Tag Archives: Cold

Some Dames

23 Dec

Off hand, I can’t think of anything that links them aside from their sex. Even their talents were in different departments…but this week, when not hitting the books like crazy sauce in biographical prep for a drama, I’ve been spending my down (and sick) time in between, resting my eyes and writer’s cramp on some other dames I know.

…Old friends and teachers all-three. I’ve no idea how I selected this particular stream of films to follow other than, I guess, the ladies were a tonic I needed at the time, and wrapping up my last day off in a row, with sniffles and coughs and general “ick” about, all I can say is, “what a way to go.”

Women who defied and yet defined their particular archetypes, in a swirling dervish of talent.

…One: classy and refined…cast primarily as the elegant English Rose, though she was more of a fiery Scot in actuality.
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The next: one of the top screwball gals who defined the genre as Frank Capra’s favorite Leading Lady, all the while hating both fame and publicity second only to Garbo, in the annals of Hollywood history.
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And last, but certainly not least: a blonde with a voice that could shatter glass, who made bank (and an Oscar) in the ditz market, though in reality was neither blonde nor dim-witted, but sported a cultured mezzo speaking voice, and a recorded IQ of 172.
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These: my playmates for the week, serving up many, many laughs (and some tears too, as needed.) Excellent sport, to watch them at work in their own dynamics with costars, seeing how they cater each role and relationship accordingly. If I’ve seen these movies once, I’ve seen ’em a thousand times. And how you know a performance and the artist doing it is good is: it never gets old. You wait for those best bits of dialogue and looks and interactions, like a kid waits for Christmas. And because it’s saved forever on film, the joy of it landing with perfection…every time…is a surefire guarantee.

…And hot damn but these dames were good at the game. Played the hell out of the stereotype they were prescribed to (as most were in those years in Hollywood), meanwhile managing somehow to one up the system at the same time.

Deborah Kerr owned the entire world of beautifully bone-structured, stately English wife and motherdom…until she decided to flip it the finger, drop the accent, bleach the red from her hair and role in the sand having extramarital sex onna beach, somehow stumping the censors so hard they let it pass…as surely if saintly Deborah Kerr does it, it can’t be immoral in any way…can it?

Listen: nothing is quite as twisted as her end scene in “The Innocents,” as tear-jerky as her pretending she missed the appointment on top of the Empire State building on purpose in “An Affair To Remember,” or as frustrating as her chaste love, refusing to deny her final vows to the novate in “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison.” It’s true what they say about good girls, “when they are good, they’re good…but when they’re bad, they’re better.” Sometimes, you just need some, “From Here To Eternity.”

…And sometimes you need some Jean Arthur…who was virtually a ghost of a celebrity, hating everything to do with it, though one assumes, not the “acting” bit. She was said to refuse most PR responsibilities regardless of the contract, and suffered terrible stage fright, doubting her every choice and needing coaxing to go on often times. But when she was “on,” whatever she touched turned gold…helped greatly by the fact that people like Capra and Howard Hawks and George Stevens knew a good thing when they saw it. And put it up there with people like Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart.

…Awesome as her politically wry and pessimistic Saunders is in, “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, ” and emotionally clobbered and confused in, “Only Angels Have Wings,” watching her navigate the physical requirement of fast-paced comedy like her Oscar-nom’d performance in, “The More The Merrier,” on a dime of precision that could stop just shy of a single bat of a wing before the butterfly effect…is fairly amazeballs. Especially knowing her confidence was at like zero, and yet she would still one day teach a class at Vassar, passing on that knowledge (through mind-waves I suppose) to none other than student Meryl Streep.

Finally, then comes my great binge for today: the brilliant blonde bombshell, Judy Holliday. “Bells Are Ringing,” “It Should Happen To You,” “Full of Life,” and “Pfft,” are choice…but nothing touches her “Born Yesterday.” How you know is: she won the Oscar fair and square…but in the only comedy competing in the biggest cinematic year in Hollywood history, since 1939…beating out veterans Bette Davis in “All About Eve,” and Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard.”

