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Something Like Seven Years Later…

10 Jan

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When you do shows with people, there is this strange familial intensity of time, wherein these (sometime) total strangers, become the people you (for all intent and purposes) live with for two months (or more) of your life.

…And then, the show ends, and that living arrangement breaks up.

…You all go your separate ways…sometimes to OTHER shows with each other later in the season…or in the next…or five years after…or maybe, never again.  But aside from the total transplants and floaters, even if NOT working directly with these actors again, chances are: you’re gonna see ’em.

…See ’em in passing.  See ’em at Opening Night parties, or casting calls, or on stage in other shows. 

…And sometimes you get that little misty spike of endearment pop up, even just in those short moments together…when the chat comes super easy, and the catching up runs a mile a minute, and you both say, “Gawd, why the hell don’t we go out for drinks some time or something-or-other?!?”

…And you REALLY TRULY intend to…

…But then “life” and shows and movies and things happen…like one fucking thing after another (it seems)…

…And then it’s three years later, at the concession stand, waiting for your too expensive glass of bad house red to be poured out, seeing one another again…

…And it’s the same song, and the same dance, to the same tune…because there is obviously a genuine affection and intention there…as you (again) strike up a conversation like it was all yesterday when last you met, and it all ends with the same declarations of “friend dates” and nonsense hang-time in the pending scheduling…

…But it still doesn’t happen.

This occurrence is a regular phenomenon of the theatrical profession. Furious affections can lay dormant for years of time, and be revived immediately at first sight…years and years later…as if waking from a broken spell all of a sudden…like in a fairy tale.

Thankfully, we are (in current day) given the divination of the Facebook Fairy Godmother…so that even if we DON’T see our former family loves for half-decades at a time, we can still keep tabs on them from afar…

…Which (as tonight’s former castie-love, The Prodigal Blonde, pointed out), may be slightly freaky and stockerish…but gets the job done. Cutting out whole former initial necessitated opening lines like:

“Oh wow! How the hell ARE you?!”

“What have you been doing with yourself?!”

“Shut up, what?! You’re MARRIED now?!”

…Allowing us to cut right to the meat of the matter, instead…like:

“My god, it’s been…how long?! You look fantastic! Shut up, and you have a baby now! And that trip you took to France? Those pictures were AWESOME!! P.S. I really love your last headshot sitting!”

…Which obviously helps to make the ABSOLUTE MOST of our precious, cherished moments, whilst finally flung together for a matter of moments (waiting in line for the ladies loo, for instance), so as to not waste even a millisecond of visit time.

The Facebook (and other general social media) has become not only the ESSENTIAL self-marketing and networking tool of the artistic world…it has also helped us to Celebrity Stock our own friends, (as they orbit in the world outside of our immediate own), so that when (by chance), we actually DO manage to meet up for that drink we’ve promised to meet over for about seven years now (or maybe slightly less), we can just immediately get down and dirty to the real poop-hammock story realness of it all…

…Jump right into the deep end of cracking one another up, sparring wits, iknowwhatyoumeaning, and hearing (at least in this instance) that totally hilarious inverted squeak…of The Prodigal Blonde…which is one of the most wondrously definitive laughs of all time

…Immediately sending you back, to that one rehearsal, when you heard it for the first time, snorfled, and said something like:

“Um. What. Was. That. I’ve never heard a human make those kind of sounds. That’s not your REAL laugh. NOBODY laughs like that.”

…Which is how (I’m pretty sure) our whole friend-affair first began, (at least in MY book.)

…The end? infinitely ongoing.

~D

War Wounds

7 Sep

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Three of  the eight hours in rehearsal today were spent in handcuffs getting yanked around.  I’ve a beaut of a bruise in full color already, and tender muscle surrounding, which means more is yet to come.

…I’m generally pretty proud about my theatre wounds. (Except that time I broke a finger doing “Noises Off.”)

…It’s like any battle scar, showing that you were here on this day, at this time, and did a thing.  I mean REALLY did it.  These are not “accident” happenings, they are well earned trophies, from hours of working and re-working bits, putting everything you’ve got into them…like sore muscles and body aches are the repercussion for a good workout the night before.

…(Which I’ve got too, btw.)

If I didn’t have to carb up so much to get through the show, I’d prob’ly lose ten more pounds before opening, in sweat loss alone.  Gallons of hot water and tea back stage, and today’s working of what we like to refer to as the “handcuff ballet” sections, ramped that all up well before noon even.  Ten A.M. call for voice-over work, then ballet call, then line run, lunch, then full run and notes.

