Archive | May, 2014

Manic, Twisted, & Sexy

28 May

image

Today, I have three less personalities to concentrate on, still leaving me with a sizable deck yet to be sorted.

…A great new program at the UWT has been attempting to launch a theatre works interest, not only to the student body but local community as well.  Some of it’s leading professors have brought in a handful of actors to work both with the student playwrights and faculty, to do read performances with talk-backs to get the ball rolling, and I’ve been supremely lucky to be amongst those handful. 

I LOVE contributing in my own backyard…my own city…blocks away from my little home.  I love that they are eager to bring more arts to the area, use it’s local artists as resources, engage audiences made of faculty and students and community, in talk-backs about social issues, politics, art, and literature.  I love being part of a grass-roots movement, and that as more and more educational systems are phasing OUT the arts in their schools, we have a very esteemed University staff stating, “No!  In fact, we don’t have ENOUGH!” 

…How awesome is THAT?!

(I know, right?)

…Which is WHY I now have three less contributors to my psyche, in as much as last night we finished another such read, with a wonderfully alert house-full, engaged in the process, the structure, and the event as a whole. A fine study on mental illness and addiction and the affects they leave in their wake. I had a hell of a lot of fun as the bipolar, self-drug-prescribing, alcoholic root of it all, playing with tight text, exercising a little of my own demons, and having an exhausting wale of a time. These are the kind of work outs, (when married with a dream cast of close buds), when you really getta blow it all out there with full conviction, knowing full-well you are supporting, and are supported by, the best.

It only gets better than this, when it’s up on it’s feet and in full performance…

…Which, speaking of, leads us to the next part of the personality deck: A twisted little tale of sisterly sexual obsession and dark deeds.

“The Maids,” a translation from the Genet original, is next up on the calendar…with hopes to butt it snugly up against a mainstay of my bucket list, which will be auditioning next week.

…So, currently, I’ve a Scouser hairdresser a-la Pygmalion (“Educating Rita”) sharing space with a twisted turn-of-the-century homicidal Frenchy who likes to play-act as others. It’s an interesting combo up in my head these days, to say the least…which I obviously love, as only an actor would voluntarily piggy-back that range and number of personalities together at one time. Dropping the manic-bipolar-drugged-up-drunk off my back, makes the rest left over seem almost feasible at this point.

…So now I’ve only to concentrate on the massive “Maids” line load, break down my script as to whom I am “playing” when, and prep a monologue. Pffft!! Piece of fucking cake!

…Except, minus the cake.

…Cuz I’ve seen what we are wearing in this little French horror story, and the deconstructed waste of seedy, stringy undergarments we will be sporting, while slithering all over one another, requires yet another diet regime to flog and whip my body into a submissive state that I feel comfortable slobbering all over a stage in my “altogethers.” Well, as comfortable as one can be, anyway.

…I wonder if going vegetarian is the key? I wonder if I could even fathom a world without meat for any real length of time?

…I wonder if The WHS Pimp would survive the wasteland of this office with an hormonal and pregnant receptionist, and a meat-addicted me on the wagon?

…Fuck that…would the WORLD survive it??

…This is prob’ly TBA.

…But definitely not till after I finish this donut…

~D

Advertisements

Things

8 May

image

Good news is: I’m not contracting a weird disease in my wrist.

…This watch I bought from Hong Kong online has been freaking me out for days…on account of the face constantly changing color when it touches me.  I didn’t realize it until after I’d already been wearing it across two day’s span…chalking it up to “difference of light.” Then I took it off to show Ma at one point, and it turned from brown to green within seconds. My brain instantly jumped to the fact there is prob’ly something spurious in the metal…filling me with lead-based cancerous ions of doom.

…Like those coffee cups I drank out of for a whole year before I read the base stamp that said as much.

Nowhere on the literature of what I purchased or where I purchased it, was there an explanation to my new state for concern. Until I found it today, by total generic Googling.  Apparently it’s a selling point feature of said watch, for every place BUT the one that I purchased it from.

…Whether I’m feeling “coffee,” “green,” “black” or “blue” tinted, I am told none of them will fill me with any toxic diseases.  That they know of.  So, that’s comforting.  Although it still doesn’t explain why none of these places online provide you with a “key” to the color codes. I have no fucking idea what in the hell any of them are supposed to mean.

