Tag Archives: Blogs

Wendy, Darling

29 Nov

I’ve tentatively started work on my next show…only a read, but requires much research. 

…Autobiographical, journalist, can’t pronounce half the shit in it, power-play of ladydom.

(aka: Pfeni in “Sisters Rosensweig.”)

…Didn’t touch any of the bookwork during the last circus of events, barely cracked the spine of her bio on the trip home and back, but had started last night, for a bit, with Mdm Director binging the sisters and niece to see about our first family meet up since the first read, months ago, just tonight.

This was always on the books, before my brain started curdling, and it’s stayed for many a purpose. I knew I’d have at least one month off the boards, knew it would be a gentler ride for only a staged reading (albeit a damn good one), and, MOST essentially, I knew I could trust the person in power to protect us all.

…I’m very very big on that, now.

This time away has sucked because it was absolutely necessary, but has been wonderful, because I chose to work and use it. I’ve learned a lot (and still will be), and have drawn new boundaries and requirements. 

Quality over quantity. Forever. 

…I will only work with the best of the best, the people who teach and support and grow others (and themselves.) I will only work with a team who is all in, all ready, all on the same page, of wanting to support one another. This will limit my options, I will say, rather drastically. And it probably needs to. 

No. It does. It needs to.

I am not in a place, artistically or otherwise, to allow myself any other version of requirement. Because it is my dedication level, and I cannot survive without receiving a like amount of emotional energy back from those I am investing mine in. I feel it too much. I wear it on my freakin soul. It is who I am, and my love of this beast, requires it of me.  

…And I’m glad to love my life–what I do, what I identify as–and am proud that it has become so deeply threaded in me…but damn…do I need to take better care of the instrument!

So, hey…now it is: reading Wasserstein bios, circling tons of references I need to look up, and embracing my NY Jewish theatre-girlness, in tandem with Artists Way blurb-spewing, Morning Page dumps, and every once in a while, still staring at an empty page…wondering when the hell I’ll come up with something to put on it.

…Also, retreat-groups, and synchronic networking, and looking up old friends, and writing amends, and taking walks (short, but there, again.) I’ve made more chums, tried new things, admitted stuff, been designer-dressed and gifted whole wardrobes, pinned world’s of thoughts to my Wall, tried to break down other ones that probably don’t need to stand in my way anymore.

…I’ve gone home again (literally, and in several ways), despite what they say about never really being able to. I’ve spent this time really connecting. And learning. And remembering. At my youngest, earliest levels.

…And it is different. Like: ignorning the audience for years, and suddenly breaking that fourth wall for the first time, in earnest, to deliver a truth–eyeball-to-eyeball.

It is unsettling, but maybe: I like it. Inviting others in on the ride, not just to read about it, but be there in the moments. It’s…”full.” It’s therapeutic. It feels so incredibly supported. And empowering. 

…And kinda…

…Brilliant.

~D

Markers

4 Jan

I bet that waiting for a casting call is a lot like waiting for the Jury to come outta that deliberation room. 

…Your fate in this, is now totally out of your hands, and it is at other people’s graces to determine your future for whatever space of time is at stake…which will almost entirely wage how you will be conducting your life,  and where, and with whom…often cases in total intimacy with complete strangers, who will know more random closely guarded secrets about you than sometimes even your significant other…but there is no telling how fucking long it will take them to make this highly anticipatory decision, until they finally make it. 

…And until then: you just have to wait. 

…Just sit here. 

One of my favorite UK classes reminded and pushed the mantra that the audition is my work,  and the rest belongs to “them. ” It is not my job to fret or deliberate anything. My job is done. 

…Unless they pick me up to do the show itself. 

…In which case, my new job begins. 

…But until or unless that happens… I’m not supposed to waste energy or worry about the outcome… 

…Which,  again with the “Jury” scenario,  is kinda the most difficult thing I’m supposed to do. 

How the hell do you actively “not care? ”

…And this gets even rougher when they draw the process out. And when you don’t know them at all,  or the way they might usually do things. 

…And when you are wanting to make plans and build schedules and stipend gas money and other finances. 

…And you could also use a haircut. 

…Many,  many things,  from basic personal care to several months of financial, social, and life choices are just sitting here in the box,  waiting for someone else’s decision to tell me what I can and cannot do. 

…Just keep counting the markers as they pass by. 

We are in day 8.

…It’s already been a long 2017.

Next: As resolutions I decided to chart things. (Cuz I pretty much do that shit anyway, so am destined to win at at least that.) 

…This time it’s one financial goal, one fitness specific, and some accountability for alcohol unit consumption…keeping in mind, I am no longer 20 with unlimited bounce-back before me. 

…At the moment I am at stellar achievement level with my Habitbull app. Course,  we’re only 4 days in,  but I bet you so much money that new gym memberships are already starting to feel neglected and whole cartons of cookies have already made their first binge round of “fuckit, ” with a lot of people we know. 

(…well,  the cookie one for sure. That was me. But then cookies were never on my list. That’s just a fucking stupid way to start hating the year before it’s even begun.)

…Meanwhile, I’m nailing my rules shit. (Even the addendums) 

…AND the cookie -eating. (You’re welcome.) 

Now: onto some more freezing cold walks and movie-watching…as I pretend not to wait for that damn Jury verdict. 

..This is me: not caring so hard right now. 

…So. Hard…

~D

I’m Gonna Read Your Diary

2 Jun

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Cecil’s new theatre company is having a fundraising event with an open mic for the entertainment. Cuz Cecil is smart and knows, “why spend money on that shit when – if given the option – artists will whore themselves out for free.”

… She isn’t being greedy in this…the fundraiser will pay tech, talent and designers on their premiere gig…but this being a fundraiser means if you ain’t got the change, you can donate your art-things.

… All my change being deposited into the London fund, I only have the latter to give. And even that I was gonna decline participation in, only cuz open mics make me artistically hive. I need more distance and like a damn character between me and an audience…this gig is far too much like public speaking, of which I am awkward at, in the supreme.

…But that was before Cecil asked me to do a dramatic read from her 13-year-old-self’s diary.

I have done so before. In fact, thrice to several small gatherings I have shared it’s contents.

Because frankly, it is magnificent.

The first time was on one of our “Drunk Tuesdays,” so named from its original conception, on a Tuesday where we decided to drink too much, read some plays, wander to the corner gas station for Scratch Lotto tickets and candy, and spend the walk back dreaming of the flat we’d buy in London with the winnings.

…We had so much fun doing this on a stupid day of the week where one generally does nothing, and not winning all the things we scratched, that “Drunk Tuesdays” became a thing…generally whenever we needed one, no matter the day of week.

