Tag Archives: funny

So Meta

15 Apr

image

So I’m watching film about actors in the  theatre…which is like my favorite thing.

…You know: “All About Eve,” “Bullet’s Over Broadway,” Being Julia, ” “Noises Off,” “A Midwinters Tale,” “Somewhere In Time,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “Curtain Call, ” Stage Fright,” “Tootsie,” “Waiting For Guffman,” “Shakespeare In Love,” every Mickey & Judy movie…to name a few?

…I’m secretly addicted to this practice.  It’s like the best of both worlds.  You get your cinema effects and star power on instant never-aged replay for life, but your little foreign freak world of hysterical “will they make it work or not” deal, of the world I know best. Plus really good smarmy one-liners. Cuz it’s internationally known that “actors” are whip-smart diva-bitches. Like, as a race.

It’s always fun when actors get to make fun of actors. No one knows how fucking neurotic we are better than ourselves. We can slip-stream right to the guts of it and make the “ouch” of truth, fucking hysterical. Cuz we are crazy freaks in our own way…not always the media-enhanced one, but faintly strange non-the-less. And we know it. We know the normals know it. And they know we know we know it. So to see one of us, BE one of us in all our process-filled glory, is a secret delight.

…Maybe because in true fashion of how the world looks at us, everything in all of life seems to be about an Actor when an Actor is in the room. Which is not (I guarantee you) the fact as it stands. Almost nothing is about us. Ask my creditors, and customers I serve 40 hours a week…the reports I run, the laundry that needs doing, groceries that need to be bought, the sleep I don’t get.

Actors are just people. And while it might be weird to think that Meryl Streep buys toilet paper…so did your first grade teacher, and you got over that whole shock and awe moment in the grocery aisle once…so maybe you’ll survive this too.

Thanks to my taxes I just filed, I happen to know for a fact that in 2013 in five shows, I’ve gone to 107 rehearsals, did 63 performances and traveled 5,958.36 miles. So that’s 170 days out of 365…and on most of those I also pulled a full 8 hour shift at the office. So sure, it’s my “career” and my “other full time job,” but if you think my landlord, or the guy I sell a garage to at work gives a flying shit, you are sorely mistaken. Like “theatre,” the cinema about it is a heightened reality of the truth…it shows what we want to think of as the lifestyle in the best of circumstances. Which means it’s semi-autobiographical…but only in the “working like a sunofabitch” sense.

…For instance: I’ve never known anyone who shows up to the theatre in full makeup, hair, and designer threads, with an entourage of handler’s in their wake. Even the famous people. We all show up the same way: looking like junkyards…it’s what yoga pants and oversized sunglasses are for. This is also true of our dressing rooms. They are never the elegant well-lit mirror-fest of solitary joy, full of flowers and blue M&M’s. It’s 99% of the time, a tiny pit, in the back corner or bowls of the stage, populated by anywhere from 4 to 47 other people. Even the nice theatres upkeep this tradition. A face-lift in the lobby and front-of-house…state-of-the-art sound systems and light boards mean dick to the non air-conditioned backstage, sweat fest, badly lit, real-deal where we all live.

…But for some reason, film (for the most part) likes to glamorize us while simultaneously showing how socially fucked up we are. Basically this makes it 50% right. Films like “Bullets Over Broadway” and “Noises Off” capitalize on the sheer ridiculousness of our lifestyle…the stakes we play at, how bad the really bad can be…and how psychotic we must be to do it all voluntarily. This is mostly true. Which is the sad/hysterical truth. Films like “Being Julia” and anything by Noel Coward, like to give us “class” and grandeur, wit and elegance. This is true maybe 5% of the time, though we’d like to claim it as biographical truth…yet it is difficult to be those things while sweating like a motherfucker, through endless quick changes, and wig swaps, in period underwear that keeps riding up, with an audience full of coughers.

…Mickey and Judy “lets put on a show” films are basically like tech week with teenagers…and don’t even get me started on the faux reverence of “Shakespeare” and his haloed language, when it’s contemporary people trying to wrap their heads around an inside joke that’s hundreds of years old, and relate it to people in the seats more occupied with remembering to pay their gas bill than watch a show right now.

In my opinion, there is one perfect example of theatre as shown by film. and that is Mankowitz’s “All About Eve.”

…Prob’ly cuz it was written and directed by a theatre boy from way back. He should know. And he gets so much of it right…from the raw longing, to the near misses and near hits, to the dive dressing rooms, and bliss of Openings…the politics…the power plays…the self-conscious aches, euphoric highs and shitty, shitty lows…showmances, and sexual drive…to sense of family and loyalty…all rolled into one. As well as the smarmy, bitchy, luscious extravagance of quick wits and one-uppers. Basically, it’s creative sex on film for the theatre kid. It’s our story, told extremely well…by people who get it…by people who were there.

…By people who got us here.

…So it goes that sometimes, I open up the decedent little box of joy that is the story of our life in what we do, and I watch it. Not, I think, for nepotism. Mostly for sense of “togetherness.” Like Christmas dinner with the family.

…It’s a strange little freak of a gene pool…but it’s mine. And I love it.

~D

Some Things

28 Mar

image

One 

You can’t blog everything all of the time.  Sometimes FB lack of anonymity kills it for you.  Even though everywhere else on the interwebs, I could be the chick sitting next to you on the bus, for all you know. (I’m not, but what if I was???)

…Which is weird. 

…Cuz the line boundary of what you can and cannot share has nothing to do with politeness and decency, but usually everything to do with who you don’t wanna stir shit up with cuz you might be working/running into/hanging out with them, later.  This makes a strange gray area in the land of blogging.  It means, (cuz of my strange and random “ehh” to personal privacy),  I can tell you all about my periods and BMs, sexual escapades and mental deficiencies…but not about the dick move that whats-his-name did the other day, or how incompetent ya-de-ya-da is.  So long as whats-his-name and ya-de-ya-da are one of the 400 FB people in my stream or other people’s I know.

…This cuts out on considerable amounts of venting, I’ll have you know.  Which is one of the reasons this blog was created to begin with.  It means drafting up poser-posts that stay in draft form as I light up the keyboard with flames of fury and bitch-snap, then immediately delete upon completion, because…well…it has to be done.

…But the point I’m trying to make here is that, sometimes the best material is left lying there like an open-ended set-up to a joke.  You REALLY want to pick it up and finish it…you REALLY want the rim shot of tasteless joy one gets from completing a really good zing…but you can’t…because you’re in the internet equivalent of a church pew, and if you go there right now, you’ll be totally excommunicated. Dieing a social-death forever in a pit of hellfire and damnation of your own lighting.

…So instead, you try and think of something else to write about, to keep your mind else wise occupied.

…Which is how prob’ly 30% of these posts exist to begin with.

…Including this one.

The end.

Two

A Toy For When You’re Bored At Work Cuz It’s Raining Again And Sales Are For-Shit.

…It’s just a working title, but pretty much nails the idea. So go to here. Cuz I did. And it’s mesmerizing. Good for background or just to watch and zone out on. The real-time musical journey of sharing information from around the world. Right there. Broken down by specific sound registers on Listen Wikipedia, by topic. Bells are additions, string plucks are subtractions, pitch change according to size of edit, color circles by editors, new users by string swells. Click on any that pops up and it’ll take you to it’s update, so you can read as the page plays on. It’s a strange little symphony, in 32 languages…of people teaching other people about the world. And it’s hypnotically awesome.

Three

Apparently there’s an anti-Valentines day movement by dudes pissed about how for some reason it turns out to be all about their ladies, and they get nothing outta the deal. There’s a shit-ton of crotchless edible underwear and flavored lube sales that’ll tell yuh different, but whatthefuckever . Point is… They say there is (and should be) this whole other observance day of joy just for the dudes, and I just found out about it. I also immediately spouted, “Well fuck that! What about the single ladies with no significant other to get them shit on February 14th?!”

…Which is when I invented “Whiskalingus Day.”

…It should be celebrated closely adjacent to the dude-prescribed “Steak, Beer & Blowjob Day”…for general fairness purposes…but with a re-booking option freebee, in case Mrs. Johnson is in town.

…You may be happy to know, I’m already in talks with my development team, and we’ve decided to offer Jameson and Red Breast, first option as our sponsors (why fuck with lesser…we deserve the very best)…and International Chapter Chairwomen positions are open for nomination.

…I will, of course, be credited as originator and CEO. I will also be the deciding vote on who our Grand Marshall each year will be. This will depend largely on who I am currently obsessing over at the time, and thus, almost always some kind of acting celebrity. The Board of Directors will discuss advertising options, and inevitable underwear product lines (which will contain no lace or crotchless shit, yet still manage to be sexy and comfortable…with enough room on the butt for our slogan.)

…So stay tuned. Also, if interested to join our team: apply here.