Is it my aura?

Is it my chi?

Is it generic me-temperature?

Is “coffee” better than “green?”

Should I esteem to a calming “blue” over the who-knows-what-to-think-of-it “black?”

I dunno.

They won’t tell me.

…So now I have that to worry about.

…Meanwhile: Am on a record-breaking semi-insomniac cycle. That means I can get to sleep alright, (around one-or-so a.m.), but pop awake for any variety of “thinking” reasons at three or four, without being able to kick it and go back to sleep again. This is just weird. Who wakes up from “thinking?”

…It isn’t a dream. It isn’t a sound. I’ve had the fan running WITH the heater at the same time, and singularly by turn…so it isn’t climate.

I don’t understand.

…Really, it’s akin to going from total sleep to that semi-haze of alertness when rolling over, and my brain suddenly yells something like, “RENT!” And then I snap totally awake and commence to worry the rest of the morning about when the fucking landlord will finally deposit that damn check…cuz I have my auto car and insurance payments hitting any day now, and even though I did the math and it should all be fine to go through, who the fuck knows what random “oh, I forgot about that” thing might hit my account in the mean time and screw everything up?

…And then the rent might bounce, and I’d be homeless on the street…and I have a lot of shit that NO WAY would all fit into a shopping cart as a make-shift mobile home unit…cuz if the RENT doesn’t clear, it’ll reject my car payments too…and THEN where will I be?!

…Oh sure, you can laugh or roll your eyes at me all you want, but these are real anxieties at three a.m. on almost no sleep. Your brain isn’t thinking super clearly…it just fixates, and chews the SHIT out of things…like an old piece of bubble gum, long since flavorless, but the chewing action keeps your oral fixation and teeth clenching at bay…so you just keep chewing on it until you’re exhausted for totally OTHER reasons.

…A case of the solution making another problem.

Basically, this is the entire life-cycle of a person with clinical anxiety.

…So: not a lot of sleep. And busy work days slamming me against the wall without mercy. And random anxiousness popping up night and day, for what equates to “technically sound reasons,” although not good enough ones at all for normal people to obsess about for hours and days on end.

…It’s the only time I crave to be one of them.

We are not without some “goodnesses,” however. Until today, there was sun for after-work walks. Some buddy hang times. Lovely read rehearsal work-outs with old friends for a performance this Friday. Birthday toys to be played with…

…I have “stuff.” I’ll be fine. I’ll eventually figure out this new rut I’ve been thrown into and even things out. Either way, it beats the hell outta the “depression” tsunami that “was”…so…I’ll take it.

…I’ll chew on it…

…Til the fucker turns to rubber.

…Then, one day, I’ll figure out how to spit the bastard out, and have a reprise of calm before another piece gets popped in my mouth.

…So it goes.

~D

Things That Make Sense [Possibly Only] To Me

5 May

Wicked busy day at work…pushing $122,000 in new orders and bookings that had my butt stuck to my swivel chair for the full eight hours. 

…Decided to counter this with a 4 mile walk through partial spit and sunshine by the waterfront, directly after errands run of bank and script pick up.

…Then I peed.

…Checked my texts which had accumulated throughout the day, totally ignored…(due to reasons they pay me for)…and I saw a set from Puff:

Puff: “Awesome news…I will be up for Pride through 4th of July…!”

…JOY!!! Because, now that am camped in HRC with the Seattle kids…AND signed up for the huge-as-fuck event committees LIKE Pride…I was only the other day saying how kick-ass it would be if he were here for my first one, and I was there for his (in Seattle), cuz (without being a giant cock-block), we could hang some, and have times of awesome with him and his boys (whom I love), ‘tween my booth tending, button passing, and picture taking.

TIMES of AWESOME will be had. Indeed.

…Came home next, to find a gigantic box on my doorstep, weighing approximately half a pound.  After perusing labels which told me nothing, finally came to my senses and just ripped the thing open.  Arms waded through a sea of crumpled newspapers, reaching deep into the box’s guts to fish out: a giant globe on stand, and a card from an antique store in New Orleans.