…She was 29 during filming, had nearly lost the role to every eligibly aged actress at the time, as though she had originated it on Broadway…they claimed she had no “star quality” to bank on. Even stranger twist of fate being, the role had been written for Jean Arthur, who in another fit of nerves, had pulled out just before it opened…leaving Judy three days to learn the role, cold. Not even having been an understudy.

…The show opened, as scheduled, and she would perform the role 1200 times, before finally landing the contract at Columbia, and giving a performance on film, so totally fresh and inventive…yet beat-perfect…that it slaughtered the acting competition in a year of diva-supremes.

Her particular “light” burned out far too soon, at 42, from cancer. But not before leaving several killer Comden and Green collaborations, a slew of Broadway performances, and a son behind. Not least of which, she was the only person to face the McCarthy hearings unscathed, beating him so coolly as to not name names or face blacklisting, by acting the part of the dumb blonde everyone still assumed she was, (and totally getting away with it.) Just beginning to finally break free of the stigma roles which made her a star, she had formed a plan, before a second battle with cancer, took her life.

…A sad ending, tragic for the loss of talent, and where else it might have shown. But then, much the same can be said of Jean Arthur’s early retirement after “Shane.”

Either way, I have them now. They belong to me and their performances, from grave to grinning, are glorious. It’s good to visit with old friends, and check in from time to time…and it had been too long. Sincerely glad to have had the chance (even if it cost me a cold) to meet up and check in again.

…The ol’ girls really hold up. They dont look as if they’ve aged even a single day. You should drop in on them sometime, yourself. ūüėČ

– D

Little Games We Play

18 Nov

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It’s been a slow day.

…You can tell cuz this morning, WHS Pimp and I took to emailing “did-you-know-this-exists?” to each other…under guise of actual “work.”

…Like that super important Memo Change #33757.

Keep in mind, our offices are exactly three steps apart.

Also: We ran outta Keurig cups early  this morning.

…So the WHS Pimp had to find and plug in the old Mr. Coffee machine…dig up some leftover filters, and this bag of grounds which have been ossifying in the supply closet for about six or eight months.

…It mostly tastes of burnt twigs mixed in used engine oil, with a¬†soup√ßon of battery acid to finish.¬† Yet we are forcing it down with a grimace, because:¬†Caffeine.

…Also: It’s really flipping cold right now.

Both The Pimp and WHS Chick are bundled up like Randy from “A Christmas Story,” wobbling around the yard with the dexterity of The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as they load and unload product from the trucks.¬† Watching them try to maneuver the fork lift is bonus fun…as it requires a two-man team to do anything at all.¬† One to sit there, in a fused-bundle, without any movement radius at all…like an overstuffed pillow in traction…the other to stand behind or in front as the actual “eyes” of the driver, to tell them what to do.¬† They are just super uncomfortable-looking, with puffs of white smoke, constantly-blowing out of their mouths as they scream at one another over the motor.

…I can’t hear them, cuz I’m inside, where it’s warm-ish. ¬†

(Apparently, they can’t hear one another either…)

…But I can imagine their conversation.¬† Cuz frankly, there’s nothing else to do:

WHS Pimp: ¬†…To the left!

WHS Chick: …Mine or yours?!

WHS Pimp: (not hearing her) No!  Left! Left!

WHS Chick: I think the gear is frozen!

WHS Pimp: (still not hearing her) I said left! Left!

WHS Chick: …It’s won’t jam in!¬†

(Giant grinding sound.)

WHS Chick: Fuck-cock-a-shit!…Hear that grind?! It won’t ease in!

WHS Pimp: — Holy Hell! What are you…?!¬† Stop!

WHS Chick: …There it goes!¬† It’s in now!¬† Where do I go?!

WHS Pimp: Fig Newtons!

WHS Chick: What?! It sounded like you said “fig newtons”!

WHS Pimp: Eclaires! Eclaires!

WHS Chick: Why are you talking in food code?!

(I notice my tummy is grumbling. Guess I’m hungry. Back to the window:)

WHS Pimp: –What the hell are you…??! What’s happening?!

WHS Chick: (standing up from the seat and cupping her hands over her mouth.) WHERE DO I GO…?!

(She tries to look behind her, but the hoodie blocks all peripheral vision, and she can’t turn at the waist as she’s too bulked up.)