Four

It is Friday. What more do you want from me.

~D

Yoga, With A Burn

19 Feb

image

I’m on the fourth season of “Burn Notice,” and feel like it’s some kind of alien sucking all my brains.

…Finally got around to it on my Netflix cue, and now I can’t stop watching.

The leads are “okay,” (albeit stick people with chicklet teeth, and too-orange tans), but I keep watching on account of my great devotion to and love for Sam and Maddie. Sassy broads are my stock in-trade for lovin,’ as well as corny smart-ass side-kick dudes. Put them together as drinkin’ buddies and I am SOLD!

…I feel like I haven’t slept in four days.

(Mostly, I haven’t.)

I also feel like a beached whale.

…This is due to the fact I’ve gained a slight ton since my last show. And also on account of staring at all the chicks in bikinis they keep drowning you in, with every establishing shot, for this show. Apparently Florida hides the retirees and ugly, fat, pasty tourists indoors playing Bingo or something. Also, the half naked men.

…Where’s the beach-love-fantasies for the girls who watched this show?!?!??!!

Even though, (in my head) I know this isn’t the real world (or real Miami), it still makes reaching for the bag of Cheetos less fun, while festing. I feel too physically guilty…at least, after the first season. Honestly, it started fucking with my whole finger-lickin’ Nirvana, about half way through. Now, every time I get panged with a sloth-grossness vibe, I jump up and do fifteen to twenty minutes of Yoga through the rest of the episode. I’ve been known to do this four times per night. Mat, ball, weights: permanently where my coffee table should be. I think I’ve accidentally invented a new fitness regime they’ve missed out on, in the marketing.

…Although, on the flop side, thanks to team SamMad, it also makes me want to swill Mojitos and beer like a fish. If I were a smoker, I’d be totally fucked. Thankfully, where Mojitos are awesome in theory, I hate drinks with chunks of weeds floating in them, and I don’t stock beer. So: saving grace.

…Meanwhile…

OH MY GOD, DID BURT REYNOLDS JUST COLD-COCK THAT GUY?!? I FUCKING LOVE THIS SHOW!!!

…Off to let the aliens devour me some more. Maddie is burning a Congressman with sex-threats, and Smokey’s Bandit is shootin’ shit UP. Obviously, that takes precedence.

~D

Bad Ads & Baby Growing

17 Feb

Today is unbearably slow at the office. Rain all weekend left us with shit sales, and all reports done by 9:30.

…I’ve let the Gnome go home even.  No calls for about an hour at least…plus she’s moving today, and quesy.

…The last part is on account of the fact that she is in the first month of currently growing a mini-Gnome in her belly. 

We have much concern for the child, due to practicle purposes of common sense adaptations of it’s mother.  She’s a sweet girl, so affection won’t be an issue, but we do ponder its mental and physical future. The first weeks of pregnancy have been a big enough heads-up to show us that this is sure to be a wild ride of “how comes,” “what if’s” and “why nots” from the Gnome.

…I’ve already lectured on the importance of “going to the doctor,” “eating,” and “getting prenatal vitamins,” because apparently, those things never occured to her. Nor the fact she can’t just pound IB Profin for a headache and twelve kinds of tummy antacids, in lieu of breakfast. After an Urgent Care visit, she’s been forbidden to lift anything, and when I asked her if she was put on “bed rest,” she didn’t know what I meant.  To which I told her, it was exactly like it sounds, and she’d know if she was on it, cuz the Doctor would have told her so, to which she replied, “Well…I guess not, then.”

…I advised her to get an actual note with all her restrictions written on it. “So I can add it to your file.”  And, therefor, actually know them, and inform her of them, as needed.

I also advised her, before letting her go today, NOT to lift anything in the move. 

…This was followed with a pang of realization, directly after she left, that I prob’ly should NOT have let her go early, in order to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself today by doing things she isn’t aware she isn’t supposed to be doing, because she doesn’t “think” before undergoing most of her day-to-day routine and I dunno why that would suddenly change now.  Only I also realize that I can’t babysit her every move for the next nine months, and at some point she is gonna have to either wise up…or not.  On her own.  But then there’s this whole person dependent now on HER “good choices” and outside of about three, I’ve yet to see her really make any, in the six months or whatever, that she has been here.

…For a person with like zero maternal instinct, she is totally stressing me out with worry.  And it’s only week four.

Meanwhile…

…As the office is silent today, I’ve filled the time walking back and forth to the coffee pot for refreshers, and pulling 60’s ads for the the new show trailer I’m working on.  I’m looking for ridiculous faces and clothes, so went straight to the print-ads…where I know the worst offenders reside, and I have been gafawing, (actually out loud), at some of the particularly most horrible, for the past hour.  Since it’s Monday, I’m sure you could use a grin yourself…so am sharing the wealth of a few favorites.

Like:

* The Gran Prix of Circulation…
image

* Fashion for the Literary…
image

* The Doctor’s most recommended…
image
* Plastic: Not JUST for furniture and food anymore…
image

* Fuck breath mints!
image
* What wives are for…
image

* Really…?
image

* Um. Wow.
image
* For your convenience…
image

* Just…what does the photographer even SAY to get this pose?
image

And…the winner:

* Thank you, Canada

image

Happy Monday, friends 🙂

~D

How The “Actress” Ages

5 Feb

image

Listen up, it’d be easy to call it a “formula”…like there is science and reason behind it, but the truth is: a female actor ages roughly three times the speed of a male one, and that is the truth.

…This is not in “actual” body, this is measured in a thing called, “playable age,” which means the gap you can fill, based on what you look like and your “type.”

The older you get, the wider the gap ‘tween the sexes age in comparison, gets. This is how Sally Field played Tom Hanks’ love interest in 1988, and his mother by 1994, only six years later.

…That’s a sizable swing, people.

The fellas get to age as it comes to them, regardless of number, primarily filling three titles across a career: Child, Love Interest, Old Man. Women get four: Child, Love Interest, Mother, Crone. Yes, women get an extra label in there, but the major difference shows when you plug in the actual playable ages of what these times of life are considered by Casting Directors.

Women
Child – Infant to preteen
Love Interest – Preteen to 25
Mother – 25 -35
Crone- 35 1/2 – onward

Men
Child – Infant to preteen
Love Interest – Preteen to 170
Old Man – 171 onward.

…This is the actual truth. (Sort of.)

…The only break we really get, (as women performers), is if we happen to be Character Actors. In which case, even BEFORE 35, we have already (at some point) played one or two Crones, and our fair share of “Mothers” anyway…so the smack in the face for “playable age” isn’t such a big deal.

…In my case, looking at the cast list yesterday…I just thought it was funny.

…Sort of a little bit depressing…but I can still smirk about it.

…About what, you ask? Oh yeah…I forgot to mention:

One of the next two roles, in this show I’m working on, has me playing opposite an adorable, hilarious fella, I last worked with in “Anne Frank.”

…At the time, he was playing Otto, Anne’s father.

…And now: he’s my son.

With this kinda “comedy,” who needs drama?

😉

~D

Adventures Of An Idiot Gnome

16 Jan

image

Office is slow again today. We’ve run outta things for Idiot Gnome to do…so WHS Pimp has launched her on the outter yard to pick up scraps and clear nails.

…Meanwhile, we sit in  the lobby having totally inappropriate office conversations in between incoming phone calls.

…Idiot Gnome has only been doing this for about 40 minutes, and has already been in here four times to amend her homemade “hazmat suit,” guarding her against the evils of dirt and stuff.

It begins with a 90 lb 5’2″ person, layered in three hoodies, a puffy snow coat, blue rubber gloves…inside of shop gloves, tennies, and optioned goggles…(Which we keep on hand for welding projects.)

…She now weighs in at approximately 125 pounds, and is clearly having issues with the bulk, waddling around like that kid from “A Christmas Story” movie, whose so puffed out, he can’t put his arms down.

From time to time, we clock her through the lobby windows.

Her return trips of outfit amendments are mostly based on the fact that her body is too small to fill the capacity of our average-sized protection aids.

…The rubber gloves (identical to the ones your Dentist uses) are baggy and at least two sizes too big…so her fingers have around an inch of excess rubber, unfilled and floating at each end. These, she’s tried to cram into the work gloves, to help fill THEM with some sort of grip-traction…as they were made for a small man, which means she might as well be wearing oven mitts for all the function help they give her.

…Watching her trying to pick up a nail off the gravel (for instance), is sort of amusing.

…So is the clearing out of the back of WHS Pimp’s truck bed.

Full of cast-off scrap wood from our latest large build, he has her categorizing the contents into separate piles for shimmy and leveling use.

…Occasionally, a larger piece of siding becomes excavated, as just a moment ago, which he’s been watching off and on out the window, as I deal with several emails.