… So it was on one of such nights, that Cecil began to talk about this boy she’d obsessed over at age 13, and this diary she’d kept over a short few month span. Would I like to read it?, she’d asked.

…And so, on what would turn out to be the next “Drunk Tuesday,” Cecil jumped off the couch, squealed that she’d just remembered something, and ran out to her car. There she had been toting what she called, “The Donovan Diaries,” which she’d gotten her mother to dig out of her childhood bedroom and send her.

… Already, it was amazeballs. Built by hand, with outer covers of black sparkle construction paper, hole-punched and loop-tied with ribbons, filled with about a half centimeter of ruled paper, partially filled in with multiple – colored writing, each color claiming it’s own diary entry, complete with a Prologue of who this was for, when they could read it, what they were to do with it after, and hints at occasional super secret codes and their super secret keys to them, somehow within a reason unknown, to be kept within these same sheets.

… And so: we read. In tag-team style. With a dead seriousness, and solemnity of truth that we all wished, at that age, to be taken with.

… And we did this, in between ugly-faced crying laughter from the audience’s side. Because there just was no other way to receive it.

…Because goddamn it, the strategy to getting and holding a “man’s” attention, knowing what to do with it when you have it, trying to deal with not wanting it when it is there, but do when it isn’t, and all the complications which come with this, are even funnier when you haven’t learned enough to laugh at yourself about it yet.

… And so, for reasons of sheer embarrassment, and truthfulness, Cecil has charged me with the task to stand at an open mic, not on a “Drunk Tuesday,” and share her humiliations with earnest solemnity.

… And I will.

… And the people will cry with joy.

… Because 13 or 23, you couldn’t buy a Cecil, and the brain it comes with, for a million dollars.

… But you can try your best, at the tip jar.

~D

Cecil & Gwen Do The UK

22 Feb

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There might be cooler things than a former Cecily and Gwendolen having High Tea at Harrods, London…but prob’ly not.

…Unless it’s them also certing up in RADA classes, while there.

…And getting rush tickets to two weeks of shows…

…And being in Stratford during the 400th Shakespeare anniversary…

…Doing reads with past Cecil abroad-year friends…

…And meeting her former Profs…

…And taking a day trip to Edinburgh to hike my Fitbit on a serious legit Highland tour, obliterating even the neatest of fake digital badges…

…And visiting Lady Croom in her new digs…

…And having a day in Bath…

…And doing writerly things…

…And swapping, “this was my favorite thing /place/event when I came last time, so lets do it again” stories…

…And surviving on food budgets of bread, cheese, and wine, like French peasants…(which is way cooler than Raumen, black beans, and eggs, our now current budget, stateside.)

…And a layover in Iceland, so we can say, “Hey, remember that time when we (ate/drank/pooped/spent a krona/took up whaling) in Iceland??”

So, thanks for the early, giant birthday surprise, Cecil n’ Ma…

…And for all the memories which haven’t even been made yet, but will…

…Which I’m not at all excited about in the least.

Obviously.

~D

Whatchu Been Missin’

29 Jul

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Some reads to keep me sane through the bleakness of in-between casting which goes on and on.

….Season General’s are super great…while doing them…then about 6 to 9 months later. In between, there is just a hollow hole of nothingness in purgatory. Waiting. Waiting for second and third calls. Waiting for the next show to cast first. Waiting for more waiting.

  …In the meantime, I’ve scooped up some lit-read gigs and script one-nighters, which feed me just enough that I don’t artistically starve to death. Which I truly believe can happen to a person, if they allow it to.

…As nothing but the written word, walking, and Netflix, seem to be helping in my current day-to-day Hell of work-life, I have dedicated myself to them almost completely. Even with a maybe sorta broken but for sure sprained toe, I’m marching and spewing words from any and every source I can get a hold of. My yoga mat is forever now where my coffee table should be, so even whilst streaming on the TV, I can get more steps in.

I feel that I have a certain responsibility to just “DO.” Constantly. Whenever I can. However I can. Up hills, by oceans, on mountains, in the car, even while waiting for reports to print out…I can’t seem to solid focus on anything without tag-teaming it onto something else…because somehow, I think my brain figures that occupying my entire person’s function at all times, will make me feel like I own some sort of control over something…at some point.

…I don’t though.

Instead, I’m just perpetually exhausted.

I have no alternative fix or answer to this predicament. I am only stating fact.

…Maybe, when another show is on the roster and I have responsibility to it, and its team, my brain will ease up a bit and let me enjoy the sunshine and being human. Until then, I feel this is the best medication I can grant myself…so I’ll have to keep at it…through even purple toes and pissed off Fitbit buds.

When all you have is all you have, you can only do what you can.

…But I’d be full of shit if I didn’t admit: I’m fucking tired, and hungry-starving to be back home in a cast again. I’ll trade you ALL the Fitbit badges, for that. Gladly.

~D

A Corporate Meeting

14 Jan

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Annually, all the yahoo Big-Wigs on the East Coast, gather up reps from the Regional Management team like cattle from across the Nation, and corral them into some big hotel with a giant board room, and an open bar.

…All book their flights in separate classes from first to steerage, and arrive at said destination  as the plebeians are met and crammed into taxis, and the CEOs share a limo, dropping all off at some resort-like hotel, where they retreat into their double-occupancy suites, and open the seal on the minibars before first meeting.

…And from that time until the “conference” is over, (some two or three days later), the entire entity of people who run our company, are basically fucking hammered…until the conference room after a 2-hour shut-in meet, smells like a whore house dipped in stale cigars and sour vomit, while many sit in sunglasses, heads hovered over coffee, still sporting stripper glitter on their faces.

I know this to be true, though I have never attended said meetings…and how I know is: pictorial proof stretching back to as far back as the original Boss, and since confirmed by WHS Pimp.

…And the stories.  The stories and stories and stories that never seems to end or die. It’s the kind of thing you would expect from Frat House parties, but certainly not a gathering of the Top Brass and affiliates of a multi-million dollar company.  Certainly not with the Corporate HR manager in the room.  

…But then, that’s our company: a myriad of oxymoron’s. In fact a myriad of ALL the morons.

Can’t order a name brand Bic pen because it costs 30 cents more than the Staples brand, but you can write off a lap-dance as a “business expense” when purchased for the Operations Admin. Anyway…it worked when Boss showed me the check refund that one time.

…Get hammered with emails when spending a- buck-a-can more on fast-drying display paint, due to our weather conditions…but no one gives a shit that you drank so much, you puked on the SW Territory Manager’s shoes in the bar, and he turn in a compensation receipt upwards of $150.