…Meanwhile, major set pieces have finally started to show up, and we wrangled our way through, out, and around all the remaining incidentals.

Two more runs before tech.  Wherein all hell will break loose as costumes, wigs, 70 sound cues, plus lights, will explode this all into overdrive.

Two more runs where it is just about the core “Us’s.”

It’s a good team.  We play well, work well, improv well, and manage to turn 90% of the mistakes, accidents, and open season opportunities into full fledged added bits, winks and major features further profiting the production as a whole.

…Because we ain’t afraid to look like idiots.

You’d be surprised how often that turns out well for you, on stage.

…Anyway, totally exhausted.  Came home to a sauna-hot shower, out with the girls for a bit of a Rum-fest at a tiki cabana place, and am home now…legs and feet aching, cuz of eight hours in heels, and plenty of constant physical everything.

Time to wash m’face again, and set in for some write-time on my weekly prompt, I think.  Until sleep slaps me in the face, and I wake up and start all over again, tomorrow.

Night, friends.

~D

I Have To Go Be 16 Now…

30 May

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Regardless of the post-rehearsal double Long Island making me want to curl up into a ball under the covers and produce a lot of “Z’s”…I am here serving my devotion to you by my nightly blog.

…Because a promise is a promise.

…But a book is also a book and I have three new ones to take in, right now, courtesy of Dame Builder, who I’m playing teenage swappies with.  I loaned her the film, she loaned me the books, and together (though separately), we are feeding one another’s teenage angst and bubble-gum yearnings in the “Beautiful Creatures” department.

I want to be completely honest and say, “I really just wanna go get buried in one right now, no offence to all the yous.”

Had a full day, rehearsal was successful in being rehearsal-like, and we post-funk as a cast, like professionals. 

No big surprise there.

…So now it’s off to face-washings and some ridiculous southern-gothic sci-fi.

Huzzah!

(Also, it’s almost Friday. Another “Huzzah!”)

Now: onto virtual cupcakes of happy “Yay!”

~D

You Can’t Do That On Television

26 Apr

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Tonight: The BFF’s fella and “Aunt Lily” from Children’s Hour were in the audience.

…The Fella was heard immediately, with his totally specific gufaw-laugh.

Post-show hang had us locked out of two pubs before we finally found a place still open that would eat and drink us.

(P.S. It’s Friday.  What fucking pub closes at 11pm on a FRIDAY?!!?!)

…So without other casties, we made due with cheese sticks, n sliders, n potato skins, n’ generously poured Long Islands.

Yummers.

…Naughty.

…So, even better.

Theatre, moving, house-pimping, Dr. Who, kids, food, and theatre again…were on the docket.

…Also this HIGHLY appropriate/inappropriate French condom commercial, that “Aunt Lil” pulled out, in show-and-tell. 

(Bless European non-sensor standards.)

We were HOWLING and talking back at the screen, non-freakin-stop.

…And you will too.

But first, I’d like to dedicate it to a missing family member tonight:

Dear Karen/(Marty),

Aunt Lily thought I should see this for educational purposes. 

If anything, it only salted the wound of irony. 

Here

…I thought you should have it.

Just because Joe’s gone forever, doesn’t mean you’ll die all alone: A spinster/virgin/nun.

…(But you prob’ly will anyway.)

…So hey, at least you have one less thing to worry about. 

…And until now, you had no idea that a dancing, possibly-diseased-penis, was something you needed to actually “worry about.”

So: you’re welcome.

Love (to my death),

Martha.

~D

Rye Bread & Worcestershire

15 Apr

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A helluva day. 55 contracts processed and assigned…first food at 5pm.

Am snockered.

…But I promised something from behind the curtain for today’s post, and I’m good for it.

Since my day was passed with nary a Cheerio to sooth my tummy, food was frequently on the brain, as I sifted from contract to contract and fed my tummy acids with more black coffee.

…So “food” will be today’s quick peek. Not a glamourous part of the job, but the more you know about theatre, the more you see there IS no “glamourous” part of the job. That’s all in the heads of the people watching from the seats.

…So are the gluttonous ravishings of practical prop foods, and beauty of the jewel-toned alcohols filling up snifters and downstage bars.

But food and drink are supremely important props. They fill an uncomfortable silence with scraping cutlery, and slurping of tea…while being a gigantic pain in the ass to stage hands, and actors alike.