Eventually, he begins to chuckle.

Me: (From my office.) What’s up?

WHS Pimp: She’s just found an OSB sheet.

Me: Yeah?

WHS Pimp: She’s trying to figure out how to get it out of the truck.

(He giggles again.)

WHS Pimp: She’s sorta trying to bench press one end up, and grip it at an angle.

Me: Like she’s trying for over-the-head?

WHS Pimp: God, I hope not. First all, she can’t see anything. All those hoodie layers have like fused her neck range-of-motion to less than a Batman cowl. Second, if that thing gets any wind, it’ll catch lift, and whip her right up…like Mary Poppins…

(I start to chuckle.)

WHS Pimp: …Only a LOT more violent…

(I start to laugh.)

WHS Pimp: …Just a tiny rag doll, flung in the wind…

(I laugh harder.)

WHS Pimp: …Course she wouldn’t be prepared for it, either. And those gloves are EASILY ten or twelve sizes too big…so we know there’s like zero grip there…

(I contract my belly, hunching over.)

WHS Pimp: …Which, with the wind-shift against the wood weight, will flick the gloves right off of her, somewhere mid-lift, but her body inertia will just keep going…

(I start to cry)

WHS Pimp: …And she’ll have about three good seconds of total air, like a tiny flying Michelin Man float, cut adrift…

(I’m gasping for air.)

WHS Pimp: …And, where with other people that time would be filled with their life flashing before their eyes, thinking, “OH HOLY SHIT, I’M GONNA DIE!”…?

(Still Gasping.)

WHS Pimp: …She, instead, would have this totally amazing moment of complete innocent wonder. Then at some point: fall.

(Gasp. Cry. Gasp.)

WHS Pimp: …And we’ll run out there, and have to wake her up, making sure she isn’t dead or something. And you know what will be the first thing she’ll say?

Me: (Ugly-cry-laughing.) “You guys! I can fly!”

WHS Pimp: Exactly.

~D

Behind The Scene Beaverfications

3 Dec

So you’ve never been a beaver before. That’s cool, I mean we were all there once.  But I know stuff now that might come in handy, should you ever undertake playing one…(or becoming cursed or otherwise enchanted into it.)

…First: little-known truisms:

* Beavers secretly have the best butts in the whole of the animal kingdom. And legs of steel.  This is because squatting and waddling burns so many calories per hour that you could eat a whole Giant Red Sequoia and still come out lookin’ like Suzanne Somers from the 90’s Thigh Master years.
image
(How everyone NOT in the Beaver lineage, keeps it fit.)

* Beavers aren’t big on the “animal soundtrack” album.  They are still frankly pretty pissed about not being offered a contract with the “See n Say” recording studio.  But that’s okay, cuz  little-known-fact is: (and by “fact” I mean “we totally made it up”), Beavers sound alot like Chewbacca. Expecially when angry.
image
(Only the “popular animals,” my ass! Beavers are the cheerleaders of Narnia, bitches!)

* Beavers know all the answers to every plot question ever known to man. And all the secret forest pathways. In fact, Wizards have been studying them for centuries, cuz they only WISH they were as awesome. This is why you have two all-powerful pointy-hatters in those “Lord of the Ring” books and it STILL takes 80 years, two generations, ten or twelve armies, and three months of constant video streaming time, to climb one fucking hill just to throw a stupid ring off the top…and why our show is currently clocking in at an hour and a half.
image

(“I got this.”)

* Beavers are the sole of discretion. Especially if you accidentally-on-purpose run away to join in cahoots with a White Witch, and decided later (when she tries to kill you), that maybe that wasn’t the best idea. No questions asked, you can rejoin the good-guy team, whenever you want to. (Also, we won’t say anything about how you accidentally tooted while waddle-running in battle that one time.)
image

(Honey, what I know could fill a book, but buy me a drink: and we call it even.)

* Beavers have a certain sophistication which most forest animalia lack. Where the horse may have some powerhouse elegance, and the birds: a certain designer-label-born beauty…the Beaver can muck around, sweating and rolling all over the stage (or forest floor) all night long, battling Russian wolves and evil she-creatures galore…but their favorite way to unwind end-of-the-night, is still a decent sized cocktail, while watching Once Upon A Time on bluray.
image
(Some “me” time, end-of-the-battle day.)

* Beavers are masters of disguise and stealth. In fact, they can hide in plain sight while overhearing stage conversations for whole scenes at a time. Their secret is keeping super still. And the fact that apparently every other animal is really really nearsighted with terrible senses of smell.
image
(The famous “statue” pose, figuring largely into our specific production.)

* Beavers like to argue. A lot. They’ve placed first at every International bickering convention since 1902. Mostly tossed up in a good natured way, the bickering is how the Beaver shows their over-protective love. Kinda like your Mother. (And other alternatively aggressive ethnic family.)
image

(“For Chrissake Ralphie, you lazy bastard! Did you mud over that last layer yet?! You want we should all die in a hut cave-in or what?!”)

…In short, when undertaking to portray one of these fine, noble, classy bastards…have some respect for the Mob Boss of the forest. Cuz they’ve got this animal kingdom shit tied up ’round their little finger. Truth.

~D

The WHS Pimp Tampon Revolution

13 Nov

image

This is a real story:

WHS Pimp was taking a poop. It was at home, on Monday…(which isn’t really important, but I’m all about the “details”)…and anyway, he looked around for some reading material (like you do), finding only a box of Tampons.

…So, he read it.

…And he kept reading it.

…And he read it again.

…And then, he came in today, after fuming over it for two days, walked into my office from outta nowhere, and said:

WHS Pimp: “…First of all: I’ve been buying and looking at Tampon boxes all my life. Right…?”

Me: “Sure.”

WHS Pimp: “…I mean: I’ve grown up with two sisters, a mom, there’s The Ex…it’s not like I don’t get the idea of them.”

Me: “Okay.”

WHS Pimp: “…But what I’m saying is: These Tampon people are fucked up.”

Me: “Sure.”

WHS Pimp: “You wanna know why?”

Me: “I wish you would tell me.”

WHS Pimp: “First of all: it says on the box that all brands use a universal measurement of absorbency…”

Me: “Okay.”

WHS Pimp: “…And they color code it accordingly. Like: ‘Supers’ all equal ‘green’…”

Me: “Right.”

WHS Pimp: “…Now, they figure on the absorbency in measurements of grams. Which, I dunno ’bout you, but I find just weird.”

Me: “Sure.”

WHS Pimp: “First of all: who measures in grams? That’s like metric system kind of bullshit. And what kind of panel or research people has the job of figuring out the amount of grams that people bleed anyway? And also: how does that information help you at all? I mean: how’s a lady supposed to know how many grams she expels? What…they want you to like squat over a cup or something for several hours at a stretch to gauge the general weight? And also: that changes almost daily, and according to your activity…am right? I mean: you have heavy flow times and NOT so heavy flow times…”

Me: “Correct.”

WHS Pimp: “…But then they say a ‘super’ absorbs such-and-such grams or ‘heavy’…and ladies are different, so YOUR heavy time might not be HER heavy time amount and so on. So how’s a poor pre-teen, in like a family of all men with no mother, supposed to figure that shit out?!”

Me: “I never really thought about that…”

WHS Pimp: “Yeah! Right?! So here’s what I think…”

Me: “Bring it.”

WHS Pimp: “First of all: You ladies take a whole lotta shit.”

Me: “We do.”

WHS Pimp: “…They shouldn’t be adding, ‘how many grams am I bleeding right now’ onto it.”

Me: “Right? Those fucking bastards.”

WHS Pimp: “…And also: you’re super badass. I mean you BLEED out of your VAGINA. EVERY. MONTH.”

Me: “It’s true.”

WHS Pimp: “…So I decided, I should open up my OWN Tampon factory and just totally revolutionize the whole system. We’d ax that whole grams/’super’ size crap and just go with ‘simple.’ And market it better. Like with awesome animal names or something.”

Me: ”I’d be down with that.”

WHS Pimp: “See?!”

Me: “And none of the ‘Have a happy period’/ ‘fortune cookie’ bullshit that Tampax pulls. That just enrages me. I’m hurled over a toilet bowl, ralphing from cramps, while bleeding, and when it’s time to change-out, some snarky-bullshit-condescending-marketing-asshat has printed that crap all over the wrapper I’m trying to get the fuck open, and it just PISSES ME OFF. Really? ‘Practice makes perfect?’ Really?! I’ve been a fucking EXPERT at this shit FOR 21 YEARS NOW, thank you…!”

WHS Pimp: “…Oh, I hear yuh! Yeah. There’ll be NONE of THAT, in MY Tampon company!”