…Two of our THREE only high-ranking women in the company, spend their time getting so sloshed and slutty, their boobs fall out of their blouses, while becoming suctioned in public make-out sessions with married Sales Reps, and have to be carried/dragged to their rooms.  Or more often get their kicks playing, “body shots” with the CEOs. Of course, they are eventually disciplined (being women) and rarely do the same return, one year to the next.  But like a legend that must go on, they seem to re-cast with the same “type” who keep up the shenanigans the following year…like a really badly plotted out Diversity placement program.

…The men, meanwhile, are as Gods in their playground.  Corporate cards burning a hole in their pockets, they return every year with the same intent: to out-do the last one.  They “treat” favorites to saunas after lunch. Picked up in limos by the half-dozen, they file out at posh night clubs and order shots all-round at $30 a pour, fighting over who pays next as they whip out their black American Express cards with the kind of pride that means it doesn’t matter what size is hidden in their jockey shorts.

…And AFTER the meet-and-greets…after the “after parties” and “after, after parties,” the karaoke and cigar smoking over pool tables…after the last tab has been fought over and paid…or forgotten about entirely and charged next day to a now “lost” credit card…they all somehow double and stumble back to the hotel for MORE “fun.”

About here, the stories of Boss and WHS Pimp split their course.  Only because The Pimp is smarter and knows what he HAS to do to “keep face” with these people, and yet manages to do it without losing his consciousness or dignity. Because HE, unlike Boss, isn’t a fucking idiot.

…Which means, while WHS Pimp is in the shuttle of all the main events of the “good ol’ boy network,” his ability to hold his liquor and self-respect, even while surrounded by them, gives him ample study and text time to report back on the events as they occur.  (Not to mention a sick amount of ammo against all involved.)

…So that through all of this last meet, when the capper event to end ALL events went down, he was so on the inside, it is entirely possible he might inherit the company full-out one day.

Picture it: The CFO, CEO, Director of Operations, our own Regional Territory  Manager and the HR Manager are in the upstairs uber party suite on day two, after a long, long, long night of other pre-parties below.  At a fire pit outside by the pool sits WHS Pimp and other lesser company commodities when they hear screams from above and look up in enough time to see a man drop from the fifth floor window.

…What they didn’t know until the slideshow—yes SLIDE SHOW—presented the next morning, was that this had been an ongoing bet by the Top Brass in the upper room across the past two nights.  A bet taken to such extremes that on night one, the CFO sat and calculated speed, and velocity, in order to prove or counter prove the theory being waged : on how fast a person jumping out of said window could land in the pool below. 
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…Meanwhile, the CEO and our Regional Territory Manager opened the window, cut – yes CUT—out the screen in its entirety, and started pitching everything that wasn’t nailed down, out the window into the pool below, while chant-counting and arguing weight difference and gravity.

For reasons we will never know, no one from the Hotel saw fit to stop them hurling things out the upper story window into the pool.  Quite possibly as it was around three a.m. at that point and the danger at a limit…until the following evening, when they took up where they left off. The same team assembled, the same soused state achieved. Only THIS time, the debate over form and weight apparently necessitated taking it a step further…to the point of fashioning a dummy.

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What they used as weight-filler is unknown, but a particularly stellar move of dressing it up in our Regional Bosses’ $250  button-up, belt and pants before hurling him out the window, was a specifically fine cherry topper.  Not as awesome (and I mean “giant” not “cool”) as the amount of total terror from patrons and co-workers below, watching what they assumed was an actual person, dead-weight falling out the window after the chants “Jump! Jump! Jump!” sounded from above.

…And really nothing but nothing is finer than the slamming of said dummy, just shy of the actual pool target, into what would have been a total impaling by the wheelchair access water launcher.  Nor the fact that it was entirely filmed.

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…Except possibly the fact that with our biggest Top Brass and Chief Financial Officer in the room above doing the math, they forgot to include thrust and projection of said body, thus after two nights of calculations and what is I’m sure a HEFTY room charge for vandalism later…the bet is still unresolved…as the body never even made it to the water.

These are the people running our company, folks.

…There aren’t enough words.

Truly.

~D

Mark Twain Said It First

28 Nov

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In 1909, Mark Twain inscribed one of his photographs to a 43 year-old woman. 

…She was a celebrity in her own right, due to the fact that years previously…half blind, and with only six years of education under her belt, she’d graduated valedictorian of her class. The following summer, answering a posting as a teacher and governess, she began her journey, eventually arriving at a small southern town over 1200 miles away from any place she had ever called ” home.”

All by the age of 20.  

Nevermind the fact that before age 14, she was blind, deserted with her brother in the poorhouse,  slept on a cot beside the alter in the dead-house for 4 years, had never owned a comb, or been given a single day of education.

…Despite it all, by the time Mark Twain inscribed his photograph, she had already managed to begin a life-long friendship with Alexander Graham Bell, met President Grover Cleveland by special appointment in Washington DC, was on several National Education Committees, and helped her only student across the past 22 years, gain a Bachelor of Arts degree from Radcliff College, cum laude.  

That student, was Helen Keller.

…The first blind-deaf graduate to ever earn a BA…never mind in Ivy League…whose tireless work for equality, education and rights for minorities and specifically the deaf and blind, would send her (and her Teacher) to speak and advocate in nearly every country on the planet… inspiring Eleanor Roosevelt to deem Keller, “Good Will Ambassador to the world.”

…None of which would have been possible, had not someone broken through the black silence, giving her the key of communication. Just 26 gestures in a cupped hand. Letters, which spelled out words. Words that had a meaning.

The inscription, the enamored Samuel Clemens had written on his photograph, summed an entire world-wide view, from every country with a newspaper and a finger to the pulse of current events, science, and education at the time:

“To Mrs. John Sullivan Macy with warm regard and with limitless admiration of the wonders she has performed as a miracle-worker.”
~ Mark Twain

So the story begins. 

A child of illiterate Irish immigrants, with the tenaciously stubborn spirit to survive her ruined childhood of desertion, hunger, disease, and abuse…who fought her way though poor house, blindness, massive medical undertakings, and loss of every family member by age ten; to become the only hope to a blind-deaf child from a privileged southern family, seemingly an entire world away from all she had ever known, and become the first woman in history to be interred at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., solely on her own merit.

…This, but the tip of the iceberg in beginning research for another bucket list role, coming up this February:

Miss Annie Sullivan.

…An astonishingly large pair of button-up boots to fill.

