Archive | December, 2016

Last Brothel Shift Of 2016

30 Dec

After prepping for an uber Month/Year-End hell, (which will be my first day back to work on the 3rd), I ordered a hot dog: delivered, and spent money I don’t have right now to repurchase Debbie Reynolds films I hadn’t updgraded yet to DVD. 

…It is a necessity. 

…So has been the (thus far)  6-film fest-binge. Which will continue. She was one of the closest of the family who raised me to do the things I do with the work ethic that I do ’em. 

She’ll always be a necessity for me. 

(..Am still kind of perplexed about the hot dog bit, though. I think maybe it’s some kind of strange kiddom regression…)

Anyway. It was a damn good hot dog. 

…In other news: the office is ready to purge out 2016, like a bad hangover…which is a lot like these past few weeks have felt for me. I truly want nothing more than to see this last chunk of time disappear in a loud gulping flush of awful, to the sewer where it belongs. And if people I love could stop dieing for five fucking seconds,  I might even fit in a thought towards non-shitty aspirations for the New Year. 

…I expect it to at least start well,  standing under an explosion of fireworks from the Space Needle with m’bud, and still holding out hope that one of these last two callbacks will lead to a new show and positive focus,  directly after. 

…It won’t be from lack of trying. 

And maybe THAT will be the new mantra of 2017.

…I’ve had worse. 

Meanwhile, there are those summer shorts I need to fit into 6 months from now, so these long freezing-ass,  rainey walks will continue. (Which I’ve grown to despise, even though I know they are really good for me right now.)  And I’ve a lot of film therapy coming my way. 

…So,  there’s that. 

…And only two more hours to the work day. 

Even you could do that. 

…So let’s count it down together…

~D

Carrie 

27 Dec

In 2009, after a lot of tests revealing nothing,  I was sent to a cognitive therapist to see what the hell was wrong with me. Among the homework I was thereafter to be assigned, I was to begin a diary. 

…But because I only ever wrote in them when angry, (and because hypochondria is another fun bit to my persona), I told my shrink that I couldn’t do that… cuz what if I died suddenly and then people found and read these moments of anger and thought that that was how I truly regarded them?  

…So then she said,  “Fine,  do a blog then,  something in a public forum. This way you will need to find a healthy alternative in which to spin your anger and resentment and frustration for a reading audience. ”

…So I did. 

…And you’re still reading it. 

…But this is all to set up that: as a writer,  as an actor,  as a mentally fucked-up human (which we all are,  in our own ways, P.S.) I needed a model of study. Because that is what I do in my profession. 

…And my profession has–had–(FUCK YOU,”had”!) an ambassador of the first rank. 

…It was at that time that this one book just happened to be on the NY Bestseller list,  and on all the feature tables of Barnes and Nobles. And I bought it NOT because it was featuring Princess Leia,  but because it was written by the author of “Postcards From The Edge, ” a particularly fantastic insider bio of truth and shock and humor, by Debbie Reynolds’ kid. (Cuz that’s how *she* ranked in my childhood priorities .)

…The thing was: at that particular time,  I was seriously fucked up. My motor skills were for shit and at times I couldn’t feel my extremities.  I couldn’t eat,  so dropped 35 lbs and the “new skinny” just looked wrong, I was having respiratory issues,  getting winded within six to ten steps,  couldn’t sleep because of chronic spins that would make me heavily nauseous when I closed my eyes, my hypochondria was on steroids,  and I was on about seven prescriptions to try and counter it all,  to no avail. 

…Which is when the MD wrote me a prescription to his own personal therapist. 

…So: when I say that I was fucked up and in the worst mental and physical place of my life: believe me–it was bad. 

I was 29.

…By the end of my first couch session, I’d been diagnosed and told that not only could she source it to age five, but that if I hadn’t totally lost my shit when I did, NOW,  I was so bad that by 35, I would likely have ended in a psych Ward. 

…Which is never “good” to hear. But even less so when you are an accute anxiety-bent hypochondriac. 

…So with the mental picture of a future like Frances Farmer in my head, I went desperately seeking out any –ANY–possible option to the contrary,  in my own associated self-help program. 

…Which led me to Carrie. 

…A Carrie I already liked and was comfortable with not because of an epic Star Wars trilogy, but because she made me laugh and think and commune with her as a fellow single in “When Harry Met Sally, ” and because of her books.

 …That brilliant, bombastic, bipolar brain she brandished on the page with liberal seasoning of caustic wit. 

