outfit amendments are mostly based on the fact that her body is too small to fill the capacity of our average-sized protection aids.

…The rubber gloves (identical to the ones your Dentist uses) are baggy and at least two sizes too big…so her fingers have around an inch of excess rubber, unfilled and floating at each end. These, she’s tried to cram into the work gloves, to help fill THEM with some sort of grip-traction…as they were made for a small man, which means she might as well be wearing oven mitts for all the function help they give her.

…Watching her trying to pick up a nail off the gravel (for instance), is sort of amusing.

…So is the clearing out of the back of WHS Pimp’s truck bed.

Full of cast-off scrap wood from our latest large build, he has her categorizing the contents into separate piles for shimmy and leveling use.

…Occasionally, a larger piece of siding becomes excavated, as just a moment ago, which he’s been watching off and on out the window, as I deal with several emails.

Eventually, he begins to chuckle.

Me: (From my office.) What’s up?

WHS Pimp: She’s just found an OSB sheet.

Me: Yeah?

WHS Pimp: She’s trying to figure out how to get it out of the truck.

(He giggles again.)

WHS Pimp: She’s sorta trying to bench press one end up, and grip it at an angle.

Me: Like she’s trying for over-the-head?

WHS Pimp: God, I hope not. First all, she can’t see anything. All those hoodie layers have like fused her neck range-of-motion to less than a Batman cowl. Second, if that thing gets any wind, it’ll catch lift, and whip her right up…like Mary Poppins…

(I start to chuckle.)

WHS Pimp: …Only a LOT more violent…

(I start to laugh.)

WHS Pimp: …Just a tiny rag doll, flung in the wind…

(I laugh harder.)

WHS Pimp: …Course she wouldn’t be prepared for it, either. And those gloves are EASILY ten or twelve sizes too big…so we know there’s like zero grip there…

(I contract my belly, hunching over.)

WHS Pimp: …Which, with the wind-shift against the wood weight, will flick the gloves right off of her, somewhere mid-lift, but her body inertia will just keep going…

(I start to cry)

WHS Pimp: …And she’ll have about three good seconds of total air, like a tiny flying Michelin Man float, cut adrift…

(I’m gasping for air.)

WHS Pimp: …And, where with other people that time would be filled with their life flashing before their eyes, thinking, “OH HOLY SHIT, I’M GONNA DIE!”…?

(Still Gasping.)

WHS Pimp: …She, instead, would have this totally amazing moment of complete innocent wonder. Then at some point: fall.

(Gasp. Cry. Gasp.)

WHS Pimp: …And we’ll run out there, and have to wake her up, making sure she isn’t dead or something. And you know what will be the first thing she’ll say?

Me: (Ugly-cry-laughing.) “You guys! I can fly!”

WHS Pimp: Exactly.


Pizza-Coffee, With Barry & Ben & Jerry

14 Jan


Just finished marrying the last of the coffee from the carafe into my already cold cup.   My fourth, all-told, for the day.  Naturally, nuking it is a necessity.

…But WHS Pimp just finished zapping his pizza.

…So now I’m drinking pizza-infused bold-roast.

It’s more than a little disgusting.

…You know how your coffee sorta settles a bit, and gets that film, floating on top…?

…And, you know how pizza has a lot of grease and somehow only gets oranger and greasier when nuked…?

The top of my coffee looks like an oil rig spew…slightly rainbow-swirled, and “wrong.”

…Yet, I am drinking it anyway. Never mind that the taste generally lines up to about what it sounds like it would taste like.

…Because: It’s coffee. (Sort of.)  I don’t want Idiot Gnome to make another whole pot, cuz I will DRINK the whole other pot.  So I need to just sit here, and swill my toxic sludge and shut up about it.

…’Cept to you…who never seem to care when I complain.

In fact, just the other day, someone remarked about how much day-to-day joy is lost from their coffee breaks, cuz work here ain’t the Hell it once used to be (for like two years or so.) 

I guess sometimes people miss complaining. 

…I knew that was true in the first person case (though in this regards, I certainly don’t miss it), but I’ve rarely heard that about OTHER people’s thoughts on someone ELSE’S horrible shit-fest. 

I like to think it is because everyone has BEEN in a shit-fest at SOME point or other, and it is just said person missing the camaraderie.  Or maybe making fun of it.   Or maybe feeling better about their own life choices.

We may never know.

…But for some reason, Boss is missed by some of you…and some people wish Idiot Gnome had a more developed “Greatest Hits” list.

Truth is, she’s sorta learning a little (in some things) and is cheap (in salary)…she takes the trash out without telling her, and goes to find us eats whenever we want (without grumbling)…so we’ve eased up on her a little.