…Texted The BFF, directly: “I presume was you who bought me the world…”

…The BFF texted back: “…It is your oyster after all.”

(This is why she is The BFF…reason # 562.)

…Wandered about house, attempting to find the perfect place for the world…and I found it: On top of record player by the complete Sherlock and choicest Du Mauriers.

image

…Winning. Or rather, “won.” “Winning” sounds better. I will just move everything into the present tense now. Because.

…Go about opening new script (role secured only just last night), and begin to peruse the merchandise. She’s good, the playwright. A local. Commence to take notes, pull up dialect and start working for a good ol’ Louisiana drawl…mid-texting The BFF, who is well into the religious ceremony of Margarita drinking that is: Cinco de Mayo.

…I say I’m too lazy to go to the trouble of “all that mixing,” so offer chilled champagne, (still sitting in the fridge from my woeful birthday), or a warm scotch, as substitute.

The BFF says, ” Definitely champagne. But maybe I’m biased. It’s 80 degrees here.”

I respond: “I think it’s still wise here at 60-something. Cuz I mean..it’s champagne…”

We agree she is right. This almost never happens. She (presumably) goes to mix another ‘Rita…I grab a bar towel, and pop the cork.

…I study some more…

image

…Mid-study I try to gauge the distinct difference between Creole, Cajun and general Louisianian dialects. Dunno which I’m suppose to use, so decide to learn all three.

…The Champagne goes largely untouched for some period of time, as I work. Then, as I fold up the script for now, I suddenly remember it.

Veuve Clicquot it ain’t, but it itches the scratch when yuh got it.

…I decide this would be an excellent marketing line, and I am totally in the wrong profession.

…I pour out some more.

…I drink it.

…I see the lap top sitting over there on the couch arm, plugged in and getting juiced.

…I decide maybe I should blog some. Then I can say I did a little study, a little writing, and a little walking with my evening…not just, “laid on the couch like a whore, swilling champagne and watching Burn Notice specials. Again.”

…Although, whatever sounds so bad about that, I’ll never know.

…You’d have to ask a non-actor civilian.

~D

Your “First”

4 May

image

You will never forget them.  It’s impossible, given the hugeness of their role in your life.

…Today, mine would have turned 85.

I was four years old.

…I still remember the house address we live at, the exact layout of the living room furniture.  I remember a cardboard record sleeve, covered in pink with floral artwork spilling over it, leading to the face of a woman in a giant hat on the front, still photos on the back.  And the record itself, spinning on the turntable by the wall, Mom resetting the needle to a specific song.

“Okay…you wanna try it again?”

“Yuh.”

“Okay…here we go…”

…And the needle went down and caught on the groove, and the intro of a song I will remember…I think even if I were to one day forget my own name…started to play.

…And my eyes, would look hard at the record cover…the picture of this lady…and I’d think about how she looked when she sang this song…that green coat and flat black straw hat, dancing around the wet cobble stones, throwing lettuce leafs in the air, and pretending to be a queen…and I opened my mouth and let it burst out of me.

I was trained to be a character actor, as I trained for that talent show.  My very first time on a stage. I would be five when I performed it for real…just me and a piano, and my own little green jacket, with flat black straw hat.  But I was four when I first met The Lady, first saw the film on VHS, first pointed to the TV screen and said, “I want to be her when I grow up.”

…I didn’t know what an Actor was…nor The Lady, but she talked funny and I liked it.  So I started talking funny, back.  And Mom had noticed. Apparently I had an ear for it.  Apparently, I nailed it.  Which is how we got on a road to a talent show to begin with, which is how I got on stage for the first time, and freakishly won…which is how so much of who I am, all began.

Today The Lady would have turned 85, had she lived.  And for two decades of my life, she was the star I had set my ship to sail towards.  I mean what better role model could a young girl have?  She survived war and famine with grace, was understated, and elegant, classy and joyous,  she was gentle and kind to animals…she spent the last years of her life as an Ambassador to war-torn nations.  I spent the bulk of my adolescence obsessing over her, reading every article, buying every book, seeing every movie…and learning as much as I could about how to be a better person…on total accident.