WHS Pimp: (still not hearing her.) What?! You want me to do it?!

WHS Chick: What?!

WHS Pimp: You getting down?! You wanna guide instead?!

WHS Chick: I can’t…I can’t hear you!!¬† My earmuffs are…Where do I go?!

WHS Pimp: Okay! I’m coming!

(He jumps over to her in a feined slow motion run, like Neil Armstrong on the moon. They yell at one another face-to-face over the motor.¬† Warring puffs of ¬†breath-smoke colliding in the freezing air.¬† Lots of gestures are attempted as a mapping out, but with little elbow movement, it’s hard to make out what the gestures mean. Some agreement must have been made as they return to their posts.¬† WHS Chick revs the engine and takes off the brake.)

WHS Pimp: Alright! Now, go left!

WHS Chick: …What?!…

(I take a drink of the death-coffee and grimace, like a dog-yawn. the end.)

~D
 
 

Weak Trees & Sneezes

12 Nov

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Am fighting a nose-cold.  

…It just showed up today and is affecting nothing else in my body but the nose.¬† Which is weird. Cuz every cold I get starts with a fever and goes straight for the chest.¬† But not this one.¬† This one aches not at all.¬† It doesn’t scratch, burn, or itch either.¬† In fact, if I could just remove my nose for the day and put it on that hanger over there, I wouldn’t even need this Sudafed at all.¬† And I wouldn’t be spending so much time worrying about what the nose-cold could morph into ‘tween now and all these auditions I’ve got lined up, ¬†less than a week from now.

But none of those things are the case in fact.

…Know what is though?¬†

I have weak trees.  

…Like Tom Hanks in “The Money Pit.” ¬†

…Granted, we had GIANT-FIERCE wind-gales last night.¬† But I mean…it wasn’t a hurricane for cripes sake. Or a frost.¬† Or a snowfall.¬† So it seems a little melodramatic to me that this tree, one door down from my walk-up, saw fit to uproot itself entirely over the whole thing. ¬†

…At least it fell away from the cars instead of last winter’s snowstorm death-toll which felled like eight…just on our block alone…across multiple Jeeps, Subarus, Volvos, Mercedes, and Honda Civics at total random, without class distinction or insurance coverage.¬†

…Night, after night, after night.¬†

Our street is getting bald now.¬† And these weren’t new trees.¬† These were monster 80-year-plus bad-boys, with root balls bigger than the cars they fell on.

…In comparison, last night’s tree was a mere teenager. And yet, it made it through Snopocalypse 2013, so I don’t understand how some wind took it out so completely, overnight.

…That’s like my nose-cold making me go blind or something.

Great. 

Now I’ve something ELSE to freak out about…

Tea.  

I need more tea.  

…So I can pee my nose-cold out before it gets dark outside and turns me blind. Or I die by over-exposure to my root ball.¬†

Like that damn tree.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another…

~D

 
 

Tie Her To The Bed

25 Apr

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Roughly 7 hours into a 12-hour Sudafed, pinched from Mr. Van Dan when I got to the theatre. 

…Forgot my drugstore at home, thank God he travels with one as well.

The up side is: it got me through the show.  The down side is: I may never sleep again. 

It is currently 2 am.

…I could easily mentally run an Olympic stadium, 40, 50, a lot of times, right now…if my brain had legs.¬† Problem is, the body is fucking TOAST, beyond exhaustion..but can’t rest because I won’t shut up.¬† Actually, verbally, shut up.¬† My face hurts from talking so hard…just even in the car on the way home, with Ma (who had come to see the show tonight.)

…You know how sometimes, if you work in retail or something, your face can be tired at the end of the day from forcefully smiling so much?¬†

It’s like that.¬†

Only its my whole body. 

…Which, (because drugs at this level act mostly like glorified novocaine), I won’t know the full damage of until tomorrow, when I get the incredible come-down crash…roughly about when my alarm will be going off for work.

So that will be special.

…But I made it! Through the fever, and demonic amounts of unquenchable thirst, and all the yelling, and fighting, and crying, and big Jewish mama-ing.¬†

…And it was even fun.