…Which isn’t to say that we’ve no comments about her desk-personalization choices of Hello Kitty mouse pads and pink rhinestone-bedazzled stapler, tape dispenser and pen set…

…Or that we cease to be amused by her Whoville hair, floating like ever-changing colored feathers any given day to any given day. (She is currently in what one might call a “transition” from fading pink to auburn with blonde under-streaks…achieved by box-brunette on top of blonde, with a light red rinse just before Christmas, which didn’t take well, turning pinkish within a week.) Or the fact that she wears so much pancake foundation that the buttons on her phone cease to have numbers.

…Or her “adorable” habit of declaring how starving she is when we order food, then basically licking the top of the bun free of sesame seeds, declaring she’s “stuffed.”

She’s sort of like a pet at this point…where we keep her in her little front lobby cage, and allow ourselves to be amused by her daily idiosyncrasies, taking bets on her ability to do a project right the first time, rather than get all up in arms about it when she rarely does. Mostly because we totally understand her capabilities at this point, and know what NOT to trust her with…and she can answer a phone without falling all over herself (at last.)

…So we’re sorta good with that.

For now.

…But speaking of “pets”…did you know I’m fostering three for Cecil whilst she is out London way for the quarter?

Two frogs (Ben and Jerry) and a Beta (Barry.)

They live in one combined bowl, ‘tween Daphne and Niles, and seem to be adjusting just fine…though the frogs really freaked me out for the first couple days. Cuz they’re FROGS.

…Aquatic African Dwarf frogs, actually. But in time I was able to bond with them a bit, just out of curiosity. They’re very social and animated. If anywhere within sight line, you really can’t HELP watching them and their constant life of strife. Poor bastards work out all day long and don’t seem to get anywhere really. I bet they just long for sunshine and a rock. But I’m told not. So I just leave ’em be.

…In case you are at all interested in getting some as pets, I’d like to recommend them highly. As basically they do all the work, and make you laugh a lot in exchange for daily pellet feeding (I refuse the frozen worm thing), and a once-weekly bath.

…Which, if you wear giant rubber gloves that go up to your elbow, like I do…keeps you totally safe from accidentally touching one…which funny as they are or not…would totally NOT be okay.

I’ve decided that if I ever venture that way (post-fostering), I would name them Esther (Williams) and Fernando (Lamas). Cuz they seem forever to be doing extremely complicated choreographed water ballets, in between what looks to me like a yoga regime, involving a wide-reaching scramble to the top of the bowl, followed by starfishing in a free-float back to the bottom of the bowl, in zen-like stillness, whichever way they happen to fall.


…I know. Cuz I’ve watched.

…I REALLY need a new show to focus on, you guys.


Something Like Seven Years Later…

10 Jan


When you do shows with people, there is this strange familial intensity of time, wherein these (sometime) total strangers, become the people you (for all intent and purposes) live with for two months (or more) of your life.

…And then, the show ends, and that living arrangement breaks up.

…You all go your separate ways…sometimes to OTHER shows with each other later in the season…or in the next…or five years after…or maybe, never again.  But aside from the total transplants and floaters, even if NOT working directly with these actors again, chances are: you’re gonna see ’em.

…See ’em in passing.  See ’em at Opening Night parties, or casting calls, or on stage in other shows. 

…And sometimes you get that little misty spike of endearment pop up, even just in those short moments together…when the chat comes super easy, and the catching up runs a mile a minute, and you both say, “Gawd, why the hell don’t we go out for drinks some time or something-or-other?!?”

…And you REALLY TRULY intend to…

…But then “life” and shows and movies and things happen…like one fucking thing after another (it seems)…

…And then it’s three years later, at the concession stand, waiting for your too expensive glass of bad house red to be poured out, seeing one another again…

…And it’s the same song, and the same dance, to the same tune…because there is obviously a genuine affection and intention there…as you (again) strike up a conversation like it was all yesterday when last you met, and it all ends with the same declarations of “friend dates” and nonsense hang-time in the pending scheduling…

…But it still doesn’t happen.

This occurrence is a regular phenomenon of the theatrical profession. Furious affections can lay dormant for years of time, and be revived immediately at first sight…years and years later…as if waking from a broken spell all of a sudden…like in a fairy tale.

Thankfully, we are (in current day) given the divination of the Facebook Fairy Godmother…so that even if we DON’T see our former family loves for half-decades at a time, we can still keep tabs on them from afar…

…Which (as tonight’s former castie-love, The Prodigal Blonde, pointed out), may be slightly freaky and stockerish…but gets the job done. Cutting out whole former initial necessitated opening lines like:

“Oh wow! How the hell ARE you?!”

“What have you been doing with yourself?!”

“Shut up, what?! You’re MARRIED now?!”

…Allowing us to cut right to the meat of the matter, instead…like:

“My god, it’s been…how long?! You look fantastic! Shut up, and you have a baby now! And that trip you took to France? Those pictures were AWESOME!! P.S. I really love your last headshot sitting!”