I adore biographical plays. They are my absolute favorite…bringing out the amazing communion of history in completely living form. The hours and hours of research like a detective-archeologist…chipping away across page after page, quote after quote…to piece together notes, facts, letters, theories…to dig in archives, build timelines, and fill notebooks with endless findings in scribbles. To get the absolute closest you can to the bone of the person. To, in the end, commune with them in hopes you bring out the fullest version possible…honoring them with the portraying of informed “truth,” as best as you can grasp it.

Since the moment I first sat shocked and thoroughly awed by Annie Bancroft and Patty Duke’s performances on film…I’ve wanted to know what it would be like, to be IN that stubborn Irish skin, myself.

…To see what I could do, if I studied very hard, learned all I could, and let her come out as she needed to, with me as her vessel.

And now, I get to.

And WHAT an honor.

…Little did I know before the research began…just how much she had to offer, and from how far she had come to achieve it all.

A miracle worker, indeed.

Now, to meet my OWN hellishly brilliant little Helen.

…And begin as Annie once did: to earn the trust and find a singular way to communicate and bond with this new little person, entrusted in my care.

It’s you n’ me kid, with a stellar team to guide n’ support us. Let’s do ’em proud.

~D

 
 

Studification

24 Nov

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I’m studying a lot.

…Like over 100 pages into a notebook absolutely crammed, notated and highlighted within an inch of its life.

And I’m having a total wigging-out blast.

…Cuz “learning” is the all-the-time “sexy.” Just ask Einstein. Dude was a stone cold theory-flinging fox.

…Graham Bell gave some good brain too…

…But the best part about learning stuff is when you realize that the active process of doing it, is like the original version of the internet. In your head.

…Cuz “learning” is such a fucking black-hole process. You start out with a book on Picasso, and come up with a Google history, end-of-night, including everything from “cows of Peru,” “stained glass windows,” “famous nun affairs,” “African art influences,” “french prositution laws,” “Einstein theories,” “plastic arts,” “Francisco Franco,” “French Rivera,” “communist vs socialist,” “famous maquettes,” and “neo-expressionism” to…”Harlequin rose period,” and “Spanish civil war.”

The brain, when fed a suggestion of curiosity, goes on a total drunken bender for insta-knowledge as addendum to this other thing you’re actually trying to retain and process… until your Chrome has like 68 tabs open for cross referencing, your hand is getting writers cramp, you’ve reloaded the printer paper twice, and have totally run out of tape.

…It’s a good problem to have. When you like learning. Which I do. Only when you do it at this level of focus, it’s pretty fucking exhausting…making the eyes burn from bouncing back and forth, paper to screen…and forgetting to eat and drink things, cuz you were busy for like ten hours trying to find this one thing.

…But I digress.

…Not as much as the “alternate use for pickle juice” search (you’re welcome), or “scary Steven hawking quotes” (hey’ if I have to freak out, you have to freak out)…but still…

…It’s a thing.

And it’s been super fun.

…But I’m really tired now. and my contacts feel like sandpaper.

…So I guess that leaves this other stack of clippings for tomorrow.

…Except now I sorta wanna go Google Picasso. As he was totally not my actual topic of study at all…

~D

Don’t Forget: It’s An Honor Just To Be Nominated

17 Nov

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It’s regional BroadwayWorld.com voting time again!  The Seattle nominees have just started the web-rounds and are being picked up, voted on, and passed on by like half of my FB contingent. 

(Theatre Peeps, Unite!)

…Our Seattle division is made up of roughly 150  companies/groups/entities…and those are just the ones registered at our main theatre-hub on Theatre Puget Sound’s listing page. No doubt dozens of other companies exist as well…(for a fact I’ve worked with one not on their pages, which made in into the nominee rosters in several categories this year.)

…So I’m not a math person…but even at 150 companies doing 5 shows in a mainstage season (allowing for those with second-stages also running, to make up for the companies with less productions/special events/command performances, in a single season), that comes to 750 theatrical events…from the touring show big boy Paramount, and the Broadway Musical launcher 5th Ave…to tiny black box Stone Soup, and community theatres like 4th Wall Players.

…And the bulk of those shows include like…well…”actors” in a multiple number, usually…sure some starting with one, but a lot reaching to casts in the 10’s, 20’s, 30’s and sometimes above.

…So when you put it like that…even an average number of 750 productions with only two actors per show (say like doing “Educating Rita” for instance *wink, wink*) …is 1500 artists…and it usually takes a hell of lot more than just two people to do a show.  

…Which isn’t even getting into the Tech Design teams and Directors.

So keep this in mind for a second:

For this season, if you’ve been nominated as an Actor in a play or musical, up against thousands and thousands of other performers…you got enough cold vote write-ins to place you in one (or more) of only 13 categories (50% each sex + one unisex “Person to Watch” slot.)

…If you’re a Director, you’ve made it into 1 or more of only 2 categories.

…In Costume, Choreography, Lighting, and Scenic Design…you get 1 category each.

…In Music/Sound…3.

…In Writing and Best Production…2.

…In Best Event and Theatre…1.

…So, I mean…whatever the tallys end up being…I just wanna say:

“Congra-tu-fucking-lations to all my friends and theatre compatriots in crime for making the lists this year! It IS a big deal…it IS an honor to be nominated.  With the talent-goods we’ve got in this region, every vote of confidence which put you on that list to begin with, is really something!”

…Thanks for sharing your scenes and stages with me, O talented ones 🙂

Happy voting, all!
~D
 
 

Tag-Teaming Murder & Education

8 Sep

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Dearest “Rita” is alive and well, warbling her free-association wisdoms at-will (and speed), and having a great time playing with her Professor…which ends our first weekend of performances, and ushers in today’s first rehearsal of the next gig.

From Liverpool to London, back to Liverpool again…and London…I’ll be splitting time for the next two week’s ‘tween our enthusiastically educating Scouser and a London society-dame, fighting to survive murder, Hitchcock-style. While we are on the same island, there is a good sixty-year era-difference, not to mention sizable pocketbook increase…which’ll be fun to bounce around between…cuz who the hell doesn’t love Noir and 50’s fashions, mixed with sailor-mouthed, punk, fuck-me shoes?

Yes to it all!

…And so with today’s first table-read, we pack away the Chekhov, Ibsen, and Forster et al (Sunday nights thru Wednesday), and bring out some epic Noir film-festing to put some meat on these ingénue bones facing me in print. 

Famously portrayed by Grace Kelly, in her typical perfect-looking-yet-boring-as-hell-to-watch fashion, the plan is to make our Margot in Dial “M”, more than that.  Something with smarts, bite, and maybe even some (god-forbid) sex…seeing as she’s blackmailed for schtooping who she shouldn’t, and all.  Which means I’ll be forced (dammit) to dig out all my Stanwyck’s, Tierney’s, Astor’s, Bacall’s, Davis & Crawfords…Turner’s, Hayworth’s, and Gardner’s (woe is me) to settle in for some one-on-one refresher courses, (hee hee) on how to be bad-girl-awesome…in general.

