Tag Archives: Blog

Um, ?

12 Dec

‘Member when I was a Fitbit guru and pushed like 40,000 steps a day? ‘Member when I had that fresh-air kick for like two years? And, ‘member how I was still super depressed a lot of time because of life stuff, but you know — thinner?
…I think I miss that.

Dude, it’s been like eight weeks since I closed my last show and I’ve still yet to pull myself into gear, physically. Have been working my ass off on the good brain joojoo (or juju or, Hey…I did that DNA test thingy, so now I know I could even JewJew it)…anyway, I got the mental health crap all revved up to full gear and am trying my best (even on shitty days)  to focus on goodliness, and am sleeping like the dead most nights. So, its not like I’m totally slacking. It takes a hell of a lot of work, actually, to keep up with that book and all its many explorations. 

…Meantime, it’s cold out, and my pants from last season feel like I’m stuffing an elephant into pantyhose, and it’s not comfortable or cute.

I’ve got to get in gear back with the walking and dear God, pull back at least 50% on my volume of consumption. It’s like I’m panic-eating every time I sit down…what savage war is my body preparing for that it thinks could have been worse than what I’ve just gone through?

–Know what? Don’t answer that. Pretend I never brought it up. 

And if you love me, next time we meet you’ll bring veg and hummus instead of chips and those pillow crack-cookies slathered in iceing.

Enough!

The misery beyond even a weight scale, is that of your engorged now-gut, hula-hooped round it’s middle with a choke-hold attempting to breathe, while sitting at a desk 9 hours a day.

…And to that end. This is my absolute last eggnog anything.

…So help me god!

(slurp-slurp-gurgle)

…oh. I want to puke…

~D

Well, Fuck.

10 Nov

 I have succeeded in taking care of myself zero much this week. I’ve only 7 things on my Wonder Wall “Do Me” list, and I’ve only even touched 2. Things like “going to bed earlier” and “getting my walks in” didn’t even *make* the fucking list. Not even, “maybe detox a bit,” after Monday’s post-closing hangover — where I invented almost a mathematical equation of the amount of times you can dehydrate and rehydrate yourself in a given space of one nine-hour work day. (I stopped counting after 8.)
…And that was only on wine…

…Which will tell you how much was probably involved.

You guys, I over extended myself in Every capacity, socially, mentally, lack-of-physically, I’ve had no more than 3 waking hours to myself all week. And I’ve two more things still to do. And I’m going to do them. Because putting anything off at this point is fucking pointless. Damage is already done. 

…So despite every day, walking past my damn living room bar with an almost audible, “Oh, Fuck off,” tonight, I B-lined to it.

I started with the money bar and a sipping shot. Getting wasted might help tonight, but not so much tomorrow. So, I’ll sip on my Buckingham Palace, gold-rimmed shot of Suntory Whisky Toki, and plan my next spoiling. I will taste my way through a night of good stuff and not kill the new elephant-walking neighbor upstairs. 

…I will unload on all of you, then go attempt to read that damn book I keep picking up and can’t focus on. Or maybe I’ll say fuck that, and just lay here waiting for Bud to arrive, listening to the Glenn Miller Pandora channel that I would be getting ready to right now, had the show not wrapped on Sunday.

This is my first week in many, where that wasn’t a thing. Where I wouldn’t be setting my hair right now, and running my lines for the 10,000th time. 

…And in about ten minutes, I’d be in the dressing room, greeting the ladies, popping the music on again, getting into the flow, and trying to pretend I wasn’t nervous as fuck about how very many ways I could (and probably would), screw up tonight. 

…In a few minutes, I’d be laughing despite all that (because: theatre), shoving some awesome Mdm Arcadi baked good in my face, (in lieu of dinner,) sipping on my 6th black coffee for the day, wishing to God it was this whiskey.

 …And despite the fact: it never would be, and despite how terrified I was, I’d still rather be in that room than not in that room.

…Even without the whiskey.

I’m not even well enough to function “generally” and I want back in the the place that freaks me out ten ways to Sunday.

