Tag Archives: Friends

,When: She Writes A Little

22 Jan

One of my favorite  humans has just left. 

…I hermit myself,  quite often,  because as an anxiety-fueled person,  it is a requirement.  But I imagine it must be somewhat akin to a person with onslaught senility…in that a part of me very much wants to participate  and understands the joys and loss,  while the other part of me is just incapable  of dealing with that information. 

…Anyway, I’ve missed her. 

And,  as we do,  we had a good walk, and talk. About all the things. As Aaron Sorkin  would want us to.  And she was honest and brave. And she was real.  Which is always such a privileged thing to be on the receiving end of.  

…And this comes just after a fantastical hang time with my “Dark’s,” –the surviving drinkable age range of the show that drove me to my last break down, (they didn’t,  but–you get it) leaving  me (ironically)  with a buddy-crew of mates,  I would not trade for fucking gold.  

…And I am writing again.  For real. 

I’ve a stage read this Thursday,  and last week was the first time in over half a year that I enjoyed going to rehearsal. Or acting. Or any of it, frankly. Followed then by seeing a well played show this weekend, hang time with my mates, an Act and two scenes into a new script since Tuesday, and an artistic retreat  with a group of women, to be met with none other,  in two weeks. 

…Just us,  a cabin, and infinite artistic abilities. 

Outside of my artistic  cocoon: it is shit.  But inside…inside I am protected by heart-family,  energy,  wit, and a shit ton of very stiffly-poured drinks.

…And characters,  that fill my mind and tell me secrets, and appear,  all of a sudden (from out of nowhere), in print. 

I’ll take it. 

~D

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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

So Many Things

3 Oct

Sometimes… I don’t write much while working on a show. Often that is code for other things…like the kind of experience I’d rather have disappear into the ether for all of time. Sometimes it’s just because I’m too damn busy and can’t be bothered. And sometimes it’s because I’m living the moment fully and will set time aside later to reflect on it. 
This show was halfway parts two and three. 

Am very thankful to have done a thoroughly joyful, silly show with a lot of my dearest friends. We opened a season, slaughtered the season ticket sell projections, and while it was never meant to be Shakespeare, we played hard, enjoyed the fuck out of one another, and learned lots. 

…Having worked with the director before in “Narnia,” I’d no idea what to expect of the process, sans 30,000 children in creature makeup… But knowing the “woman,” I figured we were in solid hands. Finding a new favorite Director out of the gig was bonus-town…because she knows her comedic beats like a mutherfucking pro (not that I doubted her, it’s just not my own particular field and difficult to judge when in beaver makeup.) And “why” she quickly became a favorite is due one part on her persona and equal on her run-of-the-room.

My favorite directors trust their cast to do the job they were hired to do. We have different job titles because we have different jobs. Having worked under every variety of Director from vice-grip Dictators, to absent cluelessness… I’ve come to the conclusion that my preference neither ignore you nor manhandle you. They trust you. They give you guidence, then let you take the leash. They allow you to explore, create, make mistakes…learn. And then, they modulate. They study your choices and adjust. They understand what your intent is and marry it to the theme. They allow freedom of expression, but are so studious on the work that they can give you a note like, “lift her on this line instead of that.”and the next night, that beat is magically solved, beautiful, and perfect. 

Collaboration is king in theatre. It is the solvent to awkward “real life” relationships I seem to suck at. Finding a fellow artist who speaks my same language, I am always as surprised and delighted as if I heard my mother-tongue in deepest Africa. Finding one in a friend I’ve known for some time in a variety of ways, makes me feel both a little dickish and also winning. It isn’t that there is doubt. It is that people need their moment and roles to shine. And I’m a distrustful bastard by nature. So: even more fight. 

…Long and short of it being: “Hey, J.Y… You’re a good fucking teacher, can’t wait for the next time.” 