…Working against iconic interpretation is always a “thing” when tackling something like a “Hitchcock”…which is 50% fixed in this case by not casting a blonde, really.  The moment lights rise in scene one, I’m automatically given more freedom to fight against the character-as-played in pre-conceived expectation, by physical presence alone.  The other 50% is taking dated text and infusing new life into it…figuring out how to leverage a more realistic, suspicious, sexual, “human” being from a white-toast sort of role, as usually played. 

…I’m going mining for more in there…and it’ll be fun panning to find it 😉

~D

The Importance Of Being Busy

14 Aug

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The office is dead, the show is in work-runs, The Gnome has swollen up to three times her size, I’m on my 12th cup of Keurig, and Cecil just dropped off her application.

…This is what makes “news” for the week, aside from the depressing stuff.

…Depressing stuff that is slamming every news outlet and social media page, for good reason, yet there is only so much a person can take, becoming so saturated and consumed by it all.

I understand it.  I take it in.  I choose to process it privately. 

Two of my teachers passed this week, and it doesn’t matter if one had an active part in the decision and the other had lived a full and rich life…it sucks either way, when it is the creative-force of a mentor leaving the world-stage.

Period.

…So, I join in with others in celebrating their work through festing their films, and get on with mine…which is what they would want me to do. But with a little, “O Captain, my captain”…and “You know how to whistle, don’t yuh Steve?” playing in my mental background.

…A background consumed in constant line runs, ad-nauseam, in “Red Dwarf”-a-thons, to get Lister’s scouser cadence permanently tattooed into my brain…in reading Whitman and Ferlinghetti…in revisiting director’s notes, and blocking…and trying to decide which of the 36 monologues I’ll pluck out and work on today.  I’ve plenty to keep me busy…which is good as the office is supplying almost nothing to that end, for freak reasons during our peak season, that I can’t for the life of me figure out.

Meanwhile, the sweltering and suffocating heat in this Kennedy Administration building has been kicking our one little wall-unit-air-conditioner’s ass…even when turned on at 5am…which has us sweating by 8:30, despite all efforts, while in the lobby The Gnome melts puddles all over her desk and floor.

…Being this pregnant makes absolutely nothing look comfortable, and it makes heat and humidity look like fucking torture. This once tiny, tiny human, has even moved on from her basketball-bump phase, and started to swell up in the arms and legs to the point of near bursting, across this past week or so. 

…Worse timing ever, one could say.  And she does.  Frequently.  Not that I fucking blame her.  I’d be the worst complainer EVER, in this situation. Which is why: Don’t ever forget Mother’s Day, like EVER.  These people lived in a nine-month-long solitary-bodily-confinement, at torturous levels, for us.  One should at least score a phone call and card for that, yeah?

…And speaking of Gnomes, (or at least this one), we’ve gotten our clever back-up for her confinement and leave-time, which will put Cecily and Gwendolen together again…only this time in office adventures.  Which I’m super stoked about because not only is she an actually competent person who I won’t have to continually train and re-train to do the job she was hired for (as I frequently do now), but it’ll make for amusing FB status updates. 

…Things like:

“Cecil and Gwen + tacos, at tea.”

…Training sessions like:

“The good ended happily, and the bad: unhappily. That is what Customer Service means. In matters of prepping importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.” 

…Not to mention endless chatting opportunities like:

Gwen: I am known for the gentleness of my disposition…
Cecil: –And the extraordinary sweetness of your nature–
Gwen: …But if I hear that woman bitch one more time, so help me god, it may necessitate murder.

…or…

Cecil: …Cute UPS guy!
Gwen: Mmmm. Has nothing, but looks everything…
Cecil: …What more could you desire…?

…The cheese whiz of possibility is endless…ENDLESS I TELL YOU!

And hells yes, I will be banking on it.

~D

Link

The Writer Callus

22 Jul

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I miss school.

…Not the institution, you realize…the study that goes with it.

I miss reading and writing endless essays. I miss the notebooks, chicken scratched thoughts scribbled and outlined through a text until it comes out looking like a theatre script, mid-rehearsal. I miss the debates over themes and content. I miss mining all the layers that literature can hold in simple sentences printed on a page.

As an adult, all my reading and study has derived from pleasure, not pressure. I take in the books I know like the back of my hand, because I love them…I’ll occasionally read a light fiction easy-read because it was once recommended. But when I have no class to go to, no paper to write, no actual “reason” to dig into something like a slim novella of poetry and really break down what in the hell they mean…I just don’t. I’ll read it (maybe) and take what I want, what I took at first glance from it, then move along. But there is a loss in doing that…the “study” of writing as an art. Beyond plot.

…I miss that.

And so, I’ve taken the cue from m’next show, as Rita, to put myself through the paces these next two months. Apart from studying the script and character, I’ve a whole load of additional works to consume…pieces, and authors, and works of art which are sited within the script. I’ve charged myself to retrace Rita’s footsteps…to follow her path of discovery, with some of my own.

…It’s been two days at work, filling the down time with googling, and printing, cutting and taping, collecting reading lists and quotations and poems and paintings, and massing them into a black Piccadilly notebook, to be translated and studied later. Every literary reference, every author, every theme listed out in neat lines, a mass of poems printed, and liner notes begun. Of the three hours wherein not so much as a phone call rang through the office today, I secured three monologues (with attending dialogue) into my brain, and wrote themes on twelve poems from Dylan Thomas, William Blake, Henrik Ibsen, Roger McGough, & Oscar Wilde.

…And in the words of Rita herself, “It was FUCKING FANTASTIC!”

My hand written scribbles cover pages and pages, the side of my hand marked with lead from adding side notes to theme ideas, and that callus…my old friend on the rest of my middle finger, has re-dented in supplication from the constant pressure of a pencil.

I am back! That nerd-kid who would spend hours, over-writing by three or more pages, every essay she had ever been charged to write out. The kid who, (because of necessity) was forced to become a pretty decent editor, getting to the meat of the matter, tapping into the veins of a piece or a character…which would become that essential theatre tool I’d carry with me, for ever and ever. That kid who eats up language styles and word choices like its ice cream, who’d rather get lost in languidly profuse imagery, in a specific smell explained in words, in a world entirely fictional yet familiar, than almost anything else.