Me: “Good…”

WHS Pimp: “…And ALSO: Lets just take the math and measures out of the whole mixture. We have one product, one box, one size: done. Why even waste your time with different sizes to begin with? It’s just confusing. Why not just a one-size-fits all? I mean, wouldn’t you rather just use the ‘super’ …or in MY product line’s case: ‘Panther’…all the time, and be done with it? Less changing. Less mess. Less hassle. PLUS: it’d be like, ‘Hey, you gotta Panther? Yeah I got one. You need one? Yeah, thanks.’ It’s that awesome.

Me: “Ah. And here, we hit the snag.”

WHS Pimp: “…The final animal names are totally negotiable…”

Me: “No, it’s not the ‘Panther.’ You’re right, that is badass. It’s that the amount of flow DOES in fact matter.”

(He blinks)

Me: “Okay…cuz like, you have your ‘Panther’ days…and sometimes your ‘Polar Bear’ days…but you eventually wheedle down to like your ‘small-rodent-Chipmunk’ days.”

WHS Pimp: “Right.”

Me: “Well like…where you can get away with a ‘Polar Bear’ on a ‘Panther’ day…you can’t wear a ‘Panther’ on a ‘Chipmunk’ day. Or a “Deer.” On a ‘Chipmunk’ day, even a ‘Rabbit’ is pushing it. Cuz getting that thing IN is a whole lot different then getting it OUT again.”

(He blinks)

Me: “…There’s…it’s…you have to…there’s dry yanking involved. Maybe like an un-lubed prostate exam. In reverse.”

(He winces.)

Me: “Yeah.”

(He winces again.)

Me: “…BUT, I applaud your efforts ….in concerned study and thought…on making our monthly Mrs. Johnson visits more badass and streamlined and less condescendingly douchey.”

WHS Pimp: “It’s just cuz I care.”

Me: “I know you do, buddy.”

(Long silence as he goes back to his desk.)

Me: “That was a very detailed pooping.”

WHS Pimp: “Yeah. Tell me about it…”

The end.

~D

The One Where They Start Throwing Money

11 Nov

image

Strange how much not like a whore I feel today, being as Corporate finally folded and started throwing greenbacks our way to get us to stay.

…It is a small amount, but larger than we realistically thought they would offer, is set retro-active to the day Boss walked out, and will be the FIRST of a PHASE of raises, impending this year, as the office continues to restructure.

…Which means: I don’t have to keep looking for a job anymore (the worst second full-time job EVER) and I’ll be able to actually pay ALL my bills now, (instead of just running a bastardized Lotto system every month to see who wins all the bucks THIS time.)

Huge giant leaps in the world of less stress…I gotta tell yuh.

…And not only THAT, but the WHS Pimp (acting head of OPS) decided we should split the branch bonus every month instead of just accruing it himself…so a certain someone might even be able to stuff some bucks away now…or like, you know, opt into a retirement plan again (which I haven’t had since my young 20’s.)

About. Fucking. Time. (Says I.)

About. Fucking. Time.

…So, that happened last week.  Along with the usual other work shit…which strangely is a lot less stressful in retrospect with a couple of bucks in your pocket.

In Other News: Inappropriate Beavering continues. I have my first Beaver fitting on Wednesday…which (I have to admit) is slightly terrifying. You guys, they took circumference measurements of my head. And also: we have tails.

…In my brains we look something like adults in furry footie PJs, and those knit beanie caps topped with animal ears, with a four foot plastic shovel sewed to our ass. During fight call last week (wherein I was given a weapon of a rolling pin, that I obviously haul around with me always and merely need to pull outta my Beaver pocket to use as needed), we discussed the concern of tail room in general. With the 30,000 children in this show, the possibility that it WON’T be stepped on (and thus rip my whole butt off at some point), is pretty slim. They had thought of this ahead of time, I guess, as we heard that we will have amended, smaller tails, which just changed the pictoral in my head to look something like a gopher with a giant cling-on poop coming outta his butt.

…Which reminds me…

…At some point we elder Beavers were like, “Um…what the hell kinda noise does a Beaver even make?” So, naturally, I went home and YouTubed Beavers. Which pulled up a whole PLETHORA of range in info…not all of which has to do with Beavers at all. And no, I’m not just talking about sexy stuff. I’m talking about the worrisome amount of adults WORLDWIDE who don’t know the difference between an Otter, a Groundhog, a Ferret, and a Gopher. Seriously. Most of these people were at Zoos…with their children…where the animals are LABELED in various languages. And yet there is clip after clip of Moms and Dads talking to their three-year-old about how cute the Beavers are, when any idiot can read that they are (in fact) Prairie Dogs.

…But after I was done worrying about the poor and utterly misinformed children of idiots, I spent the rest of the time watching National Geographic clips and fucking hilarious Canadian beer commercials.

…Meanwhile…never once finding out the kind of noise that a Beaver makes.

Apparently, it is an unsolved mystery.

Science may NEVER find out.

…So, I think I’ll just make some shit up and go from there.

…This is what we call “Improv.” And is a totally legit thing to teach our Baby Beavers. Unlike the stupid people who scar their children for life by taking them to Zoos and calling Giraffe’s “cows” and shit.

The end.

~D

Does Your Doog Bite?

2 Sep

image

Tonight was schooling in farce, via Peter Sellers. 

I have always loved that guy and always will.  Anyone who can keep a straight face while doing a quarter of  the shit he does, should earn ten or twelve awards.  He deserves an entire movement of comedy, named after him.  Formerly known as “straight man farce extremism.” As he is the only human besides Buster Keaton to achieve it, in the whole of history, it would be a small club.  But a memorable one.

…For horribleness of accent and self-pain-induced physical trauma, he would even win over Keaton. Which is really saying something.

…For what I needed to study for: it was perfect.  Even grabbed a specific moment from “Pink Panther Strikes Again,” that will easily sandwich into the show, and then “voila!,” another cinematic Easter Egg is achieved.

Mostly, tonight was German study, for Schmidt, on the total importance of holding a straight face, no matter what. 

No. Matter. What.

We WILL be breaking in this show.  Even being usual hard-asses in that field.  It’s almost impossible, with the nightly improv of new things built from happy accidents that occur.  Things that there is no way to be prepared for, which WILL inevitably happen (as they already do), and for which we are nightly challenged.  (As if the other stuff isn’t enough to keep a straight face through.)

My Schmidt just plain can’t.  Not at all. Not ever. Or it’ll ruin her whole deal.

…But if Peter Sellers can do it, by god, so can I (and three other people who AREN’T Peter Sellers.)  Because: it’s been done.

So that’s the goal.

Meanwhile, I have like two weeks left to enjoy the inadvertent spews of guffaw when they happen from nowhere.  So, I’m gonna. Then it’ll be, “dial in for hardass time.”

~D

A Rehearsal Post

28 Aug

image

Sitting in the house, while an oddly masculine woman plans her debutant daughter’s party, as her husband schemes homicide.

Now: Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre interrogate our hero.

…There are only two people on the stage.

It’s a long one, (as far as they go in this show full of French scene madness.)

…Six and a half pages.

The finale of Act One.

Psychotic Nazis, world overthrow, frenetic gun brandishing, top secret-secrets, maniacal laughing, rampant crossdressing, murder, peepshows, and self-propelled seating.

Six pages.

…Oop! Back to beginners, I’m up!

***

Later: Just back from Scotland. Baking accidentally phallic bread loafs, tucking in murderers for a good night’s sleep, and watching a lover escape into the night, through the “rear window.”

…It’s been a full night already, and we’ve been at it less than an hour.

First, came an “underware parade,” for instance.

…This is how you know I’m in a show, cuz in real life, I haven’t worn so little as a one piece swimming suite in public in over a decade. Yet tonight began, trying on high heels and period underwear, while the costumer and everyone watched me parade around, flop about, and mock die, so they could talk function, light, and color notes.

…Like every other prop on stage.

…And now they’ve moved on.

…Via a slow motion chase scene.

***

Next: an assembly hall, featuring the oldest man in the world, and a fuck-all political speech that would make Aaron Sorkin sit up and take notice. Mostly cuz it’s so long and terrible.

…In all the good ways.

***

Nexter: Invisible car ride through the moores, followed by erotic ballet by handcuff.

…I’m telling you, this show has freakin’ everything!

And more.

~D

Inter-Office Peace Treaties

13 Aug

image

I’m taking a break from voicemails for a bit here.

…Also, there’s this huge-giant spider in the bathroom that is too big to kill.  It’ like Aragog from “Harry Potter.”

…Ok, maybe not quite as big as Aragog, but big enough that it is winning the turf war. 

I’m thinking of putting a post-it on the door as warning for the WHS Pimp in the morning…but I dunno what to write on it that doesn’t make me sound like a total “girl”…and thus get me made fun of.