…While we shared not the same diagnosis, we did on the levels of frustration at being perfectly functioning people until (for no apparent reason, and beyond our own control) we weren’t. That sense of loss in regards to power and just plain practicality was something she described so perfectly. And the way she could balance that loss with the analytical behind-the-scene viewpoint of a twisted blooper reel,  was –God’s honest truth–the first time I had laughed in months. 

…Because it was real. NOT of my imaginings or horrors,  but truth in its ugly fucked-up form. If it wasn’t real,  how the hell could she be writing about the thoughts my own brain was thinking?  How could she understand how fucking dark the blackness got? How much of a freak I felt? 

…But most of all,  how in the name of all that is holy,  could she be making jokes and laughing about it,  like it was no big deal?! It was a GIANT, ALL-CONSUMING goddamn deal. Wasn’t that the whole point?!? 

Nope. 

The point was: she was laughing at it. 

…Scary as fuck and frequently beyond her control to do anything,  but. So: fuck you dibilating mental health issues! And the demon dragon you rode in on. 

This beyond all else. THIS. Learned NOT from my super excellent $110 an hour shrink, but from a woman on the inside who knew the road cuz she set fire to the damn path before she walked it, hot coals et al… THIS was the greatest piece of education I received (or will likely ever receive) on what will end up being my lifelong journey as a person struggling with mental health issues. 

…Like my own version of AA. I chose my greatest support from one who had been there and fully understood what it meant and took to fight this shit every day. 

…Which then got me thinking of one of my alltime favorite Sorkin pieces:

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.
“A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
“Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on
“Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”
…Look, I know what the bulk of her obituaries will be saying. And as a person in the Entertainment field, I would be the last kind of person to down-play her iconic importance in so many people’s lives as a Force of Royalty and wit. 
…What I’m saying is that: I’ll mourn that tomorrow. Today,  I have to give thanks for an essential life-teacher,  who woke up every day with a massive fight ahead of her, manned with an arsenal of searing truth, humility, wit,  wonder and fucking chutzpah in spades…which she shared,  at every opportunity, with all of us, so we should never feel alone or shamed or outwitted for our own fights. 
…She was a princess to many,  but a badass mutherfucking Queen to a lot more people,  than she would have ever known. 
Thanks, Carrie.You were epically amazeballs, and I’m so pissed at your early passing. It makes my guts hurt. But you fought your ass off,  babe, more than almost anyone I know. I guess I can’t deny you the much-earned rest. 
Keep it hopping up there! 
~D

She Podcasts A Little

15 Dec

Sup, alls?


…Been enjoying the hell outta some podcasts lately on m’walks and thought I’d do a special companion episode for SWAL. 


Recorded and edited from my phone (as all blogs are)  this is just as big a hot mess of randomness and incorrect spelling as all the rest. Hope you like it. Or at least devise a decent drinking game out of it,  if you don’t.


Special thanks to The Theatre Husband: my first guest. 

*Rated R , for Radness. (And language) 

http://castbox.fm/u/299790

~D

Dear God,  Not Snow! 

9 Dec

I live  in the most hypochondriac state in prob’ly the entire world, which is hilarious because we are considered granola by like most other state standards, and could feature on the cover of every Wheaties box from now to kingdom come. 

…We are outdoorsy as hell, will climb anything, run anywhere,  backpack for months, grow and compost our own food with our our waste products, join in every diet fad, fuel up with every vitamin supplement in existence, put sunscreen on when it rains, and show up in droves to picket dirty energy Big Biz when it wants to build some kinda new cancer-inducing shit in our backyards.

…All of which is rather industrious of us.

…But we also, will go absofuckinglutely bat-shit, if anyone, at any point, mentions the word, “snow.”

(We do it with “earthquake” too…and coming from the mountains of CA, I think both fetish-freakouts, are hilarious.)

…I think it’s because we are not properly equipped for either, in any great way…in that they happen so infrequently, there is no “plan of attack.” We only have enough plows to attack major roadways, so: you’re screwed getting out of your neighborhood to them, and they don’t do the useless-but-regular trainings for school children and employees to duck-and-cover under desks and stand in doorways — in case of a quake. 

…We are made to feel essentially helpless in these moments, which I suppose is what fuels the end-of-times panic reaction that both words elicit…so that everyone is running to Costco stocking up their built-from-100%-recycled-material panic rooms, and debating every possible disaster scenario over the water cooler, like: Move over “Survivor XX,” shit gets real now

…Which is essentially what we’ve been dealing with — all week long–from customers and retailers and builders. 

…Until, finally: it came. 

It snowed for five seconds last night, and my side of the state is all:

(Throwing up hands)

“That’s it!  Cancel everything! Close all the theatres and the schools! Blackout the offices!  Bet you’re glad you maxed out your Lowes card on that generator! And slugged that guy in Costco for the last giant flat of Dinty Moore stew! Where are the cell battery back ups?!  Holy hell, how will our Christmas gifts from Amazon even make it through now?! ”

Five. Seconds. 

Today at work, everyone I talk to is like, “Wow, yeah, we need to cancel that… The weather is just too crazy of an x-factor. ” And outside my window, as people continue to live in their little worlds of total hypochondriac denial: it is raining. 

…Not even a lot. 

 …It’s even doing that half-assed. 

…It’s spitting. Weakly. 

…Which is one of many reasons that my current home town just cracks me the hell up. 

(Together with the slogs of people who sign up for races all year round. Because, they claim there’s this thing called “runners-high.” Which, unlike Santa, is totally fake. And everyone knows it.) 

~D

We Were Dating,  Now We’re Not

2 Dec

Doing a show is like having a whirlwind romance, where you meet and get married in like a week, and said relationship lasts with total devotion, until you unceremoniously strike your home and get a Mexican divorce–however long your run is-days later.

…Because working on a character across a full rehearsal and production schedule, is absolutely consuming and requires not only devotion of time and physical and mental presence, but also through sickness and through health, as long as you both shall live (together .) 

…And it doesn’t matter if you “have a headache tonight, ” or “really need some alone time, ” or “start to feel suffocated” by their insistent presence. Doesn’t matter that it seems you –at times– have absolutely put yourself and your needs on the back burner and have from time to time gotten completely lost inside the relationship, which starts to blur (as time goes on)  in fully realizing just where you end and they pick up (or vice versa.) 

…You see each other through your finest moments,  and miserable worst, and yet you are able to commit fully to this marriage because –I guess,  really– of two things:

1. You have made this commitment with full knowledge of what is required of you, in front of all of those witnesses, who will hold your ass to it, by supportive teamwork. 

2. This passionate affaire, has a sell-by date, which you are also fully aware of on the outset, so: there’s really just no damn excuse not to give it your all,  while you can. 

At this point,  I’ve been married –MANY times. 59, in fact. I make Liz Taylor and Mickey Rooney look Catholic by comparison. And luckily for me,  I’ve enjoyed the HELL out of the bulk of them, and have bins and books full of our Honeymoon days together, which already make me misty-eyed with memory,  and I’m not even middle-aged as yet. 

…The thing is: as great as the bulk of those marriages are in my memory, there is even something singularly satisfying in the terrible ones, in that: I made the absolute best effort I could to make it work out, and even if it ended shitty,  I know that to be true. 

…Because I actually really really love to “commit.” 

…(In a show, that is.) 

…But along with these “marriages,” I’ve also had me some “flings.” 27, of note. And these,  while intriguing, only seem to mostly “hot and bother” me, and while enjoyable in the moment, leave me as unfulfilled at their ending, as a one-night-stand. 

–Which, in fact, most of them ARE.

The Staged Read, is an enigmatic animal. They are considerably lower maintenance than a real relationship in that you don’t live with the character. At most, you might workshop (or, “date”) it for a few days, but by and large, it’s just a tease. 

…Even if you really like the character. Even if the cast is a dream. Even if your Director is creative as fuck. You still are hampered from full investment to grow it into a real relatonship, because Staged Reads are the flings we have in foreign countries, while on Holiday. They aren’t allowed to become more than that, because of your surrounding circumstances, even if you really, really, really like them, and you get on with total ease, and know you could make the most magnificent children together…

…And even knowing this, a lot of the time, you still can’t help getting sucked into the “what if,” daydream which sometimes comes with the really, really special flings.

…These will be the ones you always pine over, the ones you wish you could learn all the  secret intimacies about…everything from the corny, “how they take their tea, ” to the deeply sheltered truths they hide… the ones that even though you held them for a moment,  you can’t help but think that they are one of those ones who,”got away. ”

Yesterday’s “Joe Egg, ” read is one of those for me. 

We dated heavily for several weeks, and it was disturbing but so enlightening, and…She’s gone now… 

…Out of my life… 

…The supremely gifted family: broken up. And though I am so very satisfied to have met the role at all,  never mind with this amazing group of people — I know in my gut-parts, she and I would have had one of THE best marriages that I have ever had…

…If only…

If only.

~D

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