My brain is hungry as Rita’s, and I’m so thankful to have this extra time, this extended rehearsal period, to really dig in and build her piece by piece, poem by poem, book by book. In case you’d like to knock along with me a bit…here’s today’s list:

* And Death Shall Have No Dominion – Thomas
* The Sick Rose – Blake
* Gone – Ibsen
* You and I – McGough
* Let Me Die A Young Man’s Death – McGough
* Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night – Thomas
* Survivor – McGough
* The Blossom – Blake
* The Clod And The Pebble – Blake
* The Grave Of Shelley – Wilde
* In The Picture Gallery – Ibsen
* The Survivors – Ibsen

…Lots more to come.

*joy!*

~D

Hi, I’m Your Brain On “Creepy”

27 Jun

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I’ve been off book for three days…which is weeks past my usual time in the process. Absurdist Theatre and my memory sectors do not like one another. In fact they have fast become enemies. I think if I hadn’t finally managed to commit that goliath fuck-all Norma-Desmond-monologue-from-hell to my brain by Tuesday, I was gonna shiv that script with a spoon.

…But I did. So I didn’t.

…Which now brings us to deeper book and character work, while constantly murmuring disturbing monologues about singing songs while cutting up people to bits, burying them in the garden, and at night, “watering their toes with a little hose.” Or the one where I almost strangle my own sister, or the one where we plot how many pills it takes to poison someone…or the most grimacing one: about stabing pins into my belly to abort all the foetus’ I throw into the gutter thanks to being continually raped by the milkman.

…These are not happy places to be going, in one’s brain. It’s disturbing enough when you’re just chanting the words on a technical level in order to word associate, picture them on the page, and retain them. Once you step OUT of the book, it becomes this whole other thing to actually “deal” with them…to internalize them…to justify them, to give them emotional power and support…to OWN them.

…This kind of text, when you are burried in it, when you eat, sleep, and dream it…is a kind of poison you voluntarily consume. You have to be careful mentally to build up your immunity to it, as the drinks you take of it get bigger. You can’t expect to come in as a lightweight and kick back a whole bottle, cold, and be able to function in any way at all by end of the night. It takes time to train for this shit…to prep, self- monitored slow accumulation to build up tolerance…and (perhaps most importantly) you’ve got to aquire one hell of a “cleansing/hydration plan,” to help rip you out of that mental space every night before going to bed.

…It doesn’t always prevent the creepy brain hangover, but it surely helps…till the project is finally done and you can check yourself into mental rehab.

…Which (from where I sit at present) is still four weeks away.

Perhaps now isn’t really the best time to become obsessively in love with “Orphan Black” Season 2 (team Helena/Cosima)…but I am. The terrible/wonderful part being that I’ve nearly consumed it all now, which means there will soon be no more left to feed on. I will have to then go to other pastures. Hopefully ones with less eye-gouging and blood. Someplace where my poor little exhausted brains can rest peacefully…without the help of a whiskey, neat.

~D

The Infinity Waiting Game

12 Jun

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Powerlessness blows bum.

…Next to the work-up about an audition for a specific role that you really really want…the next worst feeling, is when the audition is over, and for whatever specified number of days, you are told that you have to await the decision for final casting.

…Wait for hours that seem like months, days that feel like years…with zero control or information.

This is like living in your own little fate and anxiety-filled episode of Burn Notice…where any good or bad decisions you made in the past, have equal power to haunt or help you, but you don’t get to know which it’ll be…until after the longest FUCKING commercial break, known to man.

…Least, that’s how I see it.

…That’s how it looks from here.

…On day four.

…Since first walking in the theatre door with my audition piece.

…The day after the final callback.

…With possibly two more to follow, before final announcement.

Being an actor ain’t for sissies.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

…Now: Back to more line-learning…

~D

Your “First”

4 May

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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

Enuf

22 Apr

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A two-week build up in the office, just dun popped it’s lid today.  I thought it was all just about last week’s blood moon weirdness, but this week proves that, no…people are just giant dicks.

…As if I need reminding. I work with them every day.

Silly me, I just assumed the build up was a bubble of assholeism hailing from the full-moon crazies that I’ve come to expect when one happens. Never mind happening across several days’ time.  But this week (and it’s only Tuesday) is trying to “win” last week in outbursts, inarticulate screamings, threats, order errors, miscodings, useless communication attempts, and physically impossible requirements being thrown at us…and that is only from Corporate.  Lets not even begin on how many pissy, high-maintenance, self-entitled, elitist asshole customers (insisting they are our only customer and the exception to every rule) also added to the already overwhelming mix.

…Which would be considerably less intense if say other people were in the damn office helping.  But The WHS Pimp is on site visits and product runs, and The Gnome is out at least once per day at prenatal appointments already racked into the dozens this month for inexplicable amounts of time at any given part of the day.

…So it’s just me.

Dealing with all this rainstorm of shit, while the orders are flooding in…reallocating schedules, correcting customer service fuck ups, talking down asshole screamers for a myriad of apparent reasons, booking jobs, running reports, getting payroll in, babysitting the grown men who work for us, conducting road show reminders and Canadian product shipments, prepping for our Alaska project, placing ads, and trying to hire more builders.

…This shit is INSANE. 

I am mentally exhausted and it isn’t even May yet. 

…Right now, I am NOT doing the slotted callbacks on my roster…just so I can just fucking breathe here…at my desk…for fifteen-consecutive-minutes, and blow this shit out on my tablet. 

Just get it out!

Out!

Out! 

…Before I work myself up so high, I bash my fist into the sidewall of that bank of filing cabinets over there.

I’m pretty sure my fist will survive just fine…but it took me three years to replace the hand-me-down bastards I inherited from the last Boss, with only two working drawers per piece…and frankly I just don’t want to have to deal with that again.

…It’d be “just another fucking thing.”

…And I’ve obviously got plenty to deal with as it is.

(giant intake of breath…knuckle crack, knuckle crack…neck swivel til it pops)

Okay.

Back to the pit.

“Fuck you, Tuesday…!!!!!! FUUUCK YOOOOOOU!!!”

…Right.  I’m going back in…

~D

The Part No One Talks About

8 Feb

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*Unvarnished grief, real-talk, inappropriate and uncomfortable subject matter. But I need to let it out, and somewhere, someone might just need to read it. To know: you’re not alone.
~
I needa shower.

Feel gross.

…Eleven hour car rides (one way) through snow and ice storms to get to Oregon, turn around the next day, and do it all over again, in the single most depressing field trip of all time.

Because death isn’t funny.

…Except when it is ironic, or unreal.

…Which it nearly always is…

…Once upon a time, my shrink said, “the second you can laugh at or make fun of a thing, is the second you win control of it.”