Figures.

Why wouldn’t it be that way?

Why would anything make sense, except my inability to get my damn shit together?

I’m bone-tired. And heart-sad. And super thankful for the team I’m not with tonight, who I would be, if we hadn’t demolished it all to fuck, 5 days ago.

…Also: I need to pick another sipping whiskey.

Except: no, I won’t. The next one is for my Blithe’s.

One Bombay Sapphire, in memory of the yous.

…Love you nerds. Miss yuh like my mental acuity. 

XO and all that,

~D

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

I’ll Have What She’s Having

1 Nov

You know how sometimes you are so conflicted, or so hungry, or so PMSey that you think you want a big ol’ plate of this thing over here, but when your buddy’s plate comes to the table, you feel like that was what you should have chosen instead…but then they see that look in your eyes and are all, “Split-share?” (…cuz all your friends are equal foodies), and your taste buds and guts go, “Yeeeesss! Best of both worlds!” and everything is all-the-flavors-of-awesome?

…That is what going to a friend’s show is like. 

…Kinda always super wish you were working with them, but sometimes you just had to try for that other thing over there, instead…cuz of the stuff…and you did, and lots of times its good, but if you somehow have a skewed performance schedule, (or can sneak into a rehearsal of a limited run, like I am tonight), it’s like all the salty, sweet, buttery and garlicy goodness, wrapped up in both life-plates.

So, I’ll be art-eating super good tonight, at one of the final rehearsals, for an already sold-out run, of a dear friend, whose passion and empathy knows no bounds.

Damn, I’m so proud of her, and the team she has collected to create this amazing piece of historical theatre!

Let’s eat!

~D

First Day On Set

27 Aug

Today we meet our set. Always an exciting time, but I’ve been freaking out about it for days.

…Because not only is it angles and staircases and platforms and sofas and multiple tables…kitchen and laundry appliances…with things like live flame and giant death fights, and practical light sources, which eventually will go down to 2% blues and black…

…I’m doing it all blind. Because my character is.

…So, take you out of the rehearsal room, where touch as marker, how many steps, at what angle, and what texture and size has been accruing in your mind across nearly two months, on a single surface…and put in totally different measure in depth and width, with added levels and stairs, ever revolving new props as they are subbed in from rehearsal to show versions…and keep in mind, you cannot visually mark a damn thing to help you, and know you have nine days on this set to pull it all off by Preview.

Soft-focus is the landed perspective I’m working in. (Like if you spaced out and tried to focus closer while doing it…a kind of duplicate out-of-focusing.) It removes all sharpness to your visuals, and heavily handicaps your peripheral. On top of which you don’t look toward the action or person…your ears are the primary focus, so they can pick up echoes, bounce-back off surfaces that can relate information like a bat uses sonar…explaining room layout, depth, where people are standing, how close another object is, the configuration of a hallways width, a doorway versus as wall, and general movement…etc. 

…Doing all this means that the usual safety standards for actors on set, in blackout, or partial light, aren’t going to help me. Glowtape on the lip of the stairs means fuck-all. Spike tape is meaningless, unless it is in an area I can physically feel with my fingertips. If I place a prop in the scene and it falls, I have to take the time to search it out on hands and knees and restore it, even if mid-fight, mid task of something else, and not depend on someone nearest to cover, or there is no way the character would know where it is for later. It means bruises I’ve already accrued will magnify greatly, as I have to relearn every new angle and movement pattern, forwards and backwards, all over again. The configuration of her movement, in subtly using the furniture in her home to get her from “A” to “B” to “C,” now changes in angle and needs to be relearned and adjusted. It used to take five steps in the rehearsal room to get from here to there, and eight to that place, but now will it take seven, eight, and ten? How do I redistribute my line delivery time to cover that, or do we need to start two lines earlier because now I have an entire staircase to climb?

…How can I be safe? And when they add stage lights to my already halo-like, duplicate-vision, what the hell is that gonna do to impare me even further?