…My intent, because of her, was to be an Actor. That was what I thought I was studying for…like I did all those years ago, with a record spinning cockney voices into the air. But I learned much more.

…I learned she WASN’T the flower girl pretending to be a queen. She was a queen…pretending to be a flower girl.

…And the more I realized that, the more I opened up to other influences…building my cannon of acting teachers and role models…first in black and white, and later in more contemporary atmospheres.

You see, I realized even at age four, I wasn’t ever going to be the pretty lady walking down the stairs in a white beaded gown on the way to a ball. I was (and am) the scrubby street urchin. It’s more fun, for one…and the joy and limitlessness to dream about the what-ifs, is endless. The pretty lady in white always seemed stuck somehow. Unhappy. Even with all the wealth she was surrounded with. And I’d rather roll in the mud with some mates raising a ruckus any day, than attend Ascot…even if I DID get to wear that hat.

…And so this lesson formed my life. Obviously.

…And The Lady, though my first and best girl, became not my only model for measurement. Eventually I would find Bette Davis, who’s swilling booze and articulate bite of dialogue seemed more a natural to me. And Ava Gardner, who could do these magical things to men by just looking at them in a certain way. And Judy Garland who would be doped up ten ways to Sunday, slurring even, then open her mouth and sob out a song that would make you forget to breathe for a while, it wretched your guts so hard. There were countless others…but all of them who caught my eye seemed to be damaged or dark or simply more complicated than The Lady, who had started it all. I don’t believe it made me love her less, just realize my own place in the artistic arena.

Hardly anyone can be as genuinely a good and beautiful person (inside and out) as Audrey Hepburn. But I’ll be thankful for the rest of my forevers, that in the years when a human is forming their sense of self and ideas of the world in general, I had the fairest lady of them all as a role model and guide. It certainly isn’t her fault I ended up falling off the wagon by way of the Tallulah Bankhead variety. The point is: I can recognize the value, I understand the need, I see the importance of a positive influence.

…What Audrey taught me was to work hard, to live simple, to be kind, to help others, to be gracious. I may not live up to these idioms all the time, but they are there in my head…and when I fall short of them, like a good ol’ Catholic guilt complex, I can still hear her voice in the back of my head, urging me to be better. And maybe that “goodness” was too posh an outfit for me to wear. I know myself well enough to acknowledge that. But I suppose the point is: I am who I am today…whether you can see it or not…due in large part to one of the gentlest, classiest, fashion-iconic, charity-building, humans to walk the earth. She was (and will always be) a very special hero to me…

…And I guess what I’m saying is: “Here’s a toast to a Dearest Lady, very close to my heart…with endless thanks, on her 85th Birthday.”

Cheers, love.

~D

On The Piss…Then Off

1 May

image

I shall survive! This MONSTER bout of general grossness from seemingly all walks of my life, up to (and including) my Birthday, is almost over.

…And now that I am finally coming out of this two week cycle of woe…like passing a really shitty kidney stone from hell…I can report that the world is not ending after all…while showered and shaved, dyed painted and plucked…sitting in some sunshine. 

…Sure, I’ve gained weight back…which is to be expected when you spend three days and nights on-end eating everything you can get your hands on, and getting pissed on every kind of fermented substance known to man.  But it’s over and done…I survived the bitch, and it’s time to collect myself, and hit the waves of “better things” now.

It all began on Saturday night.  This was when I closed the latest show with a particularly terrible performance, possibly due to the collective 4 hours of sleep I’d had in the past 24 hours leading up to it.  Or possibly not.  Maybe I just blew it full-turkey-out-the-ass all on my own.  I dunno.  But I’m never one to just roll over and let those kind of things just run off my back, whether it’s my actual fault or not.  This only put more fuel behind the next 12 or so hours of supreme hormonal meltdown, leading into my 34th birthday on Monday.

…It basically ended in a Nora Ephron comedic sketch of me blubbering to myself in between hot flashes, whilst refusing anything to do with celebrations by anyone with good intentions, and instead closeting myself away in pajamas, to watch nonstop film alone, on loop, and consider the travesties of my youth, with a bottle (or several) of booze…and how I’ve accomplished nothing I set out to, or will, and I might as well eat this pizza and get even fatter, cuz who cares?