Next: You know when you have a real talk with a person you only “casually” know…like through another friend? And you know how that can be awkward as hell, because “people” and you go together in none of the ways? But then you end up having this super long artistic joygasm conversation that kinda creatively blows your mind? Had one of this weekend. Which then launched me into closing and strike and presenting at an awards ceremony… On zero sleep-juice, but all the artistic-yay…which is my main purpose on earth to obtain…meaning: I gained a legitimate real life, serious new theatre family-friend, and am exhausted today. 

Totally worth it. 

…These past two months of “crazy”: totally worth it. 

…Sharing a dressingroom exclusively with Cecil for an entire run: bliss. 

…Learning the subtle command of a friend’s artsistic influence over yours: educationally rewarding. 

…Being paid to play and work with the family you’ve hand-picked: fucking priceless. 

Hot damn, I’m lucky. 

(And I know it.) 

~D

Hard Truths

27 Aug

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It is arctic-freezing in the office.

…Two air conditioners war from lobby to the WHS Pimp’s office for the sake of incoming clients, who never arrive. I, meanwhile, have turned to ice, attempting thaw now by spending “lunch” pacing…while one-thumb punching in this blog.

I feel a little bit awful.

…This is because Cecil and I spent last evening getting blitzed. Which seemed like more than just a good idea at the time. It was a long-coming, multi-purpose necessity.

…Like the tater tots and pizza, which followed.

At around 11 pm.

….Also now: a regret.

…Funny thing about blow-out binging…it never seems to adhere to the: “chances you don’t take” regret rule. And why is that? It’s only fucking fair.

But, no. No, but no, but…no.

(Another water swig, pausing to make sure it goes down n’ settles.)

Minimal Hangovers are like the nagging mother of bad ideas. Not a big enough punch in the gut to say, “Wow…am so not gonna do that again in a long while.” More like,”There are smarter/healthier ways of doing things, and you should be a more responsible adult…with two more long work days ahead.”

…Minimal Hangovers are the bitchy little “I told you so’s” of day-afters. Which sorta just pisses you off more than prob’ly a full blown blitzer.

…At least then you could be like, “Yeah! I told you that was a totally serviceable set of reasons to get tanked! See! A repercussion that is equal to the joy/rage/disappointment/situation which preceeded it! Embrace it, as it all pukes out in front of you!”

(More water. And more.)

….Have peed no less than ten times today. An every-swallow effort to force-cleanse in the opposite direction of how it currently wants to. And I have done this. To myself. No denial here. Only regret.

…Regret and insane yearning for some fucking ginger ale.

So: there is that, then.

(Water, water, water…to infinity…)

…Also: I want a taco.

Why?

~D

Hello, From Away

18 Jul

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I’ve been kidnapped by friends to a two-story cabin on the Sound somewhere on the peninsula.

…In the last 21 hours I’ve cried (from laughing), sped through country mountain roads (in an orange, 1960’s convertible Mustang), walked the tide-flats, let the ocean lap and salt-water sooth away my Joan Crawford bloating, back pain and pressure, ate a homecooked carne asada with fresh everything marrying so many flavor bonus surprises, the tongue was on multiple orgasm delight.

…We siesta’d on the back porch with frothy fresh margaritas, watched the waves at magic hour, read a play so late into twilight, we finished with candles whipping their light every-which-way…too stubborn to stop or go inside. Later: attacking a cheesecake on a plate between us, each with fork in-hand…laughing and chatting late into the night.

…Awoke in the loft bedroom, by the sun poking in through the giant windows. Downstairs, side-steped a morning breathing and yoga regime by Lady M, to fresh coffee, and out with bedhead and no makeup to the already toasty deck.

“Think I’m gonna take a morning dip, in a bit…the water is just too delish,” The Prof says, in greeting.

“Mmm. Coffeeeee…….,” is all I can yet manage, gripping my cup while looking out…at a view that is cinematically ridiculous.