…Because we rarely (if ever) eat and drink the actual foods supposedly represented, due to the fact that apparently since time first began, playwrights give an absolute shit about the mechanics of dinner scenes and food allergies and non-alcoholic booze, and the disgusting practice it takes to achieve them.

How do you keep ice cream from melting under stage lights for upwards of 45 minutes?

What does one do with gluten allergies for one quarter of a cast?

Is there anything more disgusting than watered-down, warm, flat Pepsi in a glass decanter?

…Yes there is.  It’s called “Worcestershire gravy.”

Citrus-spray to stave off browning of apples cut two hours ago.

Semi-frozen cakes to keep them from crumbling all over the place.

What does one sub in for cold milk, to a non dairy drinker, which has been housed in a non-working refrigerator on stage for an entire act?

What kind of meat do you serve in a diner when none of the cooking appliances are actually hooked up?

How many chews can you get it down in?

Does it phlegm or dry out your throat too much to speak and be understood?

Is it messy or sticky?

Is it awkward to skewer, stab, spoon or cut?

Does it spoil, curdle, or turn unseemly colors under hot lights?

…And: how mean can a techie team be, when they wanna slip in a slice or bit of something sinful, without your knowing until it is far too late?

Most of us have been there and seen that.

…But for those who haven’t: The subbing in and out of food is a natural necessity. 

Lights are hot, frequently the foods are in non-functioning appliances on stage, which only ups the temperature if anything. And actors are, by reputation, finicky eaters: famously on restrictive diets, non-dairy, and/or vegetarian, and now: gluten-free, while being allergic to everything under the sun.

…Which is why one of the first questions asked at the first rehearsal is: “what (if any) food allergies do you have?”  This ties in life-choice foods as well, of course, and from there: the SM and props department, will have to come up with the correct looking foods, refashioned and dressed up to look like totally other foods, which we actors will be presented with come tech week and told to eat and drink. 

Period.

…And we do.

…Which is sometimes a pleasant surprise. (ie: the bakery-donated gluten-free New Years cake we eat in “Anne Frank.”)

…And sometimes not. (ie: the time they ran out of powdered gravy mix and doused my rye bread “meatloaf” in Worcestershire sauce instead, forgetting to tell me, for “Murder at the Vicarage.”)

…If you count smoking as a prop of consumption, I’ve had my fill with that lot as well…from grass-tasting peat, to something resembling catnip, to vapours, to pepper herbals, cloves, and god knows what-all, so long as actual tobacco wasn’t part of it, thus a patron-consumed health risk.

I’ve eaten delicious Greek yogurt on white bowl-forms, masquerading as ice cream, a la mode with an actual slice of apple pie.

…I’ve had gallons of teas, juices and flat sodas as different liquors, combining in truly odd tastes to pass as cocktails.

…Spam burgers with skinned apple slices as fries.

…”Crimes of the Heart” put me off Lemon in any form, for upwards of five years, from doing that one damn lemonade-making scene over and over and over again.

…Stale challah bread.

…Plenty of raw veg.

…A glass of powered, lukewarm, milk.

…Brownie pieces in lieu of boxed chocolates (required, with not enough time to chew them properly.)

…Tic-Tac pills.

…Kool Aid cough syrups.

…Whipped cream mashed potatoes.

…The list goes on and on.

I keep waiting for the day when I’ll sit in front of a full Italian meal of meats and pastas stood in by  bleached Twizzler ropes and cake sprinkles topped with cookie-chunk meatballs and lumpy, iced-cake “lasagna.” 

….It’s only a matter of time.

…Especially when the only “food allergy” I ever put down on that form is “fish.” 

…Which even the evilest-minded SM would never in a MILLION YEARS attempt, under hot lights, with actors.

The End.

~D

 

The Inheritance Argument

23 Dec

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I  am eating Doritos at 1 am, after another whirlwind day of, “oh, but I never knew that that was gonna happen.”

…It’s becoming a norm for me, which is really unsettling for a person who clings to habits and planning like one of those suction-cup window Garfields, from the 80’s.

I am growing, as a human, they tell me.

…After changing plans with J, because of a Mr. Cuteness illness, I was swooshed into Greek eats with Ma, then recruited to theatre viewings with Marty with about 40 minutes warning, secured a ticket via JM, met up and saw the show wearing the same fleece get-up from 10 this morning, and had after-drinks, while solving all the artistic problems in the Universe, with The Fella and Marty.

…Then there was this whole brush with the law, and Shop 101 class, discussion of why you need a penis on your side when talking about anything having to do with motor vehicle repairs, and finally made it home in time to send out another late blog, which I view as “technically” the correct day it needs to be done in, even though it is actually “tomorrow,”  on account that I haven’t been to bed yet, so it is “technically” still “today”

This is getting way complicated, I know, but one tends to reach when attempting to justify oneself.

…Also, these Doritos are from yesterday’s lunch.  And they are gone now. There were only about 4 left…slightly stale.

…Listen: I’m tired (big surprise), and still haven’t finished all the stuff I needed  to do today.  Namely stocking stuffers, and the ever insufferable wrapping.

God, I hate wrapping.

…It is the job that is just never completed. 

Presents seem to breed, even in tight pocketbook circumstances, and here I sit to eternity, paying for the consequences.  And now I have this huge turn-of-the-century framed picture to wrap as well.  It’s Ma’s gift, and she already knows about it, as she pointed at it in an antique store and said, “I want that.”  So I obligingly purchased it for her.  And it was then placed in a garbage bag to keep the rain off it in transference to the car. 

…A garbage bag. 

…On a $210 Bronte-esq print with original Kensington Hyde Street framing from London.  With a stamped label.

This is the world of irony I live in.

…And now it sits in my room…in the same garbage bag, waiting for me to return its dignity by wrapping it in paper with sleighs and Christmas trees slobbered all over it, so Ma can open it in two days, while pretending the whole time to be totally surprised by its very existence.  And she will go on about it, just like she did in the antique store, as if she has never seen it before this moment…including the highly unsavory moment she likes to always include in matters of collectables in reminding me that, “this will, after all, belong to you one day.” 

…As if plotting for my inheritance upon my mother’s death is something that I always consider in my present-purchasing.

Me: Why the hell would you say that, even? It’s Christmas and  this is your gift. Every time you say things like this it feels like you have my name on a little sticky dot placed on the back, just waiting so when you drop off the twig someday, this will all be mine.

She:  Well, it will.

Me:  But I don’t wanna think about it!  For god’s sake, you’re my mother!

She: But it’s a really good picture.  And it would look nice in your bedroom and all.

Me: Stop it!  Stop it! I’m buying you a Christmas gift, for shit’s sake! I don’t wanna think of how it may look on my wall when you are dead!

She: …I’m just saying…

Me: Look: Do. You. Like. The. Picture?

She: I do.

Me:  Does it make you happy?

She:  It does.

Me:  Do you have a place to put it?

She:  Yes.

Me: Then can I please buy it for you without death being in the same sentence?

She:  Sure.

Me:  Alright then.

She: …But, just for future reference–

…These are the kind of Christmas conversations I have with my mother. Sober or not.  In joy or sorrow.  Death and inheritance are apparently very  huge to her, even though I am an only child, who has a habit of keeping absolutely everything but gum wrappers…because of some sentimental link or another.  Which tells me, I have been FED this disease from childhood (one suspects), and have been programmed to accept it.  And I adore it.  But not when talking about a picture I’m about to buy you, whose exsistance in your home you are only justifying as a weird kind of savings account placeholder for when you kick the bucket.

…So, let it be known.

…And now I’m off to wrap some more…

~D

Bookmark

11 Dec

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I’m gonna set today’s blog as a placeholder for tomorrow. 

Too much to process tonight, too tired to do it, and I’ve still face-washing and Yoga to tend to. 

…Lets just say: Did a job today, and did some stuff tonight.  Mostly involving crying and peeing.  I blame the Gatorade.

…Also, a lot of free emotional cleansing.

I’m tired.

Marty n’ I had fun chats over vino and laughed lots with our favorite waitress (a regular)…so now to settle down a bit and start featuring in some sleepy time.

Meanwhile: The BFF and I had fun chats before, IM-ing over dinner about our general plans to take over the world…whilst I ate a concoction made of kiolbassa, carrots, potatoes and cabbage in a sorta onion broth. Which means I basically spent all of rehearsal smelling like an old Polish woman with winsome Irish farting inclinations, sobbing and snotting to excess.

…So it’s good that Marty knows me well. 

Or this night coulda totally killed the whole “romantic” thing our show is so intently pressing.

…Poor, poor Martha.

I feel, (somehow) she is doomed.

~D

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