Thanks Putti, for the “pick-me-up.”

…Off to tie myself to the bed now for my own good.

…At last, a chance to write some of these “extra curricular” bedroom props off, towards theatre!

“No, I swear! I used ’em as part of a post-show process in prep for tomorrow! Honest!”

Who am I kidding?

As if this would be the first time I doubled naughty props, and my theatre career.

*Pft*

(…TMI isn’t a thing with us here.¬†

And aren’t you glad?)

ūüėČ

~D

On Fire

23 Apr

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I’m running a temperature so high, I could prob’ly burst combustible¬† things into flame within 3 feet of me.¬†

…And my throat hurts.

…And my nose is all stuffy.

This all happened within the last three hours or so.

Until now I have made it through half the castie colds, and people’s at work successfully.¬† Even the ones I mack on and share sweat with, on stage.

I am on my 3rd Airborn before finally going to bed.

I refuse to have a cold on my fucking birthday.

…Or the entire final week of¬† the show.

…Or the auditions for the next one.

But I will admit, that at the moment, I feel like total crud.

…Which will be magically fixed by morning.

…Because I say so.

My skin hurts.

I want my pillow.

…At least the Airborn is the orange kind.

Like Tang.

…So I can be like a famous space-exploring astronaut.

…In my cold-med, drug-induced dreams.

So, suck it: cold!

I’ll be all moon walking in a minute! And you can’t come!

~D

The Vocal Rest Conundrum

1 Dec

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You would think that a person, alone in a house all day, could easily dedicate themselves to a necessary “vocal rest.”¬† But if it’s “me” we are talking about…forget it.

…I mean, for shit’s sake, I talk back to the fucking television, so this is a whole “thing” I have to actually pay attention and make a point to adhere to.

18 hours of silence. From end of last night to 6 PM today.

Last night, the cold graduated to in-and-out laryngitis, less than mid-way through performance…so I knew what would therefore be expected of me today. And I knew how hard it would be. Cuz this time last year, I was put on vocal rest ‘tween the matinee and evening performance of a musical, and it pert near killed me.

…Mostly cuz I had to be where everyone else wasn’t, so I could actually stick to the plan. It sucked. All the laughing and gabbing I was missing out on, just cuz I was trying to be “responsible,” and things. The weird thing is: I’m totally “responsible”…except when I’m tired of it, and then: I’m not. And right now, I’m tired of this fucking cold.

…I’ve coaxed, and coddled, and medicated, and mothered it non-stop, doing all the things you’re supposed to. And, aside from actually leaving my house in order to you know, “make a living” and fulfill my contracts and things…I’ve been LITERALLY in bed, every spare minute between the two.

No hang time with the cast.

No drinks.

No last day with The BFF.

No Zoo Lights, or Christmas time shenanigans.

No singing in the car…

…And (though not through lack of trying), also: no sleep.

It’s been night sweats with tossing and turning, peeling, raw, red noses, unlimited supplies of snot manufacturing, and a slowly depleting voice. I don’t have a choice but to cater to it all and continue to babysit it in every waking moment. I don’t have a choice but to honey and lemon-dose my way to sugar-shock…or hot doddy with actual liquor for the next two hours, giving a dignified amount of time to wear off and sweat out the buzz before curtain tonight.

…And I CANNOT go outside…in the one day of sunshine we’ve had in forever…to take a walk.

Not even a little one.

Not even bundled up.

…I have to just lay here, administer gunk as needed, extricate it from my body as it is produced, and keep m’damn mouth shut.

All. Day. Long.

…I’m been up since 9:30…have been peeing hot tea, cyan pepper and lemon extract for three days, and the amount of interaction I “cannot” have with my festing of “Slings and Arrows” right now, is freakin’ killin’ me, people.

…It’s killin’ me.

~D

Baked & Sweaty

29 Nov

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Am half baked on cold meds, backstage, with only bows left…my body a sopping mess of fever-sweat.

…Today was work and home and medicate and sweat and chill, and perform. I’ve nothing left…even to jot in ink.

…I beg your forgiveness, and instead extend the rest of what I’ve got to getting myself home and to bed.

It’s best for all. Trust me.

~D

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