…Lady M joins us, Yoga-refreshed, cup in hand. And for the prob’ly three-dozenth time in these hours away, we are: three women…as the world so very rarely gets the chance to unabashedly see us. Real. Makeup-naked. No phones. No watches. Hairstyles: irrelevant. We don’t care how we sit in our chairs, various sizes of little round tummies, not sucked in as an outreach to vanity. Toenail Polish on the feet thrust out before us, chipped in places…because, who cares? We are three generations of womanity…so different in our ways and manner of walking through life, but so at ease and peace with one another and (most importantly) ourselves.

…It has been silent for a while, and we are fine with this. I look at our coffee cups a moment and grin. It’s too good. I have to share it.

“…Even the cups we choose give us away: The Prof, with her delicate demi half-sized pour, Lady M with her funky handmade look and shape, and me: the largest monster-mug in the cabinet.”

…We all laugh. At what it says about us. To ourselves, and each other.

This. This is the kind of life-medicine that heals better than any pill or salve. This is where I have been taken by one of my closest of close friends….who just gets me and all my failings and frustrations. This is where I’ve been shown, by example and expert women-strength, that it is hard enough being a strong woman, being an artist, being in “business”…being a “grown-up.”

….Sometimes you need someone to take the phone and the watch and the pretenses away and say, “Go. For 24 hours: let it go, and just ‘be.'”

….And so I have.

…Save for one little blog, while two women of a certain age, laugh and sing in the ocean just below me…being amazing inspiration. Without even trying.

Because, just “being, ” is enough.

~D

If It Doesn’t Scare The Crap Outta You…

3 Jun

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I don’t like new things. 

You know this about me. 

…However, my post-BD, Super-Awesome-Life-Reboot requires new goals and new challenges in order to move forward and thrive, so I am actually surrounded by “new,” researching “new,” and actively hoping to bust my ass so hard, that my entire life will change within like one year.

…None of that is normal for me.

…In fact, frankly, it is downright terrifying. 

…If all goes well, the best-case scenario has me leaving my job, my apartment, my friends, my family…in fact the entire state, and relocating to a place where I know no one at all, but with freedom to apply 1000% of my being to art.

…And the worst case scenario is: I do all the same amount of work-prep, don’t get the gig, but still continue to slam my head against the “opportunity” wall, until I do.

…Which could be… I dunno…years?

I’m in a section of my life where basically, I’m just gonna be scared shitless no matter what I do, because it all comes with gigantic odds and gigantic repercussions.  And if I DON’T take the chances …right now…well, that comes with gigantic repercussions too.

…Mostly involving life-long depression, blatant alcoholism, and prob’ly a weight gain of like 500 lbs.  I’m sorta not too stoked about that life-version…which means I gotta do the other thing, and I gotta do it now, and I’m basically twitching with “oh-shit-ness” at the thought of whatever outcome pops up, either way.

Do you know what I mean?

Presently, we are in “prep,” the early Phase 1 of the plan…which is the only thing I excel in. Research. I am BANGIN’ at research.  Currently reading the world-over of scripted works…anything people will throw at me, pulling massive chunks of monologues, compiling, categorizing, and editing like a machine.  Phase 2 begins next week with piece-prep for Phase 3, which are initial Season Generals for Theatre #1.  Which is only really a grand-gesture-prep for Season Generals at Theatre #2: my actual ending goal, several months from now.

…All of which could be side-swiped at any time based on slot availability, willingness to see me based on resume and head shot alone, and…well…being up against a whole HELL of a lot of people for not a whole hell of a lot of casting slots.

…And in my head, I am all the while trying to balance the cheerleader, the reasoning practical entity, and the fall-out voice in my head…so as to be prepared for whatever occurs at whatever time…which for me, feels like saying goodbye forever to loved ones, before undergoing the knife in a basic surgery…just in case I die.

…Because that is how my brain works, friends.  It’s always all or nothing.  Which makes this new current Reboot downright fucking terrifying.

…Meanwhile, (in the real world)…today is  just a Wednesday in June.