…Which obviously helps to make the ABSOLUTE MOST of our precious, cherished moments, whilst finally flung together for a matter of moments (waiting in line for the ladies loo, for instance), so as to not waste even a millisecond of visit time.

The Facebook (and other general social media) has become not only the ESSENTIAL self-marketing and networking tool of the artistic world…it has also helped us to Celebrity Stock our own friends, (as they orbit in the world outside of our immediate own), so that when (by chance), we actually DO manage to meet up for that drink we’ve promised to meet over for about seven years now (or maybe slightly less), we can just immediately get down and dirty to the real poop-hammock story realness of it all…

…Jump right into the deep end of cracking one another up, sparring wits, iknowwhatyoumeaning, and hearing (at least in this instance) that totally hilarious inverted squeak…of The Prodigal Blonde…which is one of the most wondrously definitive laughs of all time

…Immediately sending you back, to that one rehearsal, when you heard it for the first time, snorfled, and said something like:

“Um. What. Was. That. I’ve never heard a human make those kind of sounds. That’s not your REAL laugh. NOBODY laughs like that.”

…Which is how (I’m pretty sure) our whole friend-affair first began, (at least in MY book.)

…The end? infinitely ongoing.


Things To Do When Home All Day Sick

4 Jan

I am at the tits-end of a cold. 

…Have been fighting to keep it at bay before it really takes hold. This means “down time.” A lot.

…To keep from mental suicide, this also means lots of movies, while googling about the people in the movies, to satisfy the “muti-tasking” gene.

…Which is when you do things (for instance) like watch “From Here To Eternity,” and really realize on Bluray how TOTALLY BUILT Burt Lancaster is, in that beach scene…so you (naturally) google more pics of him.  Which brings up a hot one of him and Ava Gardner.  Which is when you click to go to that article publishing the picture.  Which is when you read how that was from his first film, “The Killers,” during which he began an affair with Gardner, directly after (Mom, just “la-la-la” to yourself here) getting a hard-on while filming the love scene, which the crew therefore totally made fun of. 

…So naturally, you need to find that damn movie. Online. NOW. And watch it.

…And for the first time (prob’ly ever), you get TOTALLY irritated because the movie DARES to have “plot” and things before Ava even turns up (38 minutes and 13 seconds into the movie…and THEN, it is only even her back.)

…But eventually: the scene arrives. 

…And it delivers.

(And so does the twist ending.)

…And you go back to the internets for more “scoop”…eventually stumbling over that one site where you can plug in your face and see who your celebrity doppelganger is, based on general features n’ junk.

…Which is when you get this idea about plugging in random show pics to see just how good you are at this whole chameleon-character-actor thing. 

…Which makes you laugh so hard, that you have a coughing fit and almost pee your pants as a result.

…Which is when you decide that you should share the wealth.

Even though it means people in the blogosphere will know what you look like (even if you are nameless to all but your privately selected FB friends.)

So: fine.

Here are my doppelgangers (according to character type.)

Personally, I think a 1930’s German Spy totally looks like this chick (whoever the hell she is.)

And naturally a Nun would closely resemble Eva Peron.

Amy Winehouse with a generous helping of Ozzy’s genes in there? You bet.

…And when I think Jewish mother in the Holocaust…Christina totally is the 1(00,000,000,000th) person I think of, dunno ’bout you.

…Just like nothing says “Beaver” more than Leslie Caron (enter French Beaver jokes, here.)

You guys need to know that should you ever need a singing Cockney Prostitute: Jenna Elfman in your dame.

…And NOTHING screams tea-party-right-wing-Mamet-horror, like a social activist and “L-Word” actress.

…Which is only slightly confusing…cuz if you actually WANT a lesbian, you should aim for casting a Hilton…

…But if you want a Celebutant, rich-bitch, flapper, go with REAL class: Mae West. (She comes with one-liners and talent.)

When I think of a 40’s New York Undercover Cop…I always assume it will be cast with a French model…

…Whereas NO ONE says “first lady of the American stage” like…Winona Ryder?

I kinda like that Mina Harker could be a Bollywood star in another life (hell, she has infinity of time by the end, so why not?)

…And bitchy Jane Austen antagonists ALWAYS should be played by actors with three names (more room to take up on the marquee.)

…But above ALL…my MOST favorite, is that a saucily randy Shakespearean Lady’s maid equals a noir love-making queen…

…Which brings us back full circle to the story about how one night? I had this crap cold and was watching “From Here to Eternity”…and noticed for the first time how TOTALLY BUILT Burt Lancaster is. So, naturally…I started to google more pictures of him, and I found this one really hot one…

…With Ava Gardner.

The End.


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