The role has always been on the bucket list…and it’s great work because of how many challenges it throws at you. But this is the moment I have always been most scared of. There is very little anyone can do to help me, and I have a very short learning curve to get a whole hell of a lot dialed in. And it all completely affects the pacing, tension, and presentation of the entire show if I can’t figure it out. 

…So: no pressure or anything.

It’s 10am. I already need a drink.

~D

…Meanwhile: On Stage

23 Jul

“One should always start a bucket-list role, and new job, within one day of each other on the same week,” said no one, ever.

…And yet: due to crazy scheduling for the summer, this is somehow my fourth week of work and end of my first week of rehearsal, with only the initial read going on a head-to-header.

“Wait Until Dark.”

…A classic thriller, period piece, with severe study prep requirement.

I love it.

Much psychological work, even more– physical. A sighted person gone blind, with zero percent light sensitivity, and only within the single year of her rehabilitation, six-months a newlywed, terrorized by three professional thieves and murderers.

Acting: gold. With a lot of room for error.

…Bring it.

This is my favorite. The more specific the limitations, the more specific the work. I’ve a plethora of materials I’m diving into, a list of props I’m constantly working with at home to develop specifics with, a working mental map of the set layout, for movement and point of reference,  many revisits to my severely sight-handicapped Annie Sullivan days, rehabilitation specific of the 60’s offered treatments, and constant focus work…to find the best levels for safety and movement.

…Seventh-freakin-heaven.

…And tonight, finally got to see “Maudie,” bio pic, which I had been salivating over since first seeing the trailer…to study the beautiful, beautiful performance, by Sally Hawkins.

 …Which one might think has absolutely nothing to do with this: yet absolutely does. Tonight I watched it for the art, but I WILL be seeing this piece several times for technique… and revisiting another favorite performance of Marion Cotillard in  “La Vie En Rose,” along with (strangely, “Miracle Worker,” on Helen specifics), “Patch of Blue,” “Ray,” and the Koren crime thriller, “Blind.”

…Of course there are the specifics of the disability to adhere to, but it is the truth and quality of life beyond the disability, which is my focus. “Maudie” nailed that beautifully. People who happen to be in this particular circumstance, who fight not to let it define them, or limit them.

Yes.

Again, a soul much braver than mine, with a much sunnier outlook of possibility. It will do me good to fight for her. And I’m thankful for the team I get to do it with.

…And I need to go and work on it, now. Especially with that beautiful, delicately, specific example just having been before me.

…Only wanted to state that: all is not lost in office-hell feelings of incompetence and newness. Some is very safe and happy in art-joy and yayness.

…Which should prob’ly have been the lead story, there. Trust me to bury the good shit.

~D

Almost One Month

20 Jul

I have two very good friends who recently came back from a month living abroad in Paris.

…They are multiple-discipline artists, who went, not as tourists, but to live and work amongst the natives. They are writers and painters and chefs and builders of bookshelves and boxes of homemade goods you can send all over the world, to administer creature comforts and small tokens of love to people you know…far and near. They had saved up their pennies and dollars and coffee allowances for god only knows how long, in order to secure that tiniest of flats with only a hot plate and toaster oven, in that magical city…because that experience was a requirement for their art and soul. So they made it happen.

…And so, (naturally) the leading question of nearly every person who sees them since they’ve come back, is more of a demanded statement: “Didn’t you just have the most amazing time ever?!?”

…And the answer: it isn’t quite exactly what one might expect. 

It is something like this:

“It was incredibly difficult. And we’re really glad we went.”

This does not mean it went poorly. This does not mean they didn’t enjoy it. It means: sometimes, even getting what you want is hard work. Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed no matter how prepared you think you are. Sometimes the language barrier, the tiny living conditions, the just not being where you know everything and where it is and should be, is stressful and exhausting and…a lot.

One month can be a long time.

…And I feel like all of that, is exactly where I am with this new job. 