It’s a lot of work, being me.

~D

Waking A Giant

4 Jun

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If Theatre is a family (and it is), then it makes sense that I feel gut-punched right now…

…Because like every self-respecting LGBT-21st-Century-Community with multiple Mom’s and Dad’s, little sisters and big brothers, in a splendidly blended environment of love and universal acceptance…we are the village that it takes to raise a child. All of us were reared in it. And all of us will eventually take our turn (if we haven’t already), reaching out to the others who come after us.

…In that respect, our family has lost a once-“son”, then “father”, and now grand-poobah of a “grandpappy,” who has taken his final bow on this earth with the grace and dignity and showering of respect he has so very much earned, during his time on this planet. In this family.

When I first met him, he was a totally indestructible force of sparkling dry wit (still is), dressed in sooted togs, as the most beautiful Alfred P. Doolittle of all time. Beautiful in the dirt smears, in the picking at a flea in his armpit, in the good-ol-boy jeer and wink that killed the audience every single bloody night. Beautiful in his choices, in his art, in his reckless abandon at whatever his particular version of “dancing” was, as he lolliped about the stage with his mates and us, every night…dead of summer…covered from head to toe in wool-and-such, in a theatre with no air conditioning.

By show’s end, I was eternally gobsmacked and we were “pals.”

…I was 20 years old. A brand new transplant from California, and he was (and is) one of my first friends, in the first show I had ever done, here in this state.

…Which is how I’d eventually book a headshot session with him. And how I first met his other art: conducted behind the eye of a camera lense.

(Naturally, he was quite brilliant at that, as well.)

…As he was brilliant in “talk” in telling a yarn…in summing a story up seen as no one else quite sees it, in private IM’s after reading a blog I had written that particularly tickled his fancy.

Meanwhile: we worked on more shows.

…He: as a “softy” singing, “More I Cannot Wish You,”…watched nightly from the wings by the whole lot of us…the sweetness and endearment so very, very clear in his interpretation.

…Then: a hell of a court case, where I…ME…THIS person, right HERE…got to sit beside him…nightly…in a silent court room, just we two, in a single scene. As Drummond shared a window into his psyche in “Inherit the Wind.” A simple, moment, yes. But “full.”

…And you know the “fullness” that I mean.

…Or at least, I wish you to some day experience it, if you haven’t.

He was, (and is) quite frankly, loaded with “that thing.” That special whatever-the-hell-it-is that defines the “great” from the “good.” He was (and is) that extra step of something special…something you cannot quite put into words, but you absolutely can “show.” Least some people can. He can (and could.)

…And in case you’d ever doubted it…there was his gorgeous, human, wonderfully truthful without being overly sentimental Norman in, “On Golden Pond.”

…He is (and was), one of the greats. The greatest of them. You may have never heard his name, but you should. You may have never seen his work, but you ought to have. He would have taught you so much. He did, me. (And likely hundreds and hundreds of others.)

…Not just “how to be an actor” either. Not only lessons an actor could watch and mentally note for use later down the pike…when…IF… we were (or are) ever so lucky to have the talent and to have gained the access to perform the kinds of roles he did. I mean: just even as a “human.”

Human lessons.

…You know, the kind of things that “dad” and “granddads” are SUPPOSED to do.

…And his last one, for us…on a stage. The last one he took his bow from at large from here in the Pacific NW…was how to face age, and illness, and loss with dignity…with humor…with devotion…with love…with respect.

I’ve always said (and always will) he was one hell of an actor. But I think maybe he cheated a bit on that one. I think, more often then not, he supported that character with his own personal viewpoint and wit and sass. His own brand of “He-ness.”

A giant has passed our way, friends. He lit a lot of fires on his journey, and I am one of them. You might be too. And tonight I’d just like to raise a toast to my (and our) good friend, and head-of-the-family, as we know it…with thanks.

To the great Clark Maffitt.

Sincerely,

One of your many, many friends and fans,

~D

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