I mean, if I put something like, “WARNING: Arachnid of death, enter at own risk,” I’d never hear the end of it.  But if I wrote something like, “Enter with boots on and please kill me” that might send a mixed message.

…For instance, what if it decides to move out in the middle of the night, to wherever it came from.  Then in the morning, maybe WHS Pimp comes in and finds nothing behind the door…but leaves it open…and I just assume he took care of it, but forget about the post-it…then close the door to go pee at some point, and look like I’m inviting permissive homicide to any and all who walk by.

…And WORSE, what if its still in there with me, at the same time?

These are the kind of things I think about, you guys.

…Especially when my bladder is full of an entire pot of coffee and “freak-bug” in there, won’t let me pee.

Seriously.

…Maybe we could hold like a negotiation for a momentary peace treaty…which lasts just long enough for me to do my business.  I tell him, I promise not to go near him with any large, heavy, squish-inducing object, and he promises to stay within my eyeline the whole time, and not move an inch. 

…Then, (of course), by morning, WHS Pimp can artfully announce an instant ban on all inter-office peace treaties, and kill him dead with his steel-toed boot.  And maybe wipe the creepy guts and leg-appendage-pieces off the wall as well.

Call me just another crazy Politician, but that whole thing sounds really good to me.  It’s like a really violent, version of “good cop/bad cop.”

…Or, you know…Europe. In the thirties…

~D

Mushy Stuff

16 Jul

image

I hate mushy stuff.  Hallmark cards are the worst things ever…like little Lifetime Movies waiting in an envelope. 

I…like to laugh.  I like to laugh, even when I cry.  Even when it emotionally hurts.  Even when something has really affected me.

…I’d say, “especially” in those cases.

…Which is why I think the invention of the Victorian-themed meme is the best thing since they added milk-fat to chocolate.

…And why closing notes to a Director I particularly love, after as show I’ve been particularly fond of,  will look a little something like this:

***

Dearest Prof~

It’s already been a too-crazy work week with nothing going right, filled with evenings that I can’t seem to fill no matter how hard I try.

…Yesterday evening, I was on my 11th “project” of the night (ie: stuffing my face with rice krispy treats while reading Empire Magazine) after already taking a long walk, doing dishes, helping Ma start moving, and spending an interminable ten minutes just staring at the ceiling…when my door buzzer went off.

“Thank god! Maybe it’s a Mormon who wants to convert me!” I thought, “I can *easily* milk that into three or four hours of free conversation…!”  

…But then, when I picked up the receiver to  buzz them in, I heard a little voice I know all too well at the other end.

Little Voice: “Hi, Gwen.  It’s me again…”

…So entered Cecily.  Where she stayed.  Until about 1 am.  In keeping to our now habit.

Cecil: “It’s been 24 hours.  And I missed you.  Am I disturbing anything?”

Gwen: “Only death by boredom.  Your hair!”

Cecil: “I know, I straighted and cut it. I also started my second job today, and bought a new wardrobe I can’t afford…and these earrings. ”

Gwen: “I contemplated taking a shower before work.  Then: didn’t. We do depression very different.”

…And so on…until both girls were laughing, and then crying from laughing, while having a picnic of tater tots at midnight on the futon…that everyone’s sister’s aunt’s brother’s cousin has slept on at some point across these past several weeks…which I’ve been too lazy to fold back up into a couch after the last run.  (A Gwen and Cecil sleep over going into our final Sunday show.)

It was good.

…The visit.

…And it also kinda saved your reputation.  

…Because frankly, you made us have too much fun learning and growing as people and actors and things…knowing full well all the time that at some point it would end, and we’d all be just sitting here like this with egg on our faces, like someone pooped in our morning Cheerios.

(That simile is mixed, I know, but I’m upset so just go with me on this journey and stop fighting it, okay?!)

…And anyway, in the end, instead of just “pretend” liking these people because I basically HAD to, in order to get the job done, I ended up liking them for realsies AFTER all…which means that Cecily and Earnest et al will never really leave me…they just go on extended vacations and get married and cut all their hair off, is all.

…In the end, I made a new young friend, who keeps me honest about working hard and trying to a set a good example, while simultaneously accidentally making me feel old as fuck… and got chummy with an old friend, who wasn’t even really a “real” friend, until I start pretending to be obsessed with him every night, across two months of time.

…And the other family members and buds have been great-making too.

…Plus I learned a whole lot…about a new kind of “funny,” and new ways to use my tool kit as a performer, and to allow myself to “play” more…also adding my first  legit acrobatic stunts to the resume! (I’m calling it a “backward lounge triple sow cow jump” or  the “Fairfax Flip” — pending trademark. )  

Really, you’re to blame for *all* of it, when you think about it.

…So I *hope*…as we all mope about in abject and total lack of motivation to join humanity, for sheer show withdraw depression…that you are fucking *happy* with yourself!

…I really hope so!

And as I sip on my orange spice market tea, and crunch on my English toffee, mentally sobbing for brilliant lines I’ll *never* get to say again, (and only got the joy to for all those weeks and weeks because of you to begin with)…I’ll try and pretend like that script over there  on my table, waiting for memorization, will be just as fun as this all was.  

…But I secretly won’t really believe it.  

Instead, I let it sit there, dormant for a few more days.  Because it’s too soon to wipe Gwendolen’s lines off the chalkboard of my mind, to replace with the words of another person’s.

…And I blame you for that too.

So: thanks a freakin’ lot!

Your,

Forever-Gwen xo

***

…Which about says it all, I think.

~D

Thinking Run-Ons, With Caffeine

5 Jul

image

…It’s a good thing I ate lunch today, cuz I probly won’t now till after the show, but I need the energy for tonight and stuff, and not just the “caffeine” kind of energy that I’ve been pumping all day long, the other kind…that includes meat and starch, sprinkled with pretend green foods…something my body can look at and be like, “Oh. Yes. I can mulch that up and shove it places to burn off later”…as opposed to the liquid diet of champions where the energy is fast and furious but dies quickly, leaving only the shakes…like those alcoholics who just tremor and get mean, any time after 11 am if they haven’t had their “hair of the dog” yet, for the day…

…And also, why is it “hair of the dog?” That never really made sense to me…what does that even mean?  It doesn’t feel like “hair of  the dog”…to me it feels more like “poison of  the death” or maybe, “head explosion of the vomitness”…possibly “morning-after of the bad-idea” but that one seems kinda long…and obvious…and apparently we go for the opposite when naming hangover cures…which, I mean, if we’re going for that, then why not just go with “sparkle of the My Little Pony?”

…Sometime I feel like people just don’t try hard enough…

…It is half an hour until I get to go home, and admittingly, I have been basically mentally clocked out for the past thirty minutes already…I blame that chicken taco, because it made me sorta sleepy, which is counteracting parts of my caffeine high, but only parts of it…and only the good ones I think…so I’m trying to balance that out with MORE coffee, cuz somewhere in my head it makes sense to do that…which is roughly the same spot where the little voice that says, “stay up till two a.m. and watch that youtube thing,” comes from…which I already know from past experience, isn’t the brightest spot of my brain, and maybe should even have like a tune-up, but I sometimes think that by giving into it’s bad advice, consistently, it must somehow raise it’s odds of at some point being actually “right”…which will save it by statistical proof so that I don’t have to go through all the bother of a mental tune-up after all…

….Which, come to think of it, is exactly what I did that one time with my last car, just before the piston went through the block…

…So maybe it IS a bad idea, when all is said and done…

…But then I never would have met Harriet, who “has nothing, but looks everything“…in that she has already cost me about $10,000 in repairs and incidentals…none of which was actually any of my fault at all…but basically what I’m saying is: had I tuned up the first thing, I wouldn’t be floating in loan debt up to my eyeballs, while driving a super cute car…

….And I forgot even why I was telling you all this, except that I wanna think it had something to do (ultimately) with caffeine, and I’m not sure how, but am fairly certain that I’ve just proven my point.

(High-five to the people still reading, because they clearly have nothing better to do…or are just taking an extra long poop.)

…Listen: this is gross…

…The WHS Pimp likes to play this game with a friend back home.  It’s called something like, “Find The Most Disgusting Thing You Can On The Internets And IM It To Me”…(that’s not really the name, I don’t think they actually have one, but it accurately depicts the turn of events, so we’ll go with that)…anyway, while he was describing it to me, I learned a new thing about google searching…didja know that if you put a search term and + or – after it and another term, it narrows your results? I didn’t even know this was a thing, but its good that it is, especially for their game, cuz they’re gross but not like “monkey-doing-a-hippo-people-porn” gross…so anyway…he was telling me how one time this last week they were playing the game and he did something about weird sex fetishes minus bestiality, and came up with this dude who likes to film himself running around his apartment on all fours, totally naked, acting like a dog, and climaxing by pooping on the floor.