I like to call it “Bridget Jonesing.”

…Add to that the fact I’m pretty sure I was (and am) peri-menopausing on top of it.

…Like an idiot, I did research online. This is ruinous for people like me, with anxiety issues that won’t sleep for weeks at a time cuz a zit on my elbow might actually be a cancerous growth I don’t know about yet, but am too scared to really check out.

…So I fester.

…Only lately, it’s been: “fester and sweat.”

…Now, don’t get me wrong, I have always been a clammy sweater. Its in the Latino DNA. Only for the past…oh…year or so, I’ve had these random night-sweats-from-hell that I try to pretend aren’t really there. Except when they wake me at 3 am because I have to strip every fucking thing I’m wearing due to the fact they are doused and soaking wet with sweat. It’s been really special…lemme tell you…

…And as my BD got closer, and I brought it up to Ma, she was all, “Well, yeah…I mean, me and two generations back all had hysterectomies by your age…so who KNOWS when menopause hits this side of the family?”

…And I said, “ARE YOU TELLING ME ON THE EVE OF MY 34TH BIRTHDAY THAT I AM MENOPAUSAL?!?”

…And she said, “Well…maybe peri…”

…And I said, “I STILL GET ZITS ON A REGULAR BASIS! I’VE BEEN DYING THE WHITE FROM MY HAIR SINCE MY MID TWENTIES! I JUST FINISHED PLAYING MOTHER TO A MAN THREE YEARS OLDER THAN ME!! ARE YOU BEING REAL RIGHT NOW?!? HOW IS THIS FAIR?!?!”

…And she said, “Reasons.”

…So, needless to say, after a really shitty performance, in my really not best show, with streaks of white waiting to be dyed out of my temples, a bitchingly horrid period, and (apparently) peri-menopausal sweats, I decided to be terribly terribly depressed on the day of my birth.

I’m usually anxiety bound…so this was a new thing. It sucks too. Especially the involuntary bursting into tears bit. You know…the, “I should take a shower, but what’s the point, I’m fat anyway…my back hurts like I’ve been punched in the kidneys…I think I’ve bled so much I may have turned anemic and SUNOFABITCH it’s HOT IN HERE!”

…That kind of thing.

…Wrapped up in: ” All my LIFE I wanted to be EQUITY and pro, doing only theatre by age 35, and now its only one year away and I’ll never make it…or if I do, I’d only work like once every five years…there aren’t enough houses here to support it anymore…and I’m a coward…totally unlike The BFF who just opened her first solo company in freakin’ New Orleans last week…you know…cuz she SAID so…and also, no matter WHAT I do, these last ten pounds just won’t go away. It’s like my body is STARVING for the fat…to keep it warm and sweaty (apparently)…also my mood swings could basically be categorized as step-one bipolar disorder…if that’s even a thing…and I’m in my mid-thirties…and STILL struggling to pay bills and live life and figure out my head…and sometimes am maybe a little lonely…but never enough to deal with the shit that people have to deal with when they come in twos…”

…And also: “CHOCOLATE!”

…And, “Maybe I need some sex IMMEDIATELY, or at least more often…or maybe not ever again. But definitely salt. Like NOW!”

…And, “How DARE my mother call me menopausal! Peri or otherwise!!!’

{gentle sob}

…It’s been an interesting few weeks, to say the least. And by “interesting” I mean: “viciously feminine and horrifying.” And though the actual REAL heat outside is not helping my body’s imaginary already over-indulgence, the sunlight does. So I’m trying my best to use it as a guide…to get out in it and sweat more (on purpose) and hydrate like a sonofabitch…and try, try, try to find the humor hiding in all my personal little woes. It’s there. They are the original basis of Rom-Coms (minus the love story bit)…which is totally fine with me…cuz I obviously have enough shit to deal with right now without adding secondary subplots into the mess.

…And whatever all THAT means/achieves in outting crap for some better self mental-help: so be it. Consider it writ. You can now commence to make fun of me. Meanwhile…I’m packing up and going for a walk. Like a person.

Hurrah for me.

~D

%d bloggers like this: