Tag Archives: Oscar Wilde

And, Curtain.

14 Jul

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“Earnest” has been stripped, unscrewed from the floors, dislocated from the window bracings…our clothes (still on hangers) were loaded up into the back of a car trunk with all the finality of a coffin lid closing. No more props tables, or muffins and cucumber sandwiches…no more pictures and well-wishing notes on the dressing room walls.

…No more dressing room walls, period. 

They don’t belong to us anymore. 

…They’ve now been bequeathed to the next guys, along with that “every theatre in the world” smell…that aroma mix of sawdust, mothballs, sweat, hot lamps, old masking blacks, paint, Ben Nye face base, and hairspray.

The sense of a full life lived, kept us at peace with it all, though…as all the deconstructing began, directly after bows.  We HAD actually won the first bet and sold out the house, the audience was riled and ready to laugh, and our Director was back in the house…coming full circle to how this whole adventure had begun ages and ages ago, once upon a time, in a rehearsal room. With all that in mind, all the last reserve of anything we had left, was pumped into the performance with that extra zing that only Openings and Closings, have.

Bittersweet.

…But before we could get lost in a thick quicksand of regrets, we were off to the stage to work and play, followed by a delight of a cast party hosted by our Lane (and the Mrs.), where much food and drink was consumed, (garden party style) and Croquet and Cards Against Humanity was played.

Sick amounts of laughter can make you forget almost anything.

…Like the fact that next Friday, we’ve no “home” to go to, no costumes to put on, no lines to say.

…It’ll be just an average, ordinary day.

Actor’s don’t really know what to do with those kind of things.

…So it’s good I have a “next” to focus on, at that point.  Not that it will be easy to redirect towards.

For now: my theatre FB header and profile pic will stay the same.  I’ve no interest in making an alteration any time soon.  Where before, these things were a press and advertising nod, now it has become a look back on good collaborative work, during an excellent summer run, with a happy company of Anglophiles.

Thanks, friends, for taking the creative blog journey with me while we did it.

Also, “Huzzah!” for bets won.

Goodbye, dearest Gwendolen Fairfax and all the rest…

…And thanks to Oscar, for the Wilde ride.

~D

Truffles vs. The Whole Box Of Chocolate

28 Jun

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Just a sick, ridiculously intoxicating audience for tonight’s Actor’s PWYC performance.

…The crowd (made up largely of students), were beyond anything we’ve had before in response.  (And our audiences have not by any means been slackers in that field, to begin with.)

Tonight, it was like theatre on crack.

Intensely interactive…to the point of distraction.  We loved it (do NOT misunderstand me), but with that kind of energy whipping you up, the adrenaline high coming off of it is like an orgasm, sustained across two hours.

…Imagine that for just a second. 

…Now put you on stage while it happens.

…A bit distracting, no?

The trick is to breathe, and center oneself.  Focus on your fellow actors and not get sucked into the tractor-beam of light pulling you out of the show you have rehearsed and falling for the, “If they like it with a little sauce, what if I add a shit-ton extra?” bit. 

…Lets see if I can settle on a metaphor, here.  Feel like I’m running in five directions at once.

It is SO incredibly easy to cater to an audience like this, and feed them more of what they want.  Takes discipline to say “No, I DON’T want this full box of chocolates, I’m perfectly content with these finely made few truffles.”

…”Truffles” are good

“Truffles” are made with care and precision and the finer ingredients that experience has taught you will provide the richest, creamiest, most delectable bite. Every time.  “Truffles” are individule flavors of delicate perfection.

…Whereas an ordinary “box of chocolates” can be of any grade, in any brand, so long as they “go together.”

Sure, they’re tasty, but not as rich, and concentrated.  Not nearly as sinfully decadent.

…And Oscar deserves nothing less than our best.

So we did ours.

…And the audience did theres.

…And we all played together, and nibbled at goodnesses, and had a hell of a time!

Seriously.  I have no idea how in the hell I’m even gonna sleep tonight.  Adrenaline rush, like woa.

…But at some point, I will. 

And get to wake up tomorrow and go work at it all over again. 

…With m’friends.

🙂

Thanks, you PWYC nutters!  It was a hell of a ride tonight.

~D

Then, Onto Serious Matters…

24 May

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Beethoven in the background.

…I’ve just finished beating the hell outta my giant pink-bubble-gum Pilates ball, (with some added Yoga), and am celebrating my efforts with a heavy-handed homemade margarita that tastes about 200 proof.

…I am not a greener, you guys.  If I’m expected to work out, there must be some give and take, here. 

Besides…I already did like a five mile beach walk today at Point Defiance.  Plus rehearsal.  Plus walked the mall.  So it’s not like I haven’t earned this five-stiff-drinks-in-one.

An excellent day off.

Slept until 10:30 (which is totally unheard of, especially where cramping is concerned.)

…Lazed about a bit, regrouped over coffee, motored to mall to get nails done while watching Streep be magnificent in “Devil Wears Prada” in the background.  Then: did some summer shirt-shopping, off to beach-walk, had a sandwich, did lines and scene work at rehearsal, and beat it over to Barnes and Noble, till they kicked me out.

Home to working out with the giant pink-bubble-gum ball…to the tunes of Glenn Miller.  (It totally works, and makes it all a lot less horrible.)

…Debated more De Profundis.  Decided to blog first. 

…Beethoven selected. 

After all that lightness and air and incidental flippancy, I want a little more  grounded heft. 

I like heft.

I love Beethoven.

I blame him (almost exclusively) for my total closet devotion to doomed unrequited love stories.

…Well, him and the Brontes.

…But, still.

Sometimes you just need some background yearning.

…He also makes me want to “make” something.  Mostly, write. He makes me want to push aside these trivial little blog posts I’ve been devoted to for nigh onto a year now, and make something really legitimate.  Something dark or irksome or  full of complications.  Not even in content, even just in sentence structure, and thought process.  Haven’t done that in so long, I’ve forgotten how.

…But then I’ll hear the beginning of a movement…and I’ll see the picture of thought he paints instantly in my brain.  And how immediate the feelings follow it, and how personal and intimate it becomes.  And I start to remember how much I loved writing like that.  As if it mattered.  Not just for a lark.

…Back when it was about “content” not just daily requirement.

Art comes in so many varieties.  And the influence of one on another, is like a waterfall affect with me. 

De Profundis…such a serious text and consideration on the responsibilities of what it means to be an “artist” and the accountability that comes with it, is obviously pushing me in that mindset as well.  Delving into Oscar by day, in all his ridiculous and delicious glory, then investing in his darker side at night, is this whole new combining experience that makes me want to explore the same in my own little creationary world.

…There is obviously room for both. 

So, tonight is Beethoven, and some prose maybe.

Supremely rusty on that bent, but it’ll come back to me.

One hopes.

Off for a try at least…

~D

Hello, From Vacation

23 May

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I have traveled to “Vacation” since last we met, and it is very fine here. 

…They serve post-rehearsal margaritas (and laughs) for free.

It’s this whole package deal they have.

I’m on a 4-day hiatus from the day-job, as stipulated by the Boss. He has never (in six years) stipulated that I take time off on purpose.  And this is only because the clouds of impending doom are just there on the horizon…we can all smell the sales storm coming…so he figured he’d force both me and the WHS Pimp to take time off while we can, in view of the fact that we may not survive the summer to the next winter death knoll.

Makes sense, I suppose.

Either way: here I sit. 

…Much like I would on ANY night (come to think on it)…just as late, just as behind on the blogging, brain just as full of lines and blocking as ever.  Only difference is that tomorrow I get to make it my “profession” to be a person of leisure.  And I get to say “profession” as I will be getting paid to do it.  Whatever the “it” might contain. 

…Possibly a Grand movie (for I miss it…not that I even know what the hell is playing.)  Possibly a bookstore visit (because I haven’t got enough things to read as it is, or anything.)  Possibly an out-of-town field trip (location: unknown.)

…As long as my sober body is at the rehearsal by 7PM tomorrow, I am my own mistress of mischief.

…I only wish I was privately funded as well.

In Other News: Back when I was supposed to be sleeping across last night and early morning, but couldn’t (thanks to Mrs. Johnson), I indulged in a little downloaded “Wilde,” the bio film with everyone and their mother in it.  I had forgotten how many of my absolute favs were a part of it.  And often in cameos, at that. I can’t say it was exactly “delightful,” but the frequent one-liner Wildeisms gave many a snickering relief to the drama…and if there is a more perfect person to portray the great Irish wit than Stephen Fry, I call “Bollocks” on it!

…Plus, everyone was so damn young! 

…Jude Law is at his absolute MOST beautiful, no one even knows who Ioan Gruffudd is as yet, Michael Sheen is still baby-faced (even with the moustache), Judy Parfitt is decades from becoming a St. Raymond’s mainstay in “Midwives,” Jennifer Ehle looks about 18 years old (though she is 2 years past her famously delicious Lizzy Bennet phase), and Redgrave, Jones, Wanamaker and Wilkinson round out the parents and intimates, in a casting wet-dream of ridiculous pedigree.

A hard “watch” for content, but a classic in natural flow of the Wildean ways.

…Also started reading “De Profundis” the other night.  Tough stuff.  Very raw.  Very intimate.  Keep taking breaks only because I feel such an overwhelming sense of reading someone’s diary when I shouldn’t be.  Quite a statement, and self-account, and accusatory testament. The harshness of his self critique, and what he felt as a disloyalty to art and work and the finer aspirations in life, for a love affair…(or obsession, however you might choose to see it)…all in retrospect.  Makes some of his most famous of lines, so poignant, behind the scenes of their actual creation.

“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

…Indeed.

~D

Post-Rehearsal Coitus

21 May

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Am absolutely buzzing from tonight’s first off-book rehearsal, on Act 1 and parts of 2.

…As Mdm Director noted: There were an insane amount of exceedingly complicated lines, running through the thought bubbles popping out of our heads, and following us about the stage as we strategized sex and manners and conversation…like fucking CHAMPIONS!

…Also: we laughed.

We laughed a LOT.

Mostly we managed to stick it together when it really counted, but good god this show is funny, and these people are funny, and even the accidents and line-calls: are funny.

…Terribly good bonding.

And now…I am wired.

I want to DO something.

Instead, all this excess of joyous yummy-feeling, is seated on the couch, punching away at my blog post, with a little picnic of sorts laid out and waiting for me to finish so I can tuck into some more words of Wilde, and a little delectable treat.

…Of course, I’ve started the wine already.  But it was poured out and just sitting there, so what ELSE is one to do in such situations?

Never waste what your scene partner is giving to you.

…My current scene partner is a glass full of wine.

Challenge: accepted.

…Also TWO consecutive dates of cast-meets for bonding and chats have been secured for post-rehearsal this week. 

…And our Merriman brought in Bourbon-Chocolate Butter-Cream Cupcakes at 9pm.

…Which (in retrospect) might ALSO have something to do with why I am so wired right now.

(A full cup of bourbon to the batter. Just. Do. It.  I’m telling you.)

…And now, as I take another sip, I contemplate on if this is a sizable enough post to call it a day, and move on to more treats.

…Not that I don’t think you’re delicious, too.

Because I do.

…Just as tempting as the Butter-Cream.

And I’m being completely sincere.

Have you SEEN “you?” 

Exquisite, my dear!

~D

Miss Fairfax Writes A Little

5 May

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How could I not take the obvious screaming lead to explore this character through her diaries?  The prized possession never leaves her side, (or at least a small notebook version, from which she will later translate and flesh out fully, given the time.)  So onto my first building of a little backstory, as I dive into Gwendolen.

…Followed by our first read at noonish.

And, I’m off!

***

“The Sumptuous Divesting of a Woman, Au Courant”

Volume IV

***

Dearest Diary,

A new book.

“His Nibs” had you fashioned, bound especially, and sent directly whilst on tour in Paris mid-Holiday.

…I do think it mean of him to “off” with the ink of his final exams still yet damp, to other people and other places, in lieu of returning home again, as he should. Papa intimated it is just so, for young men to tour the continent whilst mid term, (“seeing a mite of the world, what?”), though Mamma quite overturned him…siding with me upon receipt of the news, and was entirely off her tea when Gerald’s letter first arrived.

…Now, he is off again. Italy to follow, we are told (with the note tucked into our gift boxes, just arrived today.) Papa: a new cigar case…though he never smokes, despite Mamma’s attempts to encourage him, (“A man should always have an occupation of some kind.”) Mamma: a very smart broach in gold setting, (“I have the simplest taste. I am always satisfied with the best.”); and for “Dolly”: a new diary, fashioned precisely to my specification of all previous volumes. The dear remembered every detail, which makes me homesick for him all the more.

In the end, he presumes a present of you will ease my displeasure of missing him…and although I must admit, his taste is very fine in choice of paper weight, and cover, and detail, (down to the small affixed lock with corresponding key, tied just so, in scarlet ribbon), it is in no sufficient manner of replacement for ones own dear brother.

…He has been ages at Oxford, and when next I will see him, heaven only knows.

Since my having returned home from abroad, quite “finished,” and mid-season, Mamma has become tiresome with my refusals to pay compliment toward any of the bores at court, which I am forever being forced to endure. Mamma says I should be well content with a good title, firmly set, a country seat or foreign villa for Holiday and an amusing address in Towne, but I am not. I cannot be, and will not! Which has brought upon frightful disagreements, filling quite a quarter of my last volume, with raging and tears.

I do miss Gerald.

I don’t care if it is childish to say it.

…He and I were always such devoted allies, against “The Honorables” (as we used to call them.) Just we two against the world, it now seems. “Nibs & Dolly.” (He: for seducing all to his will, without question. Me: for his mistaking me upon first sight, in infancy, as his plaything.)

I feel, suddenly, fairly blue.

Extraordinary, how one can feel vastly more onliest at home than even the furthest distance abroad at Academy. When home…with the one you love most of all still far from reach… every nook and cranny and memory, of all your old haunts and delights, are ten times the more miserable-making.

I suspect Mamma has deduced the cause of my recurrent melancholy, at last.

…She has requested cousin Algy to stay for a fortnight. Algy, “Nibs” and I were very much “the clutch” once…in our youth…quite, quite long ago.

Amusing to look back on now: being fully twenty-three, and a great deal more experienced.

…They were fine times we had, once. A great many laughs.

Dearest Algy.

…Not “His Nibs,” but a jolly good friend, none-the-less.

He's to ride up, come Saturday. (Providing his invalid-friend Mister Bunbury, has not fallen ill again)…arriving directly from a stay with a new acquaintance, he has often of late been speaking of.

…A Mister Earnest Worthing.

Mamma consulted the Burke’s, but he’s naught to be found. Which causes Mamma now quite to doubt his suitability of “making free” with Algernon’s time.

…And yet, whether of “Peerage” title or no, I must admit…his name did ignite a flame of interest.

…Such a capable name.

I shall inquire Algy on more particulars of him.

…En cachette, of course.

How very fortunate, that he should meet a man…and that I should come to know of him… and that he should not be in the book of Peerage…yet I cannot seem to arrest the sudden fascination, to know more of his nature.

….Particularly as you well know, dear diary, that my ideal has always been to love someone of the name of “Earnest.”

~ H.G.F.

***

~D

To Snark With The Best Of Them

10 Jul

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For my birthday this year, a very good friend, (we’ll call her K)…who knows me abnormally well, got me this book

…According to the Preface, it is handbook of biting wit, smartass zings, sly disparaging comments and snide remarks…which is claiming an awful lot really, as it is quite quaint in size.  This diminutive volume, is the type categorized by many as a “bathroom book,” wherein tidbits are stored in a variety of quips, slashes and barbs, edited and chosen specifically for their biting humor, their penchant for little known facts…and the amount of time identified to be “correct” for the average taking of the average poop.  I don’t really know what that means, but prob’ly something between: “sixty seconds,” and “not so long that your butt falls asleep.”

Not being one to enthrone myself in that tiniest of  tiny rooms in the house, I keep it instead on one of my stacks in the living room.  It’s fast-access for lazy moments where I don’t want to put in the effort to read a real book (with plot and all), but can’t be bothered to turn on the TV either.

…And it’s become a slipstream to a happier place. Because it’s bitchy.  And irreverent.  And it thinks like me…(only funnier.)

The real secret of this book, you see, it that it is a collection of some of the greatest verbal spars, comebacks, quips, bites, bitches, (and bastards) of all time.  I’m quite a fan of most of them, and have been for a long while.  Dottie Parker, Oscar Wilde, W.C. Fields…Bankhead, Allen, Levant, Rivers, Mason, Burns, & Benny to name a few.  Whatever mood of utter boredom and listlessness I pick the book up in, will be altered with money-back-guarantee within five minute max…because you cannot (I promise you) read the words of these masters of insult and wit, without a childlike wonder at the brilliance of how their minds are wired.

…Oh, to think of a comeback at the exact moment it is needed…and not at home in bed three hours later!  Oh, the bravado of genuinely not giving a shit who you offend in a public bout of completely inappropriate and politically incorrect banter!  Oh to be free to be sarcastic, saucy, and sharp, both hated and loved for it!

The reason these people are so uniformly revered  in their artform, is because they gave a damn enough to have a “go” at anyone, anywhere.  They were brave, they were ball-busters…and they were fucking brilliant.  Plus, they are like the best magic eight-ball of live Q & A brilliance EVER.  Check it:

Me: How old are you?

Oscar Levant:  I can remember Doris Day before she was a virgin.

Me: And how would you describe your life is one sentence?

Dorothy Parker: Ducking for apples – change one letter and it’s the story of my life.

Me: What are your thoughts about coworkers?

Bette Davis:  The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs.

Me: Uh huh…and education?

Dorothy Parker: You can drag a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.

Tallulah Bankead: –I read Shakespeare and the Bible, and I can shoot dice.  That’s what I call a liberal education.

Me: Just out of curiosity, hows your Math?

Mae West: A man has one hundred dollars, and you leave him with two dollars.  That’s subtraction.

Me: Any particular thoughts on Politics?

Mark Twain: Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress.  But I repeat myself…

Me:  …And “Corporations?”

Noel Coward:  The higher the building the lower the morals.

Me: Do you have any thought about the “legalizing drugs” issue?

Tallulah Bankhead:  Cocaine isn’t habit forming.  I should know — I’ve been using it for years.

Me: Why do you think gossip is so addictive?

Oscar Wilde: My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.

Me: Aren’t you ever worried about what other’s might think of you?

Bette Davis: I’m the nicest goddamn dame that ever lived.

Me: Right.  I see.  How do you pick your next projects?

Mae West: Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.  I’ll try anything once.  Twice if I like it, three times to make sure.

Me: Here’s one for the “gourmets” in our audience…any kitchen recipes to share?

W.C. Fields:  I cook with wine, sometimes I even add food.

Me: And what are your thoughts on the recent health craze?

W.C. Fields: I never drink water, fish fuck in it.

Joan Rivers:  …Don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.

Me: And how’s your dating life ?

Mae West:  I’ve been on more laps than a napkin.

George Burns: …Sex at 90 is like shooting pool with a rope.

Me: Any last words to wrap us up?

Tallulah Bankhead: Codeine…bourbon.

…See what I’m sayin’?  Genius-freaks of awesome.

…And what’s doubly impressive, is that it’s so much more difficult to do comedy than drama.  Ask anyone who does it for a living.  It’s perfectly natural to play to a house of silent patrons doing O’Neill. You get crickets performing Noel Coward, and…well…that’s about the lowest feeling you’re ever gonna feel.  There are actual deaths that are less painful.  I know.  I’ve seen both. 

…When you’re playing the verbal spar of “snark” at the level that these people do though…it’s like a shock and awe equal to any physical feat of an athletic professional.  Only it lasts longer than a mere “era,” ages better than a fine wine, and will survive as long as words are used as an instrument of thought.  Just ask Shakespeare.  He was flippin’ boss at that this shit.

Point is: today wasn’t the greatest, but this little snarky guy, just happened to be.  It “be’d” so much that it got me to dig out my “Portable Dorothy Parker” to play with the big kids at the Algonquin Table for a while. Such a fat company of word-slingers…the whole lot of ’em, with perfect aim.

…Bastards.

I love ’em.

~D

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