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Breaking The Damn Rules

4 Nov

This is my Morning Pages dump. 
You aren’t supposed to let anyone read them. I’m not even supposed to read them. They are there purely for dumping purposes, like taking your morning poo — which you flush down the metaphorical toilet of — “Welp, got that out. What’s next?”

…It’s supposed to be freeing. And it is. And it’s supposed to be private. 

But I decided: fuck that. For today anyhow.

…I’m exhausted and irritated and sad and embarrassed and my coffee is brewing. These things are not all related. But some are. So in the style of stream-of-consciousness, I will drink my coffee and fuck-all the rules today. Because I want to.

***

Woke up this morning with death in my mouth — left over Cajun tots coming back to haunt me. Washed my face twice but told my teeth to piss off. They will to me one-day, so: fuck ’em. God last night was horrible. Extra horrible. Will try to not focus on that right now–good fucking luck–but: whatever. Woke up thinking of a friend, and laughed. Friends are the best animals for help. During mini breakdown at intermission, when I couldn’t pull my shit together, going ghostly-motorboating actually made me laugh out loud, and prevent the torrent of black liner from streaming down my face, even further. I love that woman so much. I love all those women do damn much. This morning, it got me thinking of other funny things, which is how I segued to “Elvira’s” Stitch Box pants, and how she accidentally got her white body paint all over them, then, without thinking, automatically started brushing at them with with her hands to get it off…which only made it worse, so her ass looked like it had been mauled by a clown. And then I thought: Stitch Box, I should look that up. That’s a pretty cool gig. Because I hate clothes shopping second only to washing dishes…and she was telling me all about it…so  laying here in bed I look it up, and do the profile and ya-de-ya-da, until it asks me for a pintress page to help teach them my style. Which is hilarious, because if I had style I wouldn’t be needing someone to put me together so I wouldn’t have to be bothered. So then, I started to pintress, which is also hilarious, cuz I haven’t done that shit since first signing up, and now I’m punching in things like: “fashion,” and saying stuff like “WTF?!”, so then I punch in “Classic Style” and I’m all like: “Oh. Yeah. I like that. And that. And that…” and then Audrey Hepburn shows up — like she does– and I’m like, “fuck yes!” and that gets me thinking on what I enjoy wearing when other people dress me in shows, and so I punch in “1940s style,” and I’m gold-mining like a mutherfucker…for like a whole damn hour! And then I’m like: “there, that ought to be good enough,” and then I’m like, “Well, fuck, why do I need to pay someone to do that. I just did it. Why not just go shop WITH my pintress app??” …Like this is some totally unheard of concept, and I’d basically reinvented the wheel or something– but then I remembered that still meant putting on pants, and going out, and being around people, and children, and taking my clothes off in weird smelling rooms, and putting on things that probably won’t fit me and I’ll hate. And also: I want coffee, and last night was horrible, and why does embarrassment stay with you like a shame-hangover? And I need an oil change.

Sadness.

Great, welling awful. 

I’m so tired of fucking up. I’m so tired of fighting every day. Being positive is hard and horrible. Almost as bad as clothes shopping. I need to find a way to get through these final two performances. Like the pintress version of “doing” the task, but without all of the outside shitty part of being out there really doing the task. It would be super awesome if there was a performance version of shopping in your underwear. So much less intense. So many less voyeurs. And like a 100% success rate.

God. 

…I just want to enjoy these last two. I just want to work hard but have it mean something and work with me, instead of against. I just want a full-run do-over, with the same people. I just want even a single performance, where I’m not shaking on stage, and constantly worried about what is coming next. I want to be at “home” again, in my home.

Broken brains are just the mutherfucking worst.

I need more coffee.

…And a breakfast truck. Why the fuck does no one have one of those?? Would make a goddamn killing…!

…Why does my auto-correct STILL say “duck?” You’d think, by ducking now, my ducking phone would duck-well know what I’m really ducking saying. 

…And also: “ypu,” is not a word. It never was. So cut that shit out.

More coffee…

~D

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Dear My Blithe Spirits

3 Nov

I will have far too much fun participating in our final weekend of shenanigans, and late night post-show “Wakes,” to do this individually, so please accept this blog as my closing card, to the lot of you:

I showed up on your doorstep, as a broken mess, still very much contributing to my ongoing ill-health for the remainder of our rehearsal period. There were many nights and days (or whatever you call 3 am, time, after time, after time) when I just knew there was no mental way for me to pull this show off. I was empty. I was sick. 

…At one point, it was a serious discussion that I should leave.

…And while I was fighting all these many ghosts of shit, haunting me: you were there. Our team. From the highest leadership…who assured me that if I needed to leave, truly, there would be no less affection or support for me…that my  value as a human and their friend was higher than being a commodity, more than ticket sales, or recasting nightmares…to the front-of-house staff, and best damn bartender in town.

…Supported every single second by a beautifully talented SM, who was a calming voice of reason, and constant source of hugs and joy. Her team, which have been so incredibly dialed in at every moment. 

…Our designers and incredible painters, who built us a world of details and our stately home which they successfully destroy at every performance-end. 

…This team.

…And then: the ones on stage with me, who have covered god knows how many line fuck-ups, who are so generous with their smiles and naughtiness…who have pulled sweaty costumes off me in every quick change, and fed me freshly baked yum-goods, and given me so very much play-space on stage, and supported me when I failed, (so phenomenally), time and time again…helping me fool everyone who has seen this show–that there is nothing in the least amiss.

I am endlessly thankful for you all. And super Emo, heading into this final weekend of performances. It was a show I had no business taking on, let alone staying in, for probably everyone’s better interest. But you were (and are) always, always, always there. You never gave up on me. 

…So: I couldn’t. 

…So: I didn’t.

…So: I still haven’t.

“Thank you,” seems so very little in return. What you gave me was why the theatre has always been so essential to so many of us.

We are bigger, stronger, fiercer together. As a team. As artists. And despite my injuries, you brilliant bastards got me to the World Series, so when I was ready, and able: I could play.

I am so incredibly thankful for all of you fantastically talented freaks. And I promise to pay this all forward. Just as soon as I am able.

Thank you,

~D

Crazy Lady On The Beach

30 Oct

First week of bookwork is done, made all the boxes so could check all the things off…cuz that is the best part. 

…One of the things: my weekly “Artist’s Date,” I paired with my “Imaginary Lives” list, and went to be an Archaeologist for the afternoon, on Saturday. Not for real, of course, mostly as a gesture of representation. But when you’re hunched over with a plastic tub, and a gardening spade, sitting on your haunches at the seaside…picking at (and through) insignificant shit while curious dog walkers pass by, and kids stop to stare at you, cuz, “what the hell, lady?” It kinda steals a little of your thunder.

…Until you eventually start getting into it, and make a staging of your findings on some leaves for picture-taking purposes, and feel terribly importantly artistic as you try to flick those tiny crab claws open –because that’s just more aesthetically pleasing, and also: “Oh Fuck off! I’m trying to ART here, dude! You just picked your dog’s shit up in a hand baggie, and put it in your pocket. I totally saw you! Who’s the REAL wierdo here, really?!?”

(…I’m also dealing with anger issues. And being more positive…)

I am a work in progress.

Anyway…I picked at things buried under rocks and twigs, I took some arty pics, I sat on an “Alice” log, contemplating its navel. I breathed. I watched pokey sticks gouge at the shore. I wrote a little thing. 

…I Be’d.

…And then I went home, popped my findings in a baggy, and clipped em to my Wall of Wonder…to look back on. 

…Whenever. 

…To that one time I was a marine archaeologist. 

…Which is way better than being a poop-scooping, pocket warmer. So there.

“Only Alice Knows”“Breathe.”“Messy Bow”“Those metaphorical shards of life shit that just keep coming at you, wave after wave.”“Things Found”“The Random Details”

…I also managed my morning pages after a full night’s sleep, every night…found about four or five really good brain-dig findings, and that I am still PTSDing from that last show so hard, that just being on stage is upending me. 

I’m fighting the battle onward, in front of a live audience, nightly…which is my only option. An interestingly (when it’s not you, probably) terrifying, and often very hopeless feeling, which I get to share intimately, not only with my castmates…but the several hundred other people at a time who are (unbeknownst to them) paying to see it.

I can only do what I can.

A break after this show, (for quite a bit of time)…while I try and figure this shit all out, and learn to trust the stage again…is necessary. 

…Meanwhile, not unlike that dude with the dog: when shit happens, I palm it best as I can and pretend, as I fight on, that this is a totally normal part of life. 

…While super wishing I had a trashbin somewhere, to throw it the fuck away.

~D

My Brain Soliloquy

5 Apr

People talk a lot about Depression. They talk about Anxiety.This excites the hell outta me, because these things SHOULD be talked about. They are major issues for a major part of our society, and are absolutely not to be taken lightly.

…And we’ve seen the unfortunate affects of trying to ignore them.

…Something I additionally deal with (because my brain is just this uber sauce of awesome) is not as frequently discussed, and as a sister-cousin of Anxiety, can live and procreate and feed and feed and feed for days, weeks, months…sometimes even years…with no formal medical go-to coping mechanism.

There is no pill you can throw at it to reset the chemistry of your mind.

…So far, the only help you can offer to ease it is therapy to try and coach the brain alternatively. Which, for me, has worked exactly as effectively as tell me to calm down during an Anxiety attack–in that it helps zero-much.

Zero-much.

Hyperchondria kinda gets the bumb-wrap of Schizophrenia in how the world relates to its victims. What I mean by that is: they fold it into comedies on film to make a character more “interesting” or “dark” or “off” or “quirky” or just “disturbed” in general.

What I can tell you about actually HAVING it, is: there is not a single, solitary thing that is funny about it.

…I can make fun of my Anxiety (eventually) in nearly every circumstance, after it is over. That is how I regain my power back from what it has taken. It is how I “win.”

…I had been diagnosed since early childhood with Hyperchondria…and what I can tell you about it, is that never once have I “won” even a slight piece of ground, from it. The way that it has manifested in me is so deep, and from so young, for reasons which even the shrink couldn’t conjur up…and it is (and apparently always has been, and WILL be) a constant.

…And when I say “constant,” I mean: I am deathly afraid of at least one thing, if not also another, at all times. I can have fleeting moments without…sometimes even a few days…but I’ve never made it a week. I’ve never seen an illness of another and not mentally had to go to war with myself about it. To the worst case scenario. Every single time.

… I never have an itch or ache or bump that I don’t lose sleep over. 

…Literally: lose sleep over.

…And it is always a blooming congregation of thoughts, which bloom horribly. Death is not the “fear” here…it’s the prolonged torture of horrendously, slowly, long-term eventually dieing.

This disease (often coupled with Anxiety for obvious reasons) makes this horrible little forever nesting environment in my brain, where it can feed and fester…and does. And because it has been so constant, I have been able across the years to build up a bit of a functioning tolerance to it. 

…The brain will fight. It will fight hard for you. Which is pretty cool. When it isn’t tearing you apart.

…But sometimes I get into pockets where it begins to overtake me wholly. Much like hitting the ceiling in Anxiety, when I need to ultimately fold and take the damn Xanax.

…Only, as I said before…there IS no “Xanax,” or other chemical brother, that exists, which can help.

Which means…when I hit this supremely arresting level of legitimate terror –say, I’ve been in for a good while now, directly after I finished my last bout with Anxiety…it’s like no-sleep, sweaty-shakes, zombie-esc central.

…And that is always fun while performing a show, rehearsing another, and holding down a full time work week.

So: I battle. I keep losing. I’m terrified damn near every minute about at least three things that currently come to mind, and am even physically manifesting my terrors bodily as the ultimate thing that takes a Hypercondriac out of commission in any joy or normal life department.

And though talking about it, has never helped me. And laughing about it, is never a possibility. I guess I’m putting it here in print for those who suffer from it too.

The terror is real. I get it. I understand you. I know it doesn’t help you even a little bit to know that. But: now you do.

I know.

And: I’m really fucking tired of knowing it.

~D

Carrie Nailed That Shit

1 Mar

“If my life wasn’t funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”
-Fisher

According to Ms. Fisher: my life has been piss-your-pants hi-fucking-larious, for the whole of February. A lot of things were terrible, a lot of things maybe not-so-much, but still super uncomfortable. And a shit ton of changes from all of it, has whooped my ass so hard that by Sunday — still very much not yet done with my ass-kicking– I woke up and puked my guts out for no apparent reason, save emotional overload. 

…I know this, as I had no rhyme or reason for said puking. And for the first time in my life, I actually felt better after doing it.  Enough directly after, to undergo a four-hour callback, in fact.

Just this month alone there have been three family illness (two of which were hospitalized, one a beginning cancer treatment), Mom got downsized (along with 40 other people in the administration) at work, Harriet started making even stranger noises and neglecting to work above 40mph, I found an over $8,000 fraud charge on my credit report, and this weekend took the absolute cake with over four hours in new car haggling, insurance shopping and fighting, dead cell phone repurchase needs, and last night…the last of this fucked-up past 28 days: a rent raise notice spiking me $60 more per month.

What-the-actual-fuck you guys?!

New car payments. New insurance payments. New phone payments. New house payments. And what’s even happening with my credit?

…I need to win the goddamn lotto just to financially survive at this point. 

…I literally haven’t had time to even look at my taxes yet, so who the hell even knows what might come from that mess…as I am swimming in place the hardest I can, hoping to stay solvent afloat until…I dunno when.

When will it be safe?! I can’t even freaking tell!!

My little blips of oxygen come in the form of:

*Little-Man Cuz, is back home again

* Aunt L is killin’ it at Chemo

* Ma’s severance and unemployment somehow actually cover her bills for a few months, as she looks for what’s next

* I have a dependable car to get to work and rehearsal 

* I have a cellphone that can accept a charge.

* I said “No,” and held my ground, for hours and hours without a damn twitch, in that dealership and with my insurance

* I’m in a show with the capacity to throw all my angst channeling

* I might just get into that other one, so I could continue doing likewise, double-time, come April

* I’ve got the kind of family/friends you can bottom-out bitch to, who say things like, ” Here’s some bucks, I’ve got a weird feeling you’ll need it,” “Yeaaah. That’s fucked up. Lemme buy you a drink and we’ll go on a walk-and-talk…,” “I’m praying stuff stops sucking!” “Let’s art tonight, until 4 am!” and “No one won the Mega Millions yet. I got us a ticket. Start planning now…”

…Cuz, really? I still don’t know how I’m even cognizant right now. 

Thanks for being my team. Wish I was more worthy of my Badass Conspiracy Co.
I’m working on it. But the dues might kill me.

-D

While We’re Cheating, Know: I Miss You

8 Feb

Cecil and The Theatre Husband, are rehearsing “Gypsy, ” just down the street. They open two weeks before I do (45 minutes, just South.) 

…Together: they are teamed up as Louise and Herbie…in the strange only-theatre-way that one can, directly after playing man and wife, (with me, as their  oversexed –or under, depending on how you look at it– neighbor),  in “The Underpants. ”

It kills me, that I’m not there, partaking of their awesomeness and swimming in the absolute ease and delight that it is to work with them.

…But I’m also kind of super exhausted from our first first act work/run-thru, on my only third day of blocking into “Bountiful,” with like an 80% new-people-to-me team. 

…And: we kick total ass.

For custody battles, we’re splitting other former loves-of-the-past. I get my “Arcadian” arch nemisis, and fellow-actor-turned-Director…they get my “Black Coffee,” Ingenu. 

…It’s like an acting key-party of people swapping, and we’re all getting really good sex, but it’s still kinda like: “…But, I like how you just know to do that one thing. ” and,  “I’m jealous of this,” and,  “I sincerely cannot wait for you all to kick ass but: I’m a little pissed I can’t be part of it too.”

…So it goes…with greedy, creative, bastards, like us.

It’s not about “greener pastures.” It’s about “having any fun at all without me.” 

…And it’s also the pride in one another. And the fact that our shows are staggered so we will all get the chance (ultimately) to bask in the creative, ridiculously talented glow of one another.*

(*We’re super humble, too…) 

 …But meanwhile: it makes, “How was rehearsal tonight? ” a kind of super-loaded question. 

…The kind where you’re like, “Good sex. Different. Learned a lot. Miss that ‘thing’ you do. ”

…And the other guy goes:

 “Yeah. Me too. ”

~D

Win-Losses & Trannies

4 Feb

I am pacing every room I inhabit with a bright yellow script -highlighted all to hell- as my companion. 

The script is fast becoming mutilated. They always do.

…I fuck up a line, cuz I forget which tense she’s in now, or which version of name-dropping she’s on, or where the hell that one line even comes from -which is why I keep forgetting it. So: I let a string of expletives burst out from self-frustration, and start again. 

…I’ve been doing this for hours, every day. Since Monday. 

…And I am very, very happy. 

This is the kind of thing that makes theatre people look like freaks. I know that. As much as I know that fighting with that yellow script over words, is an awesomely frustrating and gratifying kind of brain-foreplay right now. And my escape. 

I used to hate this part: getting off-book. I’ve decided that I don’t now…and maybe never really did. I wanted the words right away so I could get to work. Only, that was part of the work. The agonizing over every word choice and its place,  just as much as the playwright once did…this is where the relationship work starts

…Why can’t she stick to a goddamn topic even within any three sentences in any one monologue?!  She’s like a bee,  flitting from flower to flower without any structure whatsoever. And then all of a sudden: she’ll bounce back to that one flower over there again, or that one over there, with no transition of thought, and no complete communication on any story she starts, at any time. 

…My God, she is frustrating to track. 

…And that’s gotta be exhausting as hell to live like,  you would think. Always amped up about something, always chattering away about another, always splitting focus as many ways as possible, so she ultimately doesn’t say much of anything, until all at once: she explodes for what seems like a totally superficial reason. 

…Trying to track and learn her words, I feel more empathy for her fellow characters than herself. 

…Sitting down to book-work of WHY she is like this –in between line sessions — I’ve become her insider-champion. 

…In between: I’ve got a lot of damn work to do. Which is fucking amazingly lucky. And so this weekend, I will continue to pace and recite and yell at myself and her and Horton Foote, as the bastards we all are for putting me in this situation. 

…But in all the good ways. 

…Which is the only solace I’ve got at the moment with a fucked-up car transmission and no money to pay for it. 

I work ten minutes from home. I can borrow a car for rehearsal commutes. Mine hasn’t totally blown up. As yet. But it will. There’s nothing I can do about that. Which helps me mentally: not at all. 

…My brain this past week has been pulled from here to there, with worries,  frustrations, anger, hyperventilations and total fears …absolutely just as erratically as Jessie Mae in this script has. 

So: from where I sit now, here’s two things I know–

1. If I keep myself busy enough to not think about it as much as I can, maybe I can delay the inevitable from sucking the absolute life out of me, in the mean time. 

2. Horton Foote might be a fucking genius. 

~D

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