…But really, I’ve been far too pissed off to make fun of death lately.  With or without irony.  I know it isn’t supposed to be the “funny, ha, ha” kind of laugh…it’s the dark and twisted side. Obviously. Like where Tim Burton lives. Like if Tim Burton were a Funeral Director, instead of just a movie one.

…It sort of makes sense, because death is something we all deal with and will all have to face, and fearing and raging and crying about it doesn’t lessen any of those facts.

For me, it’s the awesome moments of “slap-stings” occurring…as if from no where, instant microseconds of time which wallop you so fucking hard and fast that you have forgotten how to breathe and when you come-to again, can’t understand how you are even still standing up and not in a clump on the floor.

…Cuz you FEEL like you’re a clump on the floor.

…In fact, a clump on the floor, sounds like a soothing place to be.

…But you’re not.

…Instead, you’re in another city. In another state. In a funeral home. Waiting for the Director (a youngish, clean-cut guy in a suit, not at all resembling Tim Burton) to get the paperwork to sign.

…And the sheer weight of morbidity for you to be standing here in this place, just about manages to send you into an anxiety attack.

…But you don’t let it.

…You push back.

…From the middle of the room…by the chairs you’ve just been asked to sit in.

Giant, overstuffed leather.

In front: a giant round table, with a giant box of kleenex, masked in a faux giant stack of books. You don’t sit (of course), because that would require motor skills and the confidence in your ability to stand back up again. Instead, you just stand there…trying not to become enclosed in the shrines of death all around…the walls of boxes and urns, the pillowed caskets, plaques and stone mock ups, and to the left, apparently: “pet haven”…where you can have all of the same in miniature version, or have Sparky turned into a pendant made of his own pressed ash.

…And that is when this shit just gets totally unreal. Like beyond ridiculous.

…And somewhere you must realize it’s prob’ly not reasonable to be so pissed off at the fact that there is a “pet” section at the funeral home you are here to claim a family member from. “Pets” are people too (or so they say.) But at that second, it becomes sorta the turning point of, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?! THEY HAVE A PET DEATH SECTION, LIKE JUST OUT HERE, RIGHT IN YOUR FACE?! AS IF LOSING A GODDAMN DOG BELONGS IN EVEN REMOTELY THE SAME REAL ESTATE OF FLOOR SPACE, AS LOSING AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING?! I HATE ALL YOUR FUCKING DOGS! AND CATS! FUCK YOUR FUCKING BIRDS AND GERBILS TOO!! FUCK ‘EM ALL!!!”

…Is what you are thinking.

Really, really loudly.

To yourself.

…But you must confess, it does help a little. Having something tangible to become angry at. Because up till then it was all about trying not to look at and note the weirdness of various makes and models of open caskets with pillows, resting on the floor…like they were inviting you to take them for a test drive or something…and the wall of urns and boxes and cylinders and mini “keepsake” vials…that hold the remains of what “remains” when we are, you know…not alive anymore…but for some reason, people want to keep you around anyway.

…Creeped out, more by the second…thrown back instantly to every Holocaust film and research flashback…and bad horror film you’ve ever heard with your eyes shut… you were, in the end, semi-saved by a rage-fest at the “pet haven” section.

Which lasted exactly as long as it takes for a guy to walk from his office, back again, with a manila full of documents to sign.

…Then it all comes crashing back to real-times again. And that hurting-to-breathe thing. And stinging eyeballs. And you try to hold your shit together, just a little while longer, so as to NOT lose it in front of this stranger (who I’m sure is totally used to it by now)…”just three minutes more,” you think, “And it’ll all be over.”

But then it all comes to this silent, silent moment where time and space and life completely freezes. It’s like being out in the country after a new snow. The silence is SO silent, and pure, that all you can hear is your own breath…and your own heartbeat. You can actually feel it’s thump so hard that you can hear it. Pure, pure, silence of: STOP.

You’ve been handed a box.

It is heavy. Heavier than you would suppose, had you ever thought of the weight, which you never have, until now. In your hands. Maybe a million what-others-might-consider-morbid-thoughts, cram your head full, but you don’t think of them as morbid. They are wonders. They are private. I don’t even know if they are articulate enough to convey. But the single biggest two, you know:

“It’s wrong that I can pick him up, now.”

And…

“I need to get the hell out of here, before I blow.”

…So, you do.

…Get the hell out of there.

…And because you don’t know what else to do…because you don’t know the “protocol” for transporting your uncle’s remains in a car ride, a full state away…you do the only thing that comes to mind.

You put him, very carefully, on the back seat, with a seat belt securing him in.

…And you get into the car…

…And you ball your fucking eyeballs out.

…Until you really can’t see or breathe anymore.

…And you squeeze your Mom’s hand.

…And then…because life has to go on…you turn out on the road. And drive home.

There are all kinds of grieving, and ways that people come to terms and deal with the things they must. For me, it’s been a lot of anger, this time ’round. Anger of “too soon,” and “simple causes that can’t be reasoned with” and “what about his son?” and much, much more. Too pissed off to cry as much as I probably should. But there are no rules, no “how-tos,” no right and wrong ways when it comes to grief…I don’t give a shit how many books you read or shrinks you go to. Everyone sees and feels and deals with the after-effects differently. Everyone needs their space to do so. Everyone needs to come, in their own time, in their own way, to that silent-snowfall moment…where it finally sinks in, and the enormity of the loss is so loud, it renders the entire world deaf with it.

I am thankful for a belief that all he is doesn’t rest in a box that I can hold in my hands.

I am thankful for a belief that he has moved on to a place where he can watch us and his son, and laugh and make merry, and be the “he” that he always was here, only care-free.

I am thankful that I have such a hilarious, cheerleading, go-to-guy up there…so close to the ear of the dude that makes “the calls.”

…But none of that replaces or excuses the fact of what we had to do that day, or what he had to live through for fourteen before all this, or what his son will have lost, for the rest of his life.

I have a bone to pick with God on that one, and I think I always will.

I’ve added it to the list.

So noted.

…Now, to that other one:

“Take a shower. Get human again.”

~D

Death Of Blob

4 Feb

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I’m one of those humans who needs to have a purpose…an end point, a goal…because if not, I turn into a lard-person-jelly-lump.  Both physically and mentally.

…I don’t do well just free-floating whichever way the breeze (if any) happens to be blowing this day/week/month/year.

So, I go for goals.

…I like  to plan and prep the next three things I wanna audition for…which informs what color and length of hair I’ll be sporting for the next six to nine months…how fat I’m allowed to let myself get, or how much I need to lose…what kind of movies and books I’ll be watching and reading for study aids…which actors will be my obsession teachers this go-round…and (eventually, based on casting)…what I will be doing with my night’s and weekends, and “where.”

…Which is why booking a show for me, is not just a big deal as “an actor,” but even just “as a person.” 

Twenty years doing a thing, builds some serious habits.

It reflects the kind of year I’ll have emotionally, physically, psychologically. It reflects the people I will be socializing with…which friends I’ll be seeing more regularly, and the kinds of places I go on the down-times…based on which city and county those “down-times” occur in.

…So, when I DON’T have anything to plan, at all…not even on the what-to-audition-for-next pipeline…I literally don’t know what to do with myself. I’m not a person who can just “be” to “be.” I can’t not think and study and plan. It’s against the religion of me. Even my Psych Doc couldn’t break me of it.

…Hence, for the last month, post-last-show, I have turned into a blob with total lack of enthusiasm.

Family tragedies certainly don’t help that.

…All you can do is just sit there, being “the blob,” turning into MORE of a blob, and thinking you are prob’ly doomed to get even blobbier before anything changes for the better. If ever again, at all.

So you do.

…Till an actual goal pops up.

…And you see it float there above your head, juuuuust outta reach, so you have to actually shift your weight, and stand up in order to touch it.

…And you do.

…And the fucker wiggles free n’ flies away, right in front of you…

…And you think, “Goddamn it, if I were FIT I’d have just jumped higher, and gotten a better hold of the thing to begin with!”

…Only sometimes, I guess the goal doesn’t totally float away for good.

…Sometimes, for reasons even YOU don’t understand, it gets caught up in the corner over there. But since you told yourself to forget about it, you don’t even know it’s there. How could it be? You totally lost it. You were there!

…Only looks like, maybe you didn’t.

…And two days later, you get a call on the phone. And it goes a little something like this:

AD: Hi. This is (Artistic Director you know.) I’m calling about the show.

Me: Oh. Yeah. That. Listen, I’m really sorry about lousing up that callback…

AD: I’m calling…

Me: –The “thanks, but no thanks call,” no, yeah. I get it.

AD: Not really. What? No. He wants to offer you a role.

Me: (Beat.) What?

AD: In the show.

Me: Who?

AD: The Director.

Me: Oh.

AD: Yeah.

Me: Why?

AD: Why??

Me: Yeah.

AD: Um. Because he liked you?

Me: (Beat.) No. But really. Why?

AD: That’s really why.

Me: But, I sucked.

AD:…Or: not.

Me: Really.

AD: Yep.

Me: Huh.

AD: So…

Me: Yeah?

AD: You like…wanna do the show?

Me: Oh! Sorry. YES.

AD: Okay then.

Me: Yeah.

AD: Good.

Me: I really needed this. I mean: comedy and purpose and stuff.

AD: Well, good.

(Long silence.)

Me:…But, seriously?

AD: Seriously.

…And so now, all of a sudden…the blob regains purpose.

…Which is a very good thing.

Very good.

I feel like I can breathe again.

Eventually, it’ll even sink in.

Huzzah and stuff — !

~D

Things To Do When Home All Day Sick

4 Jan

I am at the tits-end of a cold. 

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

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

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

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

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

…But eventually: the scene arrives. 

…And it delivers.

(And so does the twist ending.)

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

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

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

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

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

So: fine.

Here are my doppelgangers (according to character type.)

Personally, I think a 1930’s German Spy totally looks like this chick (whoever the hell she is.)
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And naturally a Nun would closely resemble Eva Peron.
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Amy Winehouse with a generous helping of Ozzy’s genes in there? You bet.
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…And when I think Jewish mother in the Holocaust…Christina totally is the 1(00,000,000,000th) person I think of, dunno ’bout you.
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…Just like nothing says “Beaver” more than Leslie Caron (enter French Beaver jokes, here.)
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You guys need to know that should you ever need a singing Cockney Prostitute: Jenna Elfman in your dame.
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…And NOTHING screams tea-party-right-wing-Mamet-horror, like a social activist and “L-Word” actress.
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…Which is only slightly confusing…cuz if you actually WANT a lesbian, you should aim for casting a Hilton…
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…But if you want a Celebutant, rich-bitch, flapper, go with REAL class: Mae West. (She comes with one-liners and talent.)
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When I think of a 40’s New York Undercover Cop…I always assume it will be cast with a French model…
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…Whereas NO ONE says “first lady of the American stage” like…Winona Ryder?
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I kinda like that Mina Harker could be a Bollywood star in another life (hell, she has infinity of time by the end, so why not?)
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…And bitchy Jane Austen antagonists ALWAYS should be played by actors with three names (more room to take up on the marquee.)
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…But above ALL…my MOST favorite, is that a saucily randy Shakespearean Lady’s maid equals a noir love-making queen…
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…Which brings us back full circle to the story about how one night? I had this crap cold and was watching “From Here to Eternity”…and noticed for the first time how TOTALLY BUILT Burt Lancaster is. So, naturally…I started to google more pictures of him, and I found this one really hot one…

…With Ava Gardner.

The End.

~D

An Open Letter

30 Dec

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Dear God,

Please make me morph (as close as humanly possible) into a carbon copy of Emma Thompson, someday.

…I should like to own the linguistic and intellectual banter to keep up with the Cambridge fellows of her like, as Stephen Fry, and Peter Laurie, and all the rest.

…Please let me one day read Lit in a top worldly place of letters and write an Oscar winning screenplay on the author’s works of my former thesis.

I would like  to be one of the newest version of Lunt and Fontaine, Olivier and Leigh, Branagh and Thompson, please.

Could I get away with being a total bohemian nutter, and people will still love me viciously?

…Also, please can I marry Willoughby?

I would really  appreciate working with Streep, and Pacino, and Hoffman, and Winslet,  whilst have them love me so much, they consider me family.

Can I own the magic English skin that never wrinkles or ages, and the lithe figure to go with it?

Please, dear God, make me funny some day.  (I know my limits, but a 100th of a percentage of Dame Thompson will due me.)

…Also, WHY ain’t she a Dame yet…it’s really bothering me….

Smart-sexy.  It’s a thing. I watch it and want to own it. Willing to work hard: please help me to achieve.

A “Character Actor” of first degree: please grow me.

Smart choices. Smart dialogue. Smart wit. Smart woman. I beg this degree.

A double header, double feature is all it takes to remind me…how astronomically essential a hard worker is. And how (more  than anything) I wanna be “that guy.”

…Who, in this case…

…Happens to be…

An Emma Thompson.

I  thank you.

Sincerely,

Me.

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