…Which is how we got onto this subject to begin with…because of my previous poop/reading assumption…but what I mean by it all is: I learned something new on google the other day…not about the dog-man-pooper, but about the plus/minus deal…well, actually, to be truthful, I learned both, but only enjoyed the second thing…(and also, incidentally, The WHS Pimp won that round.)

…Anyway.  People are weird. 

3:57…

…If I take a real long time, I bet I could totally milk these last three minutes just on locking the door, alone.

Am gonna try it.

Peace-out, all!

Happy Weekend!!

~D

Ship Edge & Pea Gavel

27 Jun

image

So, a reprieve to the day.  About fifteen minutes in all, where the entire office just hydrogen-exploded with laughter, after snorfling giggles as quietly as possible through a series of phone calls with a new customer.

…We will call her “Helen.”

“Helen” is one of 21 new contract-customers whom I called for bookings today.  One of the 14 I Ieft voicemails for, with the usual schpiel of info about requirements and ya-de-ya-duh…and one of the 9 who have since called me back. 

…But apparently “Helen” didn’t know why she was calling, or whom, or for what, or really much of anything. 

To be fair, “Helen” is of the elder generation…possibly beyond the generation you would think of as the eldest, now living on the planet.  If she was 110, I wouldn’t be surprised.  If she was on the Mayflower, I wouldn’t be surprised, either. 

…And though I haven’t the slightest idea how a person with severe mobility issues, and self-proclaimed near blind and deafness could or would, go out alone into the world and purchase one of our products, she did.  Then promptly forgot all about it.  Until she remembered it again.  Then forgot again.  Necessitating several conversations tag-teamed by the WHS Pimp and myself, ending in tears of total gut-wrenching laughter.

…We did try to be professionals about it.  And we managed, on the phone.  Sort of. But that is all.

Here is an approximate run down of the scene:

WHS Pimp: (On phone) [Blah-blah,] this is [who-de-ha]…and how can I help you?

“Helen”: (On phone, screaming so loud that I can hear every word even from my office.) WHAT?! WHAT?

WHS Pimp: Hello, this is [blah-blah], how can I help you?

“Helen”: I CAN’T HEAR! YOU HAVE TO SPEAK UP!

WHS Pimp: HELLO!  THIS IS [BLAH-BLAH]! HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

“Helen”:  I SAID, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” YOU HAVE TO TALK LOUDER.  AND SLOW DOWN!

WHS Pimp: OK. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

“Helen”: WHO IS THIS?  WHAT DO YOU WANT?!

WHS Pimp: MA’AM, YOU CALLED *US.*  IS THERE SOMETHING I CAN HELP YOU WITH?

“Helen” : WHY DID YOU CALL ME?

WHS Pimp: AH! YOU MEAN WE LEFT A VOICE MAIL?  HAVE YOU BOUGHT A [BLAH-BLAH] LATELY BY ANY CHANCE?

“Helen”: WHAT?! WHAT?!

WHS Pimp: A [BLAH-BLAH.]  HAVE YOU BOUGHT ONE.  LATELY?

“Helen”:  WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

WHS PIMP: I THINK YOU PURCHASED A [BLAH-BLAH] RECENTLY, AND WE HAVE CALLED YOU TO SET UP A BUILD DATE.

Helen”: WHAT? WHEN?

WHS Pimp: ONE MOMENT AND I’LL PUT YOU ON WITH THE OFFICE MANAGER AND SHE CAN HELP YOU.  ALRIGHT?

“Helen”: WHAT???!!

WHS Pimp: ONE MOMENT, PLEASE.

(WHS Pimp puts phone on hold.)

WHS Pimp: Uh. Yeah.  We have a screamer.  She doesn’t hear well, and seems really confused.  You’ll have to talk slow. And loud.

Me: Yeah.

Me: (On phone) HELLO, THIS IS [BLAH-BLAH] HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

“Helen:” WHAT?!? WHAT?!?

Me: I THINK YOU NEED HELP BOOKING AN INSTALL, IS THAT CORRECT?

“Helen”: I DON’T KNOW. I WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE AND HE JUST WENT AWAY. WHAT IS THIS?

Me: WE SELL [BLAH-BLAHS.] I THINK YOU BOUGHT ONE. WE JUST CALLED TO–

“Helen”: (Apparently to herself. Or her invisible friend.) –WELL, I JUST DON’T KNOW, I CAN’T HEAR THEM! WHY DON’T THEY SPEAK UP?  WHAT DO THEY WANT FROM ME? WHAT?!

Me: …I’M SORRY, I…CAN YOU HEAR ME?

(WHS Pimp begins to giggle.)

“Helen”: …I JUST DON’T KNOW.  THEY WON’T TELL ME…

Me: …MA’AM.  IS THERE SOMEONE THERE I CAN SPEAK WITH WHO–

“Helen”: –WHAT?!  ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?!

Me: MA’AM, HAVE YOU PURCHASED A [BLAH-BLAH?] WE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO BUILD THEM.  DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INSTALL DATE?

“Helen”: SPEAK! UP! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!

Me: (Veins popping out on neck.) OK. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

“Helen”: WELL IT’S ABOUT TIME!  NOW.  WHAT DO YOU WANT?

(WHS Pimp giggles harder. We begin the process of confirmation and build dates. It is a longer process for having to scream and re-scream every sentence of it. Finally:)

Me: …SO YOU HAVE THAT ALL DOWN, THEN? ALL THE REQUIREMENTS?  AND DATE?

“Helen”: WHAT?

Me: YOU HAVE THE DATE?

“Helen”: THE DATE?  IT’S WEDNESDAY. JUNE SOMETHING…

Me: YES.  I MEAN THE DATE OF THE “INSTALL.”

“Helen”: THE WHAT?

Me: YOUR INSTALL.

“Helen”: 14TH.

Me: NO, THAT’S THE 10TH.  WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: WHEN?

Me: WEDNESDAY.  THE 10TH.

“Helen”:  TODAY?

Me: NO, YOUR BUILD DATE.

“Helen”: 14, JULY.

Me: NO, THE 10TH OF JULY…WEDNESDAY.

“Helen”: WEDNESDAY.  THAT’S *NOT* THE 14TH!

Me: 10th.  10th.  WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: THAT’S WHAT I SAID!

Me: OK. WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen”: …AND WHAT WAS THAT ONE THING CALLED AGAIN?

Me: THE BLOCKS? OR THE DRIP EDGE?

“Helen:” YES.

Me: BLOCKS OR DRIP EDGE?

“Helen”: YES! ARE YOU HAVING PROBLEMS HEARING TOO? DO YOU NEED ME TO SPEAK UP?

(WHS Pimp snickers louder.)

Me: NO, THANK YOU. NO. I’M JUST TRYING TO FIND OUT IF YOU MEAN THE BLOCKS OR DRIP EDGE?

“Helen”: YES.

(WHS Pimp snorkles.)

Me: WELL…THE BLOCKS ARE JUST…”BLOCKS”…FOR UNDER THE BUILDING.  THE DRIP EDGE IS FOR THE ROOFING…HELPS GUIDE WATER AWAY FROM THE–

“Helen”: –SHIP EDGE?!

Me: NO, “DRIP.”  “DRIP” EDGE.

“Helen”:  SHIP?! SHIP?! THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT.  WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH A SHIP?

(Whs Pimp starts getting tummy giggles.)

Me: NO, “DRIP.” “DRIP” EDGE.  “D” AS IN “DOG.”

“Helen”: WHAT?! 

Me:  “DOG!” “DOG!”

“Helen”:  WHAT?! DOG?!?

Me: “D” AS IN “DOG”…”DUH-RIP EDGE.

“Helen”:  WELL I DON’T KNOW.  BUT YOU’RE COMING ON THE 14TH, SO I GUESS I’LL SEE WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT, THEN.

Me: THE 10TH.  WE ARE COMING ON THE 10TH.  WEDNESDAY.

“Helen”: WELL, I WROTE IT DOWN *SOMEWHERE.*  ONLY I CAN’T SEE.  MY GLASSES ARE…WELL…I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY ARE.  BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE THEM, YOU SEE.

Me: AH. YES.  THAT MAKES IT ROUGH.

“Helen”: WHAT?!

Me: THAT’S ROUGH!

“Helen:” SO.  YOU ARE COMING TO MY HOUSE.

Me: WEDNESDAY THE 10TH.

“Helen:” : …TO DO WHAT, NOW?

Me:  TO BUILD THE [BLAH-BLAH] YOU BOUGHT.  FROM [YA-DE-YA-DUH.]

“Helen:”  OK, DEAR.  WHATEVER THAT MEANS.

(She promptly hangs up.  WHS pimp busts a gut.  I glare at him.)

Me: Thanks for that.

(About thirty seconds later, the phone rings.)

WHS Pimp:  [Blah-blah] this is [Who-de-ha], how can I help you?

“Helen:” WHAT?! WHAT?! WHO IS THIS? WHO ARE YOU?  SOMEONE CALLED ME FROM HERE.

Me: (With a grin.) Ahhh…sweet, sweet karma.  The instant fast-food gratification kind….

WHS Pimp: YES, MA’AM.  I REMEMBER YOU.  “HELEN”, RIGHT…?

“Helen”:  HOW DO YOU KNOW MY NAME?! WHO ARE YOU?!  WHAT DO YOU WANT?!

(A near carbon copy of the identical conversation I just had, takes place.  The longer it goes, the harder I giggle…eventually necessitating a bathroom visit so as to not literally mess myself with laughter.  By the time I return, we are at:)

WHS Pimp: …LEVEL.  NO, “LEVEL.”  THE GROUND.  “EVEN.”  “EVEN.” SO IT’S…”EVEN.”

“Helen”: WITH WHAT?

WHS Pimp:  WITH…THE “GROUND.”  SO WE CAN BUILD.  WE CAN BUILD ON ANYTHING AS LONG AS IT’S LEVEL.  DIRT, GRAVEL…

“Helen”: –WHAT?!

(I immediately start snickering again.)

WHS Pimp: DIRT. OR GRAVEL…LIKE PEA GRAVEL…?

“Helen”: T-GAVEL? WHAT?!

WHS Pimp: NO, “PEA.” “PEA!” PEA GRA–

“Helen:” —I CAN’T HEAR YOU?  WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?  SHIP EDGE AND T-GAVEL???

(I laugh harder. WHS Pimp with quivering voice tries *not* to.)

“Helen”:  …NEWFANGLE WAYS. I DON’T KNOW…

WHS Pimp: “PEA!”  “PEA!” AS IN…”PEAS IN A POD!” PEA! GRAVEL!  GA-RAAAAA-VEL!!!!!

(I am crying and holding onto the desk, open-mouth drooling on it, freely. No sound at this point is even coming out.  I am sincerely glad I have already peed. “Peed.”  “P”…as in “Piss myself silly”…)

“Helen”: P-GAVEL?!?

WHS Pimp: NO.  “PEA.” “GRRRRRAVEL.”

“Helen”: …WELL I DON’T KNOW.  IF YOU WANT TO. 

(I whoop a belly laugh.  WHS Pimp smiles and shakes his head.)

“Helen”:…I GUESS I’LL SEE WHEN YOU GET HERE ON THE 14TH.

WHS Pimp & Me:  THE 10TH!

“Helen”: …WELL, I KNOW I WROTE IT DOWN. SOMEWHERE…

WHS Pimp: THANK YOU!

(He hangs up. We totally bust a gut, crying all over ourselves.)

WHS Pimp: I bet she calls every day until the day we build it, wondering who the fuck we are and what we want from her.

Me: No takers.  Too easy.

(Long pause as we calm to silence.  Staring into the depressing abyss, after the one bright spot of our day.)

Me: You know? I’ll prob’ly end up just exactly like that. And this is just karma having a good premonition fuck with me right now.

WHS Pimp: …Yep.

The End.

~D

You Can’t Do That On Television

26 Apr

image

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

Tie Her To The Bed

25 Apr

image

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?)

😉

~D

We Three

29 Dec

image

Marty, our “Joe,” the Rat Pack, Oceans 13 and an a lotta smokes are still occupying mi casa as I speak.  Post a very hit-and-miss rehearsal, a couple bottles of wine, and some killer tofu stuffs hidden behind the mask of many, many good spices. 

…We are bonding hard core right now.  We may be BFF’s  by the end.  I dunno. 

Mostly we are trying to accomplish compare-contrast of our personal relations of the past and why they suck…sorta like an ongoing Oprah episode, minus the baby-daddy moments. This is why theatre families are so valuable. It almost never matters how fucked up you are personally, there is always another person at LEAST equally, if not more screwed up, or codependent than you are or have been. It’s sorta like comparing scars. “Here, I have this one from that one dude that totally fucked with my head.” “oh, yeah, but I have this one from that one chick that la-de-dah’d.”

Always raising the stakes.

…It’s like Improv really…you always say yes, and add on.

It kinda amazes me how totally screwed up actors are. I know we are by “reputation,” but I almost never believe it, really. We are all a hot mess for our own reasons, and part of the joy of what we do is realizing that a ton of other people are equally fucked up…and that’s why they understand what we do when we do it.

Right now they are on the sofa, YouTubeing this ghetto South African group, Die Antword…which is a particular favorite train wreck husband/wife music group that Marty found this one time and is obsessed with. It’s sorta her party trick. And its beautiful.

…Like many things that Marty does.

Dear Lord…they found a new video of them.

…Also, it’s three in the morning.

…But we are at my house, being totally responsible. And cheap. By drinking free booze.

Rehearsal for tomorrow (or today, if you count by sleep) was cancelled again, for reasons that I still don’t understand. Our “Joe” is tending to the tater tots in the oven, I’m posed over the keyboard in responsible notation of events, and Marty is Nicki Minaj-ing. We are a hot mess of ridiculousness.

…Again: its 3 a.m.

It’s what we do, as a race: “actors.”

…And magically: tots are suddenly before us in a bowl, Regina Spektor is hallooing to us, in a Capella, and we are wearing shit-eatin’ grins.

I love us.

A lot.

I feel a giant glass of water and sleep is soon on the horizon. And as the “old lady” in the room (by like 7 years), I call the bed.

…Let it be known.

~D

Commedia dell’Ham

27 Dec

image

The only fun thing about running lines at this point (a total necessity) is to fuck with ’em by punctuating them with ridiculousness. So when I get to this point in the process, I just let it all hang out.

…Personal favorites are Telemundo-ing them to such great lengths of unnecessary melodrama that it is all but impossible to keep a straight face.

…Also adding inappropriate accents. 

…There is something about doing Shakespeare in a wide Wisconsin yowl that makes you want to piss your pants…like, every time. 

Look, if you HAVE to run these words over and over and over and over again in your head…to the point of incorporating their thought process and sentence structures as a second nature, you might as well have some fun with ’em. ‘Specially the dramas. One can only live in that kind of head space for so long…you have to be able to divorce your emotions from the words at some point or you’ll just launch into depression on a consistent basis. I like to fix this by reciting them while rocking out to music set as loud a possible, or at a speed mirroring that dude who used to do those Micromachine commercials when we were kids.

Dramas “at speed,” are fucking hilarious.

…Raising stakes to that level but without taking the time to segue from one thought process to the next, suddenly makes your character sound like a complete schizo, with totally unreasonable commentary and validations. Like today, for instance: running the worst emo lines of Act III, had me scrunching to the floor so as not to wet myself with the hilarious help of a friendly cue-giver. Every line spoken absolutely flat, on their end, was responded with mine in a highest-stake faux meltdown of wailing that would make Gloria Swanson look like an amateur.

…Which, because I like to pace while running lines, went a little bit like this:

Them: (Sitting in a chair.) But. Why. Oh. Why. Did this happen.

Me: (While walking out the room.) –I don’t KNNOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!!! Beeecaaaaaause iiiit DIIIIIIIIIIIIID ! Iiiit HAAAAAAAAD to!!!!

Them: Now. We. Will. Never have. A normal life. Again. Why. Oh why.

Me: (While walking back into the room.) –Wwwwwwweee aren’t LIIIIIIIIIKE that!!! We aren’t!!! WE AREN’T!!!”

Them: Ok. So we aren’t. But then. What.

Me: (Pacing.) Listen!

Them: (Silence.)

Me: (Pacing.) Listen!

Them: (Silence.)

Me: (Stopping and yelling at filing cabinet.) LISTEN TO ME!!!

Them: I am. Listening.

Me: (Pacing back out of the room.) –We can NEVER go baaaaaaack! It’s alllll DOOOOONE for us now!!

Them: But. Why.

Me: (tearful-vomit-screech-of-pain-from-the-other-room)

Them: Why.

Me: (Heave. Heave.)

THem: Why.

Me: (Walking back into the room.) IIIIIIII DOOOOOOON’T KNOOOOOOOOOW!!!! It’s all because of “THEM!”

Them: Damn. Them. Damn them. All. To hell.

Me: (Gesticulating madly.) —Oh! Oh! Oh! It has come to THIS!

Them: Yes.

Me: (Falling into chair melodramatically.)— I KNEW it!!!

Them: I’m cold.

Me: –The END!

Them: Are you cold.

Me: –The END of EVERYTHING!!!!

Them: Lets not. Talk about it.

Me: (Standing and wailing.) GODDAMN MY LIIIIIIFE!!!!

Them: I’ll go. Cook us some dinner…

Me: (More wild gesticulations.) What care I for food?!