Somewhere inside, I have to believe I am at the place I am supposed to be, but my fourth week in: my struggles are not rosey and beautiful. They are hard. Still. Like stress headaches and tear-bursting-while-on-the-toilet, kind of bad.

…I miss the stupid fact of just “knowing” things. I miss auto-piloting my day-to-day masses of crap. I miss being overwhelmed, yet still feeling fully capable. I miss that when shit came down– I knew how to fix it.

I have been, and always will be, my toughest critic. I expect a lot of myself. And yet I feel like a grace-period of a month is more than sufficient to not feel like this anymore.

…I’m in mutherfucking Paris!

…I should just be blissfully contented beyond relief!!

…Isn’t this what I wanted?! Isn’t this what I left for?! More money and some damn self respect? 

I’m the holder of a Company Credit Card. Head of all accounts. Unlimited spending on whatever the hell I need to make this place bop and beep to whatever the hell tune I want it to.

 …And yet…

One month in– I somehow miss that abuseful bastard job, like it was my own pillow.

What-the-actual-fuck, you guys.

I’m exhausted. Still. Only kinda more so. And feel too full to add any more in. I *think* I’m still glad I left, but that totally depends on the day. 

I saved up all my “hope” pennies, and dollars to get here…and it isn’t heaven at all. I don’t super understand the language. The numbers are kinda douchey, but they treat me like a person and buy me lots of really good coffee.

…Yet, I am still incredibly overwhelmed.

This is all to say: New job – still processing.

~D

Last Day

23 Jun

Today: I end a ten-year shitty relationship with my job.

…In this day and age, that is epic stay-power, but I’d have to state truthfully this was more from fear of change and the “devil I don’t know,” than anything else. As is often the case with toxic relationships, this one seduced with constancy, and the thought that “this is better than nothing.” As if it was my responsibility to take the years of bull shit, because isn’t that what you have to do when you’re an adult and have bills to pay?

 … Doesn’t everyone who doesn’t make their primary wage via their passion, hate their job?

My theory was always: more or less, yes. None of us want to do the “thing we have to,” so we are all more or less in our own little “Office Space” versions of Hell.

…But what if it doesn’t have to be that way? What if you don’t have to hate the place you spend 8 hours a day at, five days a week? I’m not saying it will take the place of your passion, I’m just saying: maybe it doesn’t have to suck the absolute life and soul out of you.

…What if?

I waited too damn long to gamble that option. And today, I walk away from what I know, and freefall into that which I do not. On the lists of terrors, that’s epic height for Anxiety-fueled people. 

…But I’m doing it. With faith. With hope. With a whole hell of a lot of cheerleaders in my friends and family who have done nothing but back me 3000% of the way.

…It takes a lot of guts to stay by your post no matter how bad the weather gets. It takes more to realize that the storm isn’t your problem, not of your making, and aside from standing beside a friend in need…nothing is worth living like this. For years and years.

It’s only money.

I am not for sale.

I am worthy of a relationship demanding respect in all aspects of my life. Even the place where I earn my bread and butter.

Even my non-dream job.

Dignity.

This is the day, I get me some.

~D

Random

6 Jun

Often, I don’t know how I have survived this far. 

…I am sound enough in mind to hold down a job and function, and do all the adulting of paying bills (etc.) I’ve pulled a giant week already. It’s only Tuesday, and have already done payroll for 14 builders, balanced $900,000 in Open Orders, assigned 40 jobs, built nearly 80 contracts, did rehearsal for a Planned Parenthood benefit read, and tonight had another phone interview so intense, my butt started sweating.

…I hung up from that call with yet another interview (on Thursday) set, and two more hoops to jump through after that. So I immediately drove to the the site (in order to find it with ease, later), came back home again for a walk (in what I like to call “Money Hill,”) through sunset, while listening to my absolute favorite West Wing Weekly podcast episode to date (“Bartlet for America”), and now: I’m home.

Home, and cooking my dinner of tots, with a side of Mai Tai, listening to Caitlyn Moran’s ” How To Be A Woman.”

It is 10:47.

A part of me worries that as an adult human, this is just part of life. One can’t really say, “right now,” as I’m not exactly 20, with room to grow out of it. Ate a goat cheese arugula and cranberry salad for dinner last night. And now: I’m popping too-hot potato-coals into my mouth, laughing at both the pronunciation and content of the book, while simultaneously thought-posting and drinking juice-spiked alcohol.

I got my walk in. I did my work. I performed one hell of an interview. I have plans (after this) to turn in my 40th application, before bed.

(Literally, my 40th. I am not playing at random number drops.)

This is my life.

I’ve just got to accept it.

…Caitlyn is now on a stint talking about the labia, pronouncing it, “lab-ia,” and I am (not for the first time) charmed by our tomatoes/toe-ma-toes cultural differences. It is a rare moment ‘tween a myriad of “minge” and “front-bottom” when she calls out the actual anatomy. My favorite thing about this book is that The Brits have more ways to talk about private parts, without ever actually saying the name of the private part, than probably any other people in all of time. And also: Moran is pretty fierce. I’m not 100% on her team…but like 90% is a damn good sell these days.

…Meanwhile: am out of tots and I’ve got more job boards to scour. 

It is 11:10.

…Lets do this thing…

~D

33, And Counting…

25 May

 I have 33 job applications out there. 

…Have taken 5 Interviews so far, and every day at work is like trying to survive a crawfish boil…as a fucking crawfish.

Once you get really serious about it, applying for a new job is actually taking on a second full-time job, unto itself. You really can’t half-ass it if you want to win your release from this other job-Hell.

…Course, adding to that problem, is the fact that you already have that full-time job which is stressing you out this badly to begin with.

…So: you get monster headaches and migraines and stress-cry-release in your car at lunch, while sitting in the Amtrak parking lot under a tree…(the closest, safest place just off campus)…where you hit the job boards some more, do your call-backs, conduct your first-round phone interviews…then go back to work and dive into that shit-hole for another four hours, before you come home, take a walk to at least *try* and uphold some form of mental health release, then hit the job boards again…with Buffy figuratively slaying all your life-shit in the background. 

Until you pass out.

My strategy is simple: get out. Whatever it takes.

…Except not really “whatever”…which is why I still don’t have a new job.

I won’t give up nights or weekends. Thems theater holy times, and I am unwavering in my faith. 

…If this whole thing has taught me nothing else, it is that middle management is the butt-boy of already shitty Corporate U.S.A. No life, or outside interests, and willingness to do absolutely anything for money has become a minimum qualification. Fuck your degree.

…Guys: it’s only money.

I’ve skipped paying a bill before. Ain’t never skipped a performance. That’s my quantifier of “life balance.”

…And so: I search on.

…And on, and on, and on…

…So many job boards: I wanna puke. So many applications, I have to log the fuckers just to keep track from email to voicemail to first and second interview notes. The back of my car is a damn mobile office, less a fax machine. I’ve got my Interview Suit on permanent stand-by, front of my closet. And the risk of losing my shit in a stress blow-out at any moment of day or night, is, (I feel), imminent. 

(Someone should be selling tickets.)

…Yet, I plaster that crap on, for every single phone call I get, offering me hope. I’m the most charming mutherfucker you’ve ever met! You only wish you could hire me! If only I’d sell my soul and give up every Saturday and Sunday, and take the second shift after hours, Friday…

But: I won’t.

I’m bruised as hell, but I’m still standing. After TEN YEARS in this damn place. 

…I can make is a few weeks more, to stand by the few morals I have left.

So few…

…Sooo few…

…I mean: where’s a damn casting couch when you need one…?!

~D

This Time, In NA…

5 May

Studied up and ready to open “Water By The Spoonful” tonight, with an energized and eager company. Fantastic post-preview talks, last night, with some of the production-family, reinvigorated my brains within Odessa’s headspace. 

…I love nothing better than spinning those connecting webs of collaboration…from the AD to the Costume Designer to the Actor, and how each take and builds from the others’ contribution, making this art-from-art kind of Celtic knot of seamless (we hope) common goal-reaching.
Am proud of this team, and honored to be a part of it.

…And honored to portray those who struggle with substance abuse issues…to tell their story as truthfully as we can, as raw and naked and serving the fact of that moment to moment struggle. Am very thankful at how much research I needed to do on the NA side of things…in that I have been fortunate to not have the first-hand knowledge of its world. The devastation it leaves in its wake is such an astonishing payment with ripple effect. After living in that headspace even only as an actor, the empathy for its victims is another study on the frailty in our humanity…but also the stubborness of our strength, the frustration in our circumstance, the fate of our birth, the pomposity and arrogance of our gambles with death, and the fight and fight and fight we can put up, when life throws fists in our faces, time and time again.

It’s a hell of a piece of theatre.

…And a pretty damn good production. (If I do say so myself.)

And: I do.

Happy Opening, team!

~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

We All Look Like A Tim Burton

21 Mar

How you know someone is mid Tech Week # 10:
They show up in public looking like a damn disaster, and give zero shits.

…At night, this might not be so very glaring…in the day time, in line at the grocery story, or under office lighting…it’s straight-up horrifying. I just caught sight of myself in the office bathroom mirror, and I’d cast me right now in any zombie movie ever. As-is. Or as someone with horrible (multiple) substance abuse issues.

…Or, anything by Tim Burton.

Last night’s remenants of water proof mascara…which truly apparently IS…is still clinging and bleeding down my lower lid, onto the exhausted bags under my eyes. My 50’s hair of curls from last night, are a wild, crunchy, fro of untamed fury. And while I was too tired to shower this morning, or more than slap some face base on, I am kept from total cadaver status, only due to the (I’m sure) toxic lip stuffs I use to stain my mouth that insanely red-red that no one but whores and Drag Queens now use. And whereas I would mind zero-much being compared to a Drag Queen, I unfortunately rather suggest a lower-end former in appearance.

…I LOOK, like I’m in the middle of Hell Week. Every classic symptom. From shitty exhausted lack of hygiene, to the overwhelming desire to fall asleep into my fifth cup of black coffee.

…And, I dunno if its the ongoing weather trend or not, but people have been just enormously shitty for two days solid on call after call after call.

 …And, Mrs. Johnson showed up last night.

I just took my first (and only) break of the day at 1:45. We have our first early call tonight. I haven’t walked out doors or had a whiff of clean air in two days. They’ve added a command performance on Tuesday. The pills aren’t helping the general warzone of my lady regions.

…I want to go home.

And sleep.

But strangely enough, even more than that…I want a clean run of this show. And I want it: tonight.

~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

The New 40?

15 Feb

Dudes. 

…I’m outting my Mom. Today, she turned 60. And it’s really wierd. 

…Not because Mom is 60 necessarily, but that 60 isn’t remotely what it used to be -but our brains just can’t help going there in picture-processing. 

My Gram, at 60, looked not only exactly like a Gram, but also, every bit of 60. It wasn’t a crime then, to be that age, for one thing. And it wasn’t a crime to look it. 

Life had kinda kicked that whole generation in the ass…when you think about it…from being born in the Depression, to two back-to-back wars, raising a shit-ton of children in the Donna Reed years,  through sexual revolutions, civil unrest, a bunch of assassinations, forever chain-smoking cocktail parties, and then watching their kids deal with everything from Vietnam to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. 

…No wonder they looked every second their age (and sometimes, even more.) 

But Mom’s generation…the ones that survived Vietnam and drugs and AIDS and free-love fall-out… they sorta flipped this switch on the aging rules, which will never flip back again. All of a sudden, they were thrown into 80’s fitness kicks and people started divorcing themselves from butter sauces and “cholesterol ” became this whole thing…as did the magnification of youth-creams and serums and face-lifts…which my generation picked up and fueled even more. 

A state of social consciousness on the necessity to never grow older became this “thing.” A mother literally looking young enough to be their own daughter became some wack kind of goal in life…screwing with every time-table and half of the faces in Hollywood. 

(Blinking should never be a kegel exercise…but that’s just my opinion.)

…Mostly, the worrisome thing is that what was hidden under the “health” mantra, seemed to at the same time shame any woman who looked like she belonged or could claim her current decade on earth, any time at all after 20.

…Which super sucks. Not only for the woman in question, but the generations who follow her…thinking that these are (and must be)  the rules. Which gets into this whole political bent, I’m not even gonna get into right now. 

…But what I guess I’m saying is that:

My Mom turned 60 today. And she is a survivor of a lot of shit and a succeeder through even more, and I think that instead of hiding that fact, and this day– instead of masking or down-playing it…instead of pretending it’s less time, with less work, or less reason to shout that shit from the damn rooftops–one ought to embrace the flying fuck out of it! 

So: Happy Six Decades of planet-life, and the winning of every single day that got you here! Be proud of it,  Mama! 

Cuz, sure am! 

Love, 

~Your Kid

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

Honest Fight

19 Jan

There should be a way to fight this, “dirty. ”

…There should be a mental equivalent of brass-knuckle-packin’ fisticuffs you can haul out…and hair you can pull. You ought to be able to scratch it’s mutherfucking eyes out, bare-handed. You should be able to draw and see blood, to leave a wound with a scar that you can visualize later at other shitty times,  so you can point at it and say: “See?!  Kicked your ass that time, so I can damn-well do it again! ”

…If there was a way to fight this shit, dirty. I’d have long since done it by now. 

 …It can’t possibly be more taxing on my body than the only way I have to fight it: which is this absolutely exhausting step-by-step process…which besides the drudgery of “sameness, ” costs more and more frustration and stress with less and less yield. Because my brain is not playing fair. 

…So, IT can fight dirty as hell…and I’m stuck with throwing walks and meditation at it, feeling like some chumped up asshole whose just letting the inmates run the asylum from plays of sheer overpowering insistence. 

I don’t like losing. I don’t like being tied and strapped up in a helpless configuration of a straight jacket that my brain from time to time gets thrown into. I am in one right now…truth-told: I have been for a while. I am exhausted from fighting it. I keep waiting to find the combo out, and can’t. I’m doing all the “right” things,  fighting cleanly by all the “right” rules. 

…And it all means dick. 

It is beating the shit out of me. 

…And I have no choice…none whatsoever…but to let it. 

And it makes me mutherfucking FURIOUS. 

I am exhausted. I can’t work any harder than I am. I can’t screw a pretend smile and positive outlook on my face any more hours a day than this. I am losing my sense of personal strength as I try to temper my temper…my ONLY available asset I feel confidence in. I want to let the Hulk out and do a shit ton of damage…to show my brain that my will and fight IS stronger than “it.”

…And while that would feel absolutely AMAZING for a while: liberating and ass-kicking and power -infusing…I know that you cannot strong-arm this shit to “win. ” It is a lie that makes you feel good for a time..but it ends up costing so much more in the end. 

Like: your sanity. In full. 

…My rage right now is so great, that to unleash and feed it would be to throw a fifth of whiskey down it’s throat, tear off all it’s clothes, and go on a wild ride of nights full of random, wild, fuck-you, abandon. 

…Which is all fun and games and liberation. Until you wake up alone, in some other person’s bed you don’t know, and can’t remember what the hell even happened. 

My rage at my mental illness is exactly like an alcoholic blackout binge. 

…How else am I supposed to fight it? How else do I feel like I have any power at all?  When every “good for me” weapon is so supposedly “peaceful” and “enlightening ” and so very often feels totally and completely ill equipped for the monster fight it wakes up to…every day now for quite some time. 

I am tired of fighting an honest fight. 

I am tired of taking long walks every day in fresh air. 

I am tired of trying to refocus and meditate. 

I am tired of pretending I’m not scared about 11,000 ordinary things on any given day. 

I am tired of trying to spin my mental nightmares into something funny to laugh at in public, as they continue to privately terrify me. 

You are my people. This is this fucking blog’s purpose. I am standing here saying,  “I know I’m not alone. There are a lot of us. And we are all fighting and all tired.”

I know that. 

In the same “deep-truth” place where I also know that in some nondescript amount of time…just from out of nowhere, I will turn a corner…my brain will settle down a bit, and some semblance of peace (or at least far less struggle)  will come again. 

…But that time is not now. And while I fight on, I needed to stand up in the room and say:

It’s bad times. 

I am frustrated. 

I am very angry. 

I am tired. 

I am still FUCKING IN HERE. 

~D

On Days When I Only Do 3 Things

17 Jan

Here’s the deal: Anyone who knows me,  knows that I multitask like a mutherfucker. 

 …Seriously. I could win awards. 

…And it’s only cuz: that’s how my brain works. I don’t know another option. I’d prob’ly sleep a hell of a lot better if I did. But it isn’t in me. 

…I am a person who needs ten things to happen at once,  because five is just wasting time. I honestly cannot remember a point of my life not being like this,  and I come by it honestly,  as my mother is exactly the same. 

…But with that,  I also have this artistic mind. So I want to mutli-task that,  too. 

…And I get really irritated (and/or feel like I’ve totally dropped the ball)  if I don’t deliver on that. 

Sunday, I did three things: drank two cups of coffee,  ate breakfast,  and saw a movie. That is all. My entire day was soaked up in three seperate things I didn’t even combine when I could, so obviously : I lost. 

…Lost “what, ” I dunno. But I didn’t do “the job of me. ”

…So that rolls into today both needing to overachieve (like you can make up on it or something), or at the very least,  self-dictate NOT to be the “waste” that yesterday was…(though it wasn’t really…and I know that in the reasonable part of my head, where I’m allowed breaks like everyone else.)

…What I’m saying is: with no rehearsals to go to, lines to learn or work,  or crap to be responsible for: I just had a lazy Sunday…which felt irresponsible and weird. And guilted me into caring much too much about going to work on a Bank Holiday. 

The end. 

~D

For Piss Sake

11 Jan

It is the third day of Boss being at the Corp meeting out-of-State. It is the fourth day without a printer/fax/scanner, the second major fire day due to Customer Service order entry errors at Corp, customers keep calling to make last second product changes for shit we do not have in stock… AND, the sewer lines are shot, so I have no place to pee out this well-intentioned tea-detox I started,  last night. 

…Technically, we shouldn’t even be OPEN without a working place to pee. And yet, here I am,  squeezing my pee-part muscles as hard as I can, because I am the only one here (again), and am still waiting for authorization for the multiple thousand-dollar repair estimate to be “ok’d,” by a guy who can pee any fucking time he wants to,  off the side of the goddamn yacht he’s on right now, at the Corporate meeting. 

(…And I know this to be true,  as I saw the Yacht Club dress code requirements, stipulated in their travel itinerary.) 

…Am super glad I started that Calm sleep app two days ago…because “exhausted ” on top of this would have pushed me over the edge. Right now,  I’m rested, supremely irritated,  and really really have to pee. 

…It could be worse,  is what I’m saying–without invitation for it to become so. 

A printer is “supposed” to arrive today. The WHS Chick is “supposed” to come back from her ongoing 3-hour-long paint pickup trip (at some point), and whatever all that may be: I AM leaving early today (after all this ditching business) and someone else will have to deal with the Roto Rooter guy this afternoon. 

…Cuz, fuck this noise. 

In Other News: Put in for another audition that popped up from outta nowhere on the boards, it doesn’t look to be raining after work during my hill-hiking time,  and am doing bud script brainstorm session with my Pan of a Princess Leia after dinner. 

So: this now-crap is all cosmetic dirt under my feet. Very, very soon. 

…Oh look,  the FedEx truck. Gotta go learn network wiring now… 

~D

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