Them: You have to. Eat something. What.

Me: Nothing!

Them: What.

Me: NOTHING!

Them: (Beat.) What.

Me: (Calling out with all the power of Stanley from “Streetcar,” while sinking to my knees.) EEEEEEGGS!

Them: Fine. I will make us. Some eggs…

***

…This is not a literal translation of our line sequence of course, it’s more a general flavor. Wouldn’t wanna give the end away and all. But the point is: I laughed lots while doing it, which is exactly what WON’T be happening tonight when we run the scene for three solid hours.

…And I really needed that.

~D

A Christmas Memory

8 Dec

image

Mom is the oldest of six kids.  An Irish Catholic family: three girls, three boys. 

…It was a crazy dynamic from the beginning because though they had music in common, Gram was a free-spirited, brash and often outlandish Artist, and Gramps was a detail-oriented mathematician and engineer.  It was almost like watching two species of animal exist together, and yet somehow, it (obviously) worked.

…And of those six offspring (which would later have thirteen kids of their own), each epitomized a little freak-peculiarity of their own…because of the melding of the two worlds in Sciences and the Arts, forever  surrounding them. Not all of them inherited the high-infused academia, but they all were gifted in things “Artistic.” 

From cartooning, to interior design, to crafting, to writings, to wonder-inventions made out of old rusty stuff you would normally find in garage sales or at the local dump.  And, they all have criminally hilarious senses of humor…ranging from the uber dry wit of a Cliff Claven, to the twisted-viewed observations of someone under the influence of heavy hallucinogens.  Fuck your classroom “Chemistry” class…THIS is what really happens, when you join two dynamically different elements into one beaker and produce a family with it.

I am reminded on a continual basis of why I love them.

…Because they do things like (for instance) accidentally adopt twelve too many animals, plank-board ‘tween bridge railings…just because…make lighting fixtures out of car parts, build a Japanese landscape in their backyard, or sit down and type out random memories on FB for us all to read and laugh about.

So, today’s blog will be guest-served by one of them, because it was too good for me to pass up: the voice too dead-on in which it was written, the memory too crisp to merely smile at and go along my merry little way.

This one is from “Uncle Big Guy.”

…So titled, by me, when an infant…as (at over six feet), he is well of at least six inches taller than any of the other leprechaun-sized people in the Crane family gene pool.  We are told he (the youngest of the six kids) was the one who got all the “Swede,” back from Gram’s side of the family.  But all I knew was: he was (and is) a giant…who used to let me walk on his back to pop it, or land-surf…who always had a collection of musty-smelling empty Jack Daniels bottles lining his windowsill (his libation and collection-obsession since probably birth), and who could turn anything…absolutely the most normal everyday observations…into breathless hysteria, making you piss your pants just by the way he retold them.

…He still does. 

…And this is one of our many shared family Christmas memories, as he retold it to the FB world, today:

“My Mom loved the Holiday’s, she decorated the whole house for every one of them, including the change of the seasons. Having the house totally decked out every Christmas was awesome as a kid and has stuck with me my whole life, it is the main reason I now decorate my own home, it brings back a lot of memories of past Christmas’s of mine and I hope is building similar happy memories for my Son.

Every year we got a live tree, not overly big because the nice big ones were ‘too Goddamn expensive,’ this tree would then be stuffed into our Volkswagen bus for the trip home, leaving any of us other passengers to try to squeeze in around it if we also wanted to make the trip back. There was no fighting over seats in our van because all the seats had been removed so we could haul firewood in it. Dad was fiercely proud of the fact that he could haul ¾ of a cord of firewood in our van and not bothered in the least that when not hauling wood, his Children sat in folding lawn chairs in the back desperately holding on to anything within reach to keep from being thrown to the floor in the corners or at red lights. More than once I saw someone proudly showing my Dad their fancy new car only to have him say ‘Yeah, but how much wood can you haul in it?’

Moms answer to our less than grand Christmas trees was to put the whole thing on top of a rickety old metal trunk, making it appear a full foot taller than it actually was and had the added benefit of making it completely unstable. First the tree had to be placed into the ancient tree stand, I affectionately referred to as ‘that finger eating Sonofabitch.’ This pathetic stand had the multiple threaded rods that you would twist equally from all sides in an attempt to secure the tree to the stand until enough tension built up within the ring surrounding the tree that the whole thing would violently rotate ¼ turn around the trunk with incredible speed, generally taking a finger or two with it. At this point the stand becomes useless, basically just another decoration as the only thing holding the tree in it is the force of gravity, then this whole affair is carefully lifted and placed onto the slowly collapsing metal trunk.

This impending disaster always sat in the corner of the living room, directly in front of the two corner windows, which not coincidentally, had permanently installed cup hooks in their case work solely for attaching the long strands of bailing wire required to hold this Christmas miracle in the upright position. The entire operation described above took place not 10 feet from the wood stove which Dad liked to keep at a cozy 215 degrees, so emerging from under the tree soaked in sweat and tree sap an hour or so after climbing in, left you looking like a large, pissed off, glazed doughnut with pine needle sprinkles and broke fingers.

With the tree up it was time for decorations. Putting up the decorations with Mom was a running history lesson, after dragging all the boxes down from the attic, each one was carefully opened and unwrapped and almost every single piece had a story to go with it. There was the whole box of handmade ornaments from Grandma that usually hung in a row across the top of the bay window in the kitchen, it just wasn’t Christmas until Grandmas balls came out. Opening each new box was like seeing old friends and Mom would very often say things like ‘ OH.. those were from so and so when we lived back in the little yellow house, remember Dad?’ and Dad would say ‘is there a door open in the back of the house? I feel a draft.’ The next one would come out and Mom would gush ‘Oh.. we got these when C was born, or was it P, Do you remember Dad?’ and Dad would say ‘T, check the back of the house and put some more wood on the fire, cold in here.’ The next treasure unwrapped would bring , ‘OH these are very old.. be careful, Mama made these’ from Mom, and Dad would ask if we were going to eat at some point tonight.

Regardless of lyrical content the tree was always beautiful.

I don’t mean to put My Dad in a bad light here, he was just a very ‘practical’ Man , he wasn’t against tradition, it’s just that sometimes they differed from mom’s, sometimes to a frightening degree.

One Christmas, Mom’s Mom, Gramma, was with us for Christmas when my Mom’s tradition of lighting a candle in the window ‘so loved ones can find their way home,’ collided head on with my Dads tradition of ‘closing the Goddamn curtains at night’ to stop the draft. This led to the development of the new Christmas tradition of sprinting through the house with a flaming curtain rod. This pyrotechnic celebration took place right in front of my very old and unsuspecting Gramma, who, relaxing on the couch with a book at the time, was almost gifted a severe cardiac event.

Anyway, the whole point of this story is that one of the things my mom did for us was to do these large drawings on tag board with colored pencil. These drawings were very detailed depictions of a ‘cut away’ house where you could see inside into all the rooms. In these rooms she would draw all us kids and Grand kids celebrating Christmas or outside playing in the snow covered landscape. These poster sized drawings showed staircases and fireplaces and Christmas trees being decorated. You could find toys and books and rugs you recognized from real life, they were “cartoony” but very cool and you could look at them for a long time and discover new things.

Every Christmas these would come out and be put up on the wall, they were part of Christmas and I have never forgotten them. Fast forward to a few years ago and I am flipping through a magazine that sells puzzles among other things and there on the page is a picture of a puzzle that I swear my mother could have drawn. Long story short, I bought it with the intent of putting it together, making it a permanent piece and putting it up at Christmas, that was two years ago. Two days ago I took this puzzle down and started working on it, now, I am not a puzzle guy, but over the last two days of working on this I have remembered years of Christmas memories and thoughts of my crazy Mom and Dad and all the good times we had.

I don’t remember what I paid for this puzzle, but it sure as hell was worth it, and it is the reason I had to come in here and jot down this story. Wishing you all the happiest Christmas,

God bless people,

T.”
image

…I remember that van…pitching over out of the chairs on turns, and doing drawings in the back with colored pens Gram always kept in her purse, as we waited for Gramps to get off work, in the Forest Service parking lot.

…I remember hearing about the drapery fire story, and Nana’s impending heart-palpitation “episode,” which followed it.

…I remember all the gillions of times Gramps voice would bark out from the kitchen, or his chair in the living room, “Somewhere there’s a door open. I can feel a draft!” And all our immediate whisking though the house to find and fix it.

…And I remember all of those posters Gram drew, so well. Especially the last one. Always hanging in the hallway. A kind of Christmas “Where’s Waldo” of hidden family story elements, and jokes, and events, and happy, happy memories.

Like this one.

Thanks, Uncle Big Guy, for the ‘”member when.”

Love,

Boo.

~D

%d bloggers like this: