Tag Archives: rehearsal

,When: She Writes A Little

22 Jan

One of my favorite  humans has just left. 

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

…Anyway, I’ve missed her. 

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

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

…And I am writing again.  For real. 

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

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

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

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

I’ll take it. 

~D

Wendy, Darling

29 Nov

I’ve tentatively started work on my next show…only a read, but requires much research. 

…Autobiographical, journalist, can’t pronounce half the shit in it, power-play of ladydom.

(aka: Pfeni in “Sisters Rosensweig.”)

…Didn’t touch any of the bookwork during the last circus of events, barely cracked the spine of her bio on the trip home and back, but had started last night, for a bit, with Mdm Director binging the sisters and niece to see about our first family meet up since the first read, months ago, just tonight.

This was always on the books, before my brain started curdling, and it’s stayed for many a purpose. I knew I’d have at least one month off the boards, knew it would be a gentler ride for only a staged reading (albeit a damn good one), and, MOST essentially, I knew I could trust the person in power to protect us all.

…I’m very very big on that, now.

This time away has sucked because it was absolutely necessary, but has been wonderful, because I chose to work and use it. I’ve learned a lot (and still will be), and have drawn new boundaries and requirements. 

Quality over quantity. Forever. 

…I will only work with the best of the best, the people who teach and support and grow others (and themselves.) I will only work with a team who is all in, all ready, all on the same page, of wanting to support one another. This will limit my options, I will say, rather drastically. And it probably needs to. 

No. It does. It needs to.

I am not in a place, artistically or otherwise, to allow myself any other version of requirement. Because it is my dedication level, and I cannot survive without receiving a like amount of emotional energy back from those I am investing mine in. I feel it too much. I wear it on my freakin soul. It is who I am, and my love of this beast, requires it of me.  

…And I’m glad to love my life–what I do, what I identify as–and am proud that it has become so deeply threaded in me…but damn…do I need to take better care of the instrument!

So, hey…now it is: reading Wasserstein bios, circling tons of references I need to look up, and embracing my NY Jewish theatre-girlness, in tandem with Artists Way blurb-spewing, Morning Page dumps, and every once in a while, still staring at an empty page…wondering when the hell I’ll come up with something to put on it.

…Also, retreat-groups, and synchronic networking, and looking up old friends, and writing amends, and taking walks (short, but there, again.) I’ve made more chums, tried new things, admitted stuff, been designer-dressed and gifted whole wardrobes, pinned world’s of thoughts to my Wall, tried to break down other ones that probably don’t need to stand in my way anymore.

…I’ve gone home again (literally, and in several ways), despite what they say about never really being able to. I’ve spent this time really connecting. And learning. And remembering. At my youngest, earliest levels.

…And it is different. Like: ignorning the audience for years, and suddenly breaking that fourth wall for the first time, in earnest, to deliver a truth–eyeball-to-eyeball.

It is unsettling, but maybe: I like it. Inviting others in on the ride, not just to read about it, but be there in the moments. It’s…”full.” It’s therapeutic. It feels so incredibly supported. And empowering. 

…And kinda…

…Brilliant.

~D

Dear My Blithe Spirits

3 Nov

I will have far too much fun participating in our final weekend of shenanigans, and late night post-show “Wakes,” to do this individually, so please accept this blog as my closing card, to the lot of you:

I showed up on your doorstep, as a broken mess, still very much contributing to my ongoing ill-health for the remainder of our rehearsal period. There were many nights and days (or whatever you call 3 am, time, after time, after time) when I just knew there was no mental way for me to pull this show off. I was empty. I was sick. 

…At one point, it was a serious discussion that I should leave.

…And while I was fighting all these many ghosts of shit, haunting me: you were there. Our team. From the highest leadership…who assured me that if I needed to leave, truly, there would be no less affection or support for me…that my  value as a human and their friend was higher than being a commodity, more than ticket sales, or recasting nightmares…to the front-of-house staff, and best damn bartender in town.

…Supported every single second by a beautifully talented SM, who was a calming voice of reason, and constant source of hugs and joy. Her team, which have been so incredibly dialed in at every moment. 

…Our designers and incredible painters, who built us a world of details and our stately home which they successfully destroy at every performance-end. 

…This team.

…And then: the ones on stage with me, who have covered god knows how many line fuck-ups, who are so generous with their smiles and naughtiness…who have pulled sweaty costumes off me in every quick change, and fed me freshly baked yum-goods, and given me so very much play-space on stage, and supported me when I failed, (so phenomenally), time and time again…helping me fool everyone who has seen this show–that there is nothing in the least amiss.

I am endlessly thankful for you all. And super Emo, heading into this final weekend of performances. It was a show I had no business taking on, let alone staying in, for probably everyone’s better interest. But you were (and are) always, always, always there. You never gave up on me. 

…So: I couldn’t. 

…So: I didn’t.

…So: I still haven’t.

“Thank you,” seems so very little in return. What you gave me was why the theatre has always been so essential to so many of us.

We are bigger, stronger, fiercer together. As a team. As artists. And despite my injuries, you brilliant bastards got me to the World Series, so when I was ready, and able: I could play.

I am so incredibly thankful for all of you fantastically talented freaks. And I promise to pay this all forward. Just as soon as I am able.

Thank you,

~D

I’ll Have What She’s Having

1 Nov

You know how sometimes you are so conflicted, or so hungry, or so PMSey that you think you want a big ol’ plate of this thing over here, but when your buddy’s plate comes to the table, you feel like that was what you should have chosen instead…but then they see that look in your eyes and are all, “Split-share?” (…cuz all your friends are equal foodies), and your taste buds and guts go, “Yeeeesss! Best of both worlds!” and everything is all-the-flavors-of-awesome?

…That is what going to a friend’s show is like. 

…Kinda always super wish you were working with them, but sometimes you just had to try for that other thing over there, instead…cuz of the stuff…and you did, and lots of times its good, but if you somehow have a skewed performance schedule, (or can sneak into a rehearsal of a limited run, like I am tonight), it’s like all the salty, sweet, buttery and garlicy goodness, wrapped up in both life-plates.

So, I’ll be art-eating super good tonight, at one of the final rehearsals, for an already sold-out run, of a dear friend, whose passion and empathy knows no bounds.

Damn, I’m so proud of her, and the team she has collected to create this amazing piece of historical theatre!

Let’s eat!

~D

…Meanwhile: On Stage

23 Jul

“One should always start a bucket-list role, and new job, within one day of each other on the same week,” said no one, ever.

…And yet: due to crazy scheduling for the summer, this is somehow my fourth week of work and end of my first week of rehearsal, with only the initial read going on a head-to-header.

“Wait Until Dark.”

…A classic thriller, period piece, with severe study prep requirement.

I love it.

Much psychological work, even more– physical. A sighted person gone blind, with zero percent light sensitivity, and only within the single year of her rehabilitation, six-months a newlywed, terrorized by three professional thieves and murderers.

Acting: gold. With a lot of room for error.

…Bring it.

This is my favorite. The more specific the limitations, the more specific the work. I’ve a plethora of materials I’m diving into, a list of props I’m constantly working with at home to develop specifics with, a working mental map of the set layout, for movement and point of reference,  many revisits to my severely sight-handicapped Annie Sullivan days, rehabilitation specific of the 60’s offered treatments, and constant focus work…to find the best levels for safety and movement.

…Seventh-freakin-heaven.

…And tonight, finally got to see “Maudie,” bio pic, which I had been salivating over since first seeing the trailer…to study the beautiful, beautiful performance, by Sally Hawkins.

 …Which one might think has absolutely nothing to do with this: yet absolutely does. Tonight I watched it for the art, but I WILL be seeing this piece several times for technique… and revisiting another favorite performance of Marion Cotillard in  “La Vie En Rose,” along with (strangely, “Miracle Worker,” on Helen specifics), “Patch of Blue,” “Ray,” and the Koren crime thriller, “Blind.”

…Of course there are the specifics of the disability to adhere to, but it is the truth and quality of life beyond the disability, which is my focus. “Maudie” nailed that beautifully. People who happen to be in this particular circumstance, who fight not to let it define them, or limit them.

Yes.

Again, a soul much braver than mine, with a much sunnier outlook of possibility. It will do me good to fight for her. And I’m thankful for the team I get to do it with.

…And I need to go and work on it, now. Especially with that beautiful, delicately, specific example just having been before me.

…Only wanted to state that: all is not lost in office-hell feelings of incompetence and newness. Some is very safe and happy in art-joy and yayness.

…Which should prob’ly have been the lead story, there. Trust me to bury the good shit.

~D

While We’re Cheating, Know: I Miss You

8 Feb

Cecil and The Theatre Husband, are rehearsing “Gypsy, ” just down the street. They open two weeks before I do (45 minutes, just South.) 

…Together: they are teamed up as Louise and Herbie…in the strange only-theatre-way that one can, directly after playing man and wife, (with me, as their  oversexed –or under, depending on how you look at it– neighbor),  in “The Underpants. ”

It kills me, that I’m not there, partaking of their awesomeness and swimming in the absolute ease and delight that it is to work with them.

…But I’m also kind of super exhausted from our first first act work/run-thru, on my only third day of blocking into “Bountiful,” with like an 80% new-people-to-me team. 

…And: we kick total ass.

For custody battles, we’re splitting other former loves-of-the-past. I get my “Arcadian” arch nemisis, and fellow-actor-turned-Director…they get my “Black Coffee,” Ingenu. 

…It’s like an acting key-party of people swapping, and we’re all getting really good sex, but it’s still kinda like: “…But, I like how you just know to do that one thing. ” and,  “I’m jealous of this,” and,  “I sincerely cannot wait for you all to kick ass but: I’m a little pissed I can’t be part of it too.”

…So it goes…with greedy, creative, bastards, like us.

It’s not about “greener pastures.” It’s about “having any fun at all without me.” 

…And it’s also the pride in one another. And the fact that our shows are staggered so we will all get the chance (ultimately) to bask in the creative, ridiculously talented glow of one another.*

(*We’re super humble, too…) 

 …But meanwhile: it makes, “How was rehearsal tonight? ” a kind of super-loaded question. 

…The kind where you’re like, “Good sex. Different. Learned a lot. Miss that ‘thing’ you do. ”

…And the other guy goes:

 “Yeah. Me too. ”

~D

Win-Losses & Trannies

4 Feb

I am pacing every room I inhabit with a bright yellow script -highlighted all to hell- as my companion. 

The script is fast becoming mutilated. They always do.

…I fuck up a line, cuz I forget which tense she’s in now, or which version of name-dropping she’s on, or where the hell that one line even comes from -which is why I keep forgetting it. So: I let a string of expletives burst out from self-frustration, and start again. 

…I’ve been doing this for hours, every day. Since Monday. 

…And I am very, very happy. 

This is the kind of thing that makes theatre people look like freaks. I know that. As much as I know that fighting with that yellow script over words, is an awesomely frustrating and gratifying kind of brain-foreplay right now. And my escape. 

I used to hate this part: getting off-book. I’ve decided that I don’t now…and maybe never really did. I wanted the words right away so I could get to work. Only, that was part of the work. The agonizing over every word choice and its place,  just as much as the playwright once did…this is where the relationship work starts

…Why can’t she stick to a goddamn topic even within any three sentences in any one monologue?!  She’s like a bee,  flitting from flower to flower without any structure whatsoever. And then all of a sudden: she’ll bounce back to that one flower over there again, or that one over there, with no transition of thought, and no complete communication on any story she starts, at any time. 

…My God, she is frustrating to track. 

…And that’s gotta be exhausting as hell to live like,  you would think. Always amped up about something, always chattering away about another, always splitting focus as many ways as possible, so she ultimately doesn’t say much of anything, until all at once: she explodes for what seems like a totally superficial reason. 

…Trying to track and learn her words, I feel more empathy for her fellow characters than herself. 

…Sitting down to book-work of WHY she is like this –in between line sessions — I’ve become her insider-champion. 

…In between: I’ve got a lot of damn work to do. Which is fucking amazingly lucky. And so this weekend, I will continue to pace and recite and yell at myself and her and Horton Foote, as the bastards we all are for putting me in this situation. 

…But in all the good ways. 

…Which is the only solace I’ve got at the moment with a fucked-up car transmission and no money to pay for it. 

I work ten minutes from home. I can borrow a car for rehearsal commutes. Mine hasn’t totally blown up. As yet. But it will. There’s nothing I can do about that. Which helps me mentally: not at all. 

…My brain this past week has been pulled from here to there, with worries,  frustrations, anger, hyperventilations and total fears …absolutely just as erratically as Jessie Mae in this script has. 

So: from where I sit now, here’s two things I know–

1. If I keep myself busy enough to not think about it as much as I can, maybe I can delay the inevitable from sucking the absolute life out of me, in the mean time. 

2. Horton Foote might be a fucking genius. 

~D

All The Whys

6 Sep


Omg, who is in charge of Retrogrades, and why are they acting like such an asshole!?! 

… This day has been predictably dickish  (coming back from a 3-day sales weekend),  but even more than necessary. To be gross and inappropriate  (because it’s my fucking blog and I can),  today has been a hung-like-a-Clydesdale-mid-f***,  kind of day. 

… Everyone (including myself)  has been an asshole to deal with, rail was late, trucks and builders were no-show, everyone is screaming at and about someone else, on multiple lines, and the urgency of getting a goddamn shed constructed this absolute second,  is on par with a heart or kidney transplant …and that is without exaggeration in the least. 

What the fuck is wrong with people?! 

The only break from insanity I received, was when Cecil stopped by at 1:30 to deliver a coffee and take me outside to breathe and not answer a phone for 20 minutes. Which helped for the 20 minutes, but not enough to really recharge to a necessary level required for Asshole #47 who wanted to go into his independent financials on how he could buy and sell our company ten times over if he wanted,  and if  I knew what was good for me,  I’d find a way to magic the rail delivery to before Thursday, “or else.” 

… It wasn’t enough to help with Bitchface #52 who needed me to know that I personally was totally ruining her daughter’s wedding because I couldn’t move our build lead-time to this Saturday. Or Asshat #29 that it doesn’t matter how much “extra cash”  you tell me you can throw at the deal, I can’t manufacture a builder from a stack of Jacksons, when they are already booked two months in advance.

I already don’t like people. Days like this launch me into festering-turd-hatred of them. 

… And tonight,I need to spend hours making dick jokes at rehearsal…trying to make them funny… when really, it’s just an autobiography of my retail working life, minus the sex. And also, nothing is funny right now!

Not even my go-to “This is fine”  Flaming cartoon:

… Or the fact that my sidewalk is growing tomatoes :

NOTHING!! 
WHY?!?! 

~D

Nominal Fever Ravings

5 Feb

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I need a break from this Chekhov.

…Am stress dreaming about it at this point, because with almost no rehearsal other than talking about it, we open in 9 days.

….And while “concept” is great and all, I need to “do” the fuck out of a thing in order to actually build a tangible reality. One cannot just “theory” a show into existence. But we are having to…because we don’t have time together without giant gaps in between, and schedules are so harried from everyone’s conflicts, that there is no like “panic meet-up time” where one can get private scene partner work slipped in, or try every which way to do a scene, or…well…

…Anyway…I’m toasted. Have been reaming this script alone for days and hours and trying to make choices, hoping they won’t interfere with scene partner’s choices (who I’ve never worked with before), but having to stake out like three or four levels of options here so I can alter or try to connect my stuff to his stuff, for tomorrow morning…when we next meet up.

4 more rehearsals to figure it all out.

…God. You know you’re stressed when Stoppard is the easier, happy place you wish you could fall back into.

…Meanwhile…

The required post-show crash hit, was obtained and nursed for half this week, on my couch. A lot of sleeping. A lot of first generation X-Files-watching (which I had never seen the first time ’round.) I happen to think it’s fun, badass, and slightly terrifying…whilst simultaneously worrying about my cold being a deadly alien variety which has no earthly cure, and/or becoming abducted.

…I wish I was joking about that. But: I am not.

…I induced it even further into my Psyche by watching some episodes across hours of fever sleeping…so now I feel inevitably doomed, in a very deep marrow-of-my-bones way…but have to keep viewing, as like a “How To” mental log of how to combat them, when they do eventually come for me.

…The truth is out there. And so are “they.” Cuz there’s no fucking way that the buck stops at humanity. Microscopic animals take us down, for gods sake. Lets get real, here.

…Anyway…

…No X-Files after dark, is the rule mandate. That’s reserved for script stress, and inevitable alcohol consuming. Mostly with Cecil. Who I gave the cold back to. Cuz I’m an awesome, sharing, sister-friend that way.

…So.

…It’s Friday night. Rent is due, therefor: I’m broke. No Arcadia to go play in. Too distracted about tomorrow morning’s rehearsal to go see that other show I was going to, tonight…even as a PWYC. Which is prob’ly better anyway. Am still not back to even 80% ungross-feeling, across any length of time.

…Oh, and Mrs. Johnson dropped in…about three hours ago…to mix it up a little.

Oh, what a wicked cocktail of life, I do breed…

~D

Stoppard Stasis

11 Dec

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You know how Hamlet is this doomed Prince? And you know how he had these semi insignificant University pals who show up a couple of times to cock his life up further? And you know how Stoppard took those dudes and wrote an entire play about what happens to them, during their “off stage” down-time? And you know how it’s patterned after “Waiting For Godot,” and nothing “real” ever happens per sey, you just watch two idiots waste time and space, waiting for life to “happen” to them, instead of going out and actually verbing “life” into an active state of achieved fulfillment?

…And you know how fucking confusing that show is, with it’s death and life, in boxes? But you still kinda love it anyway? Because somehow, the “watching life pass” bit, and the “waiting” bit, and the, “what is our purpose” bit, and the “fucking shit up despite all your best intentions” bit, sorta rings home…but at least now it’s happening to someone else, so it’s easier to laugh at it?

Stoppard has a way of freeze-framing characters and time and events into crazy broken shards of life, then piecing them back together with bits of string and Scotch tape, so you can chart their journey (often in screwed up time or perspective) to one another AND a variety of themes, spider-webbing to, from, through, and across each other like one of those theory boards made of stick pins and yarn that obsessive detectives always use in complicated murder mysteries.

….The bastard is SO smart, though, he ups the stakes by making sure you can’t find all the answers and connect on just a 2D charting field. He takes that shit sideways, and at diagnals, so you have to mentally pop the whole thing out into 3D to even begin to get to the bottom of things. Character relationships across 300 years of time and space, theories spun from the Greeks, then thrown into math algorithms. Clever word-play, comparing the change of meaning in language over time, class, education…and yet (much like Shakespeare), with all that fancy head play, can still cover the essentials of human existence on desire, sex, jealousy, hate, and frustration enough to satisfy even the most unread, lazy, gutter-thinker in the audience.

…In other words: Stoppard is fucking magical.

This is my second show of his I’ve worked on– “Arcadia,” far in my preference to “R&G.” Maybe because I sincerely click with this character, and the cast, and the three or four particular themes we’ve (thus far), uncovered in our massive 3D pin board of string-followings.

…I love History. I love hard work, and research and investigating. I love books and theories and lives who’ve come before us, paving our way. I love the basics of proof-searching, of accountability and the infection of wanting to know more. I completely understand learning-obsession, talent-crushing, head-against-brickwall-beating, and a sense of there always being more and more and more to know…about EVERYTHING.

…So…I “get” Hannah. However, being as she is a Stoppard character, I know there will always be more layers to dig under in more directions, than I would be able to exhaust in even a full six months of playing her. Because I already get this, my plan of attack at grid-reliefing her in excavation, (like an archaeologist), is my best bet to chasing her down. Which, even she would approve of.

…”This” finding, which leads us to “that,” connects “here,” and at last you have: why she writes instead of teaches. “This” piece, followed by “that,” minus a very distinctly missing other bit, explains why she has no significant other in her life. Control issues. Distrust. Obsession. Sex-antagonism. Anti-Romanticism. Science vs Faith. She’s left more broken shards of her-pieces buried all throughout this show, to keep me digging for ages. I’ll never find it all. But with each new piece I uncover and try to plug into that chart of her-theories, the more I understand not only what a hell of a job I’ve got ahead of me each rehearsal and performance, but also an affirmation of what I already knew before…and yet, am still surprisingly gobsmacked over…

Which is:

No matter how much I learn, there is more to find, regardless of how many hundred times I pluck through this script which never changes and yet with each new discovery, somehow seems to.

…And also:

Fucking sonofabitch, Stoppard is a goddamn brilliant playwright.

~D

A Wish For The Having Of Funness

8 Sep

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This is a formal request I am putting in.

….Because apparently everyone else in the world considers doing a musical as a hella good time, while my anxiety-brain has been a little-lot in Hell for the last three days in prep for both the first read yesterday, and tonight’s first music work.

I want to have a good time. I want to be excited and challenged, in the good and positive, “learn lots and get gooder” way, instead of the “truly gut-wrenching, terrifying, I haven’t slept in x-days,” way. Wish there was a damn switch to make that happen.

….Also, though am touched at the like inherent confidence everyone seems to have in me, I wish just one time when I voice my total abject terror at the moment, people would stop saying, “Pffft, you’ve got this.”

….Because, yuh know what? I really don’t. And saying that is just making me feel worse…belittling the actual real terror I am feeling.

….Cuz there is: ” going outside comfort zones,” and there’s, “facing past memories of the last time this went down,” that are flashing back with only the horrible parts, pretty much constantly.

What I want, is to super-real-time enjoy this super fun role, with these totally fun nerds, in this hilarious show. But my entire being is so fucking destroyed by the very real knowledge that this could completely be a set-up lesson in humility so righteous, that self-humiliation is only a tiny part of the possible after-effect.

…What I’m explaining here is: this isn’t just learning lines and choreography. This is playing a musical fucking instrument. My voice. A thing not played, or trained…it can’t even read the notes of what it’s trying to do, and the last time it had to “hold a part” in anything was ten years ago, as part of a giant chorus. Now I’m supposed to jump up and magically figure out how to tight-harmony as one of four, in frankly a super complicated “not your average 50’s musical” structure.

…I literally cannot think of a single goddamn thing more terrifying to me right now.

…I’d rather spread-eagle, naked, in front of an audience in a show-and-tell gynecological exam, than face even tonight’s first musical rehearsal.

Seriously.

No. Fucking: seriously.

This, is a whole new “overwhelm.” It’s the six-feet- under kind.

….And what I WANT, is for that not to be. What I WANT is to be free to embrace the laughter from last night’s read, and the screw-ups we all made in first pass at the music. I want to know, to TRUST that my team can trust me. I’m very big on that. And I cannot say, with any self-faith at all, that “I’ve got this.”

…So, maybe like just saying it in print, will help a little, in dispelling the puking-bad-horror I am feeling right now.

…Cuz even singing literal songs about just that, ain’t cuttin’ it.

…Type-casting has just never been more ironic than this. Like, ever.

~D

Weird Shit You Do…

31 Mar

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…When You’re Prepping For A Show.

This usually means, “homework.” Not that we don’t do plenty of weird shit on stage as well…but right now I’m talking specifically about the alien feeling of being totally outside in the real world, alone, while attempting to get your brain prepped to be inside the show world.

…Because we, as theatre people, do crap that seems straight up insane to any normal person, on a continual basis, and our “safety in numbers” bit only works when surrounded by other theatre people, or marching through somewhere like Comic-Con, the Vegas Strip, or Times Square. Anywhere else, an individual talking to themselves in different accents while on a walk, just isn’t normal. And even in the free-style  Pac-NW, you get strange looks wearing 19th century hair with a tank top and jeans, while eating at Applebees. Explaining all those bruises gets long-winded, and from total outsiders may even include an embarrassing hand clutch and serious -faced, “I’m here, when you’re ready to talk or need anything”…when, “No, seriously! A 12-year-old kid did this to me!” Is all that comes flying out. Because: it’s the damn truth.

…Morning work days come where you constantly look like shit, because of staying up till all hours learning 15 more pages of text. You lack ability to talk about anything at all other than the specific time period/character type/production in general, that you are working on. You lose sleep running best prop usage scenarios through your head…over, and over, and over again, so that in three weeks when you pick up that fucking cigarette, light it, and inhale on this beat, it will look totally “natural.” Who the hell else does this kinda shit?

No one.

…Only maybe prostitutes will buy the super-sized, box of condoms every week from the same small-town retailer and keep the receipt for “work expenses,” which I did for an entire summer as an SM at age 18…because: mic packs.

…Only five-year-olds spend more time building artistic masterpieces out of scraps, play dough, macaroni, cardboard, food coloring, dollar-store items, and paint than a props person does.

…Thrift stores only exist because theatre costumers come through and regularly buy out all their estate-sale stock of 1960’s sequin “this’s,” 1950’s “that’s,” and 1940’s holy-crap-we-so-needed-these’s.

…Only a ten-year-old boy and a sound designer will listen to endless farting and snoring and blow-up noises for hours on end, to find just the “right” one.

…”Do: face-crotch hit,” “It goes: fondle, fondle, fondle, kiss,” “Grab her boob,” “Is there any way to make him more sexually uncomfortable? “ “Go at it all the way, and we’ll pull back later if we have to”…says every Director to their employees, in any comedy, ever. Fuck all the appropriate work-conduct laws in the land!

Yes.  Theatre people are freaks. We make out with strangers, get more excited about (retro) hand-me-down clothes, than a pair of Jimmy Choos, because: “that’s so my character!”…we spend days and days committing vast amounts of text and traffic control patterns in our heads, only to close a show and never use them again. Ever. Too many hours are spent on “bits” which maybe only 1% of people will even notice, and even if they do, will prob’ly never “get.” Instead of just really not liking the chick in the next cubicle at work, in our world, you still have to have a fake affair with her and sell it to 200 people a night, across two months or whatever. That sleazy creeper WILL slip his tongue in your mouth mid-performance, because there is nothing you can fucking do about it, and he knows it, and that’s just the way it’ll have to be for like the rest of the goddamn run. Until you knee him in the balls one night. None of which gets any kind of legal repercussion or write up because: we are the theatre.

…You can smoke in our workplace. You can drink there. You can even have actual sex every night, on stage.  With your significant other watching from the audience.

…Children will be awake and running blocking at 11pm on a school night during tech week because: we are the theatre.  Grown men will have total melt downs over having to wear a shirt they hate, because: we are the theatre. 

…Epic cat-battles one night, will become besties the next…real-life Soap Opera situations when “he” cheats on “her” with that other girl in a wayward “showmance”, will bring pounds of drama and gossip all-around…the props WILL break, which is possibly the only time ever that a single pencil can ruin an entire enterprise of something (certainly the best joke, anyway)…and sadly, it is often the case, that when an employee turns up lit, or high as a kite, not only aren’t they fired, they are encouraged to go speak in front of hundreds of people as a company representative…no matter how fucking sloshed they are…due entirely to the fact of: we have no understudy.

….Because: THIS IS THE THEATRE!

I have actually seen and/or been a part of ALL of those things. And I will be obliged to see and/or be a part of them all again, forty or fifty more times in my career.  Cuz it’s just the rules of the game as you play them in our fucked up little world…

…Which I’m really so used to now, that it only rarely occurs to me to be out of the excepted norm to everyone else.

…Until I go home from rehearsal, (after a long-ass day-from-hell-at-work), pour out some gin, and spend the rest of the evening  (11:00pm to whenever-on) youtubing Gypsy Rose Lee glove removal strips, S&M and tantric torture ideas involving said removed gloves, and segue (naturally) to how to keep play dough stiffer while building and manipulating phallic prop “bread dough.”

…And then try to think where to start in answer to WHS Pimp’s, “What’d you do last night?” The following morning.

…So, that was my Monday.

…Which for me is pretty normal, I guess.

…And you’ve gotta admit: that’s freakin’ weird.

~D

Earnest, My Lover

4 Mar

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Here we are…halfway through the run of “Miracle,” over the hump of that 16 shows in 17 days marathon, back at performances as usual tomorrow, while today I have first read to begin the next show.

It’s the first time I’ve ever remounted a role, which is going against the grain for me.

…Whatever character I take on, I put everything I’ve got into it…so good, bad, or otherwise, there is no need to revisit them to my mind.  Obviously I could have taken later lessons and instilled them into earlier characters in my career to make the work more solid, but performance art being what it is…one could always say that, then end up playing the same 5 roles your entire career on repeat.  No thank you.  I learn what I can from each, and move the fuck on.  It’s healthier that way.  Even for the ones I really, really love.

…But this re-visit comes from what I’d call “unfinished business.” And it is also allowing me to work with one of my favorite artists I’ve ever shared a stage with.  The fact we had both done the same show before, is anything but adding dust to an old already-written book, as his role has now swapped and we’ll be firing on all cylinders in a trilogy of romantic mayhems together.  Our last chance to touch upon that regime was in “Importance of Being Earnest,” where we first realized the mad-cow totally platonic chemistry we apparently swim in together…which amuses the fuck out of us both, I think…as I doubt two more totally NOT interested-in-one-another-at-all people could be found. 

…The joy of finding a performing  “yin” to your “yang,” the always “yes-man” to every idea…the person who you can literally go anywhere you can mentally and physically conceive of, on a total whim, which for some reason just always fucking works…THAT is a hell of a lot of fun to play and work with. Actual communication isn’t even a necessity of the beast…it’s like we’re artistically wired to the other’s guys idea-sector.

…Which, given that it’s period and farce, outrageous and scintillating, means I’ll have a lot to keep my mind busy and inventive, and  joyful as I wave goodbye to my favorite role to date.  The transition will be far less bumpy with a buddy at my side…several buddies in fact. 

…Sometimes being “The Woman,” ain’t all bad…

Hark, “39 Steps”…it’s me again.  Grab the wigs n’ handcuffs…eets time to plaaaay. 

~D

Breakfast Farts & Tech

15 Feb

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Today we had our first full run with tech from which we were reminded about and learned, many things.

…Like you do, during tech.

…Things like: computers have made tech zero-percent more efficient to the old reel to reel and manual light slider days. Because human error is so much easier to fix, and people almost always are able to speak to one another without conjunction cables, software crashes and Bluetooth errors.

…Also, water is messy. And it follows almost no rules. Once it’s out of it’s holding confines, it owns the whole damn world of wherever you’ve introduced it. And we’ve introduced it damn near everywhere… in every room…rendering surfaces slick as spit, even after mopping.

…New costumes get ripped by heels and snagged on set pieces, quick changes are fought like battles with small armies, smaller bustles must be found so I stop taking out props with my ass, sounds source from wrong speakers for unknown reasons, light cues are still being built and refined mid-scene, volumes need to be pumped cuz of the air conditioner, the keys need hooks, the doors need jams…our pump is still without water…

…And then: there are the eggs.

Apparently those innocent little clump-bastards which we thought we’d solved in squish and shovel and spit, days ago, were holding out on us. Add a shit-ton of hot stage lights to the mix and after flinging them all over and rolling in them like dogs for the better part of ten minutes, the whole damn theatre (and at least two of its actors) smelled like a sulphur plant had exploded.

…I mean: horrendous. Like a hundred farts got together for a meal of baked beans, cabbage, turnips, and beer, in a 110 degree locked room, with no ventilation.

Computers: we are stuck with, rips can be sewn, pumps will be plumbed…butts can be made smaller…but it’s looking like our friendly little puffs of lukewarm slimy sunshine might be in for a radical recasting session, only days before we open.

Poor bastards….

…But then I think I’d rather eat food-colored tofu by the truckload than roll around in that joy of butt-gas air again, never mind twice on student matinees and command performances.

…See? You never stop learning.

And that’s the truth.

Also: tech is hard, and exhausting, and tomorrow is Monday.

…That is another truth.

~D

Tick, Tick, Boom!

11 Feb

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You know how in every spy movie there’s a point with a bomb detonator  clock ticking away, and Hero-person needs to cut the wire, but doesn’t know which one, and then while you’re yelling at the screen to, “Fucking do SOMETHING!!,” they finally do…it goes *snip,* but the clock still keeps ticking on…because that’s the rules…and they’re sweating and crying, and you’re sweating and crying…and then for no apparent reason but the magic of cinema, the clock ends up stopping at the one-second mark?

…Yeah.  That’s what this show feels like.

I have felt that clock ticking away since literally day-one. I prepared myself the best that I could for it, and I have been working my ass off. We ALL have. Yet, I have never had a day where the technical aspects settled down so that the acting could have a chance to happen naturally.  I’ve never had a day where the tech, the props, the blocking, the fight choreography, the rehearsal clothes, the sightlines, hasn’t been the real core of what fueled the scene, rather than the situation of the education at hand. And frankly, going into Hell Week, that scares the living shit out of me. 

This is the point already universally recognized as where the Tech takes over and goes center stage, adding the gloss and paint to the show.  Problem is, it’s been tech non-stop already for like two months, and now we begin piling on more.  I’ve already ripped petticoats, torn the soles from my shoe, de-boned my corset, broken a fountain pen, annihilated several chairs …eaten piles of cold eggs, potatoes, and bacon, and racked up 150,000 bruises all over my body.  We’ve had to stage and re-stage so many times for sightlines and set adjustments, that just remembering what version we’re in now is starting to soup up the mix as well, and some of our key-most props and set components are still pending.

Listen, it’s a monster show for everyone here, from Design Team down to the Actors. And none of us are Wizards.  Things take time.  But for every second that ticks away, my body sweats a little bit more, my mind fights to hold onto the things that I CAN control and am responsible for, and I wait…

…I wait, and wait, and wait…

…And fight, and fight, and fight…

…Mutilating this second pocket-sized copy of the script with excessive repeated reviewing…trying really, really hard to have faith that the Theatre deities are going to step in on that last damn second on the ticking clock from hell I have running against me right now…

…And that, for no apparent reason…other than “Theatre logic” …

…We will Open, in nine days…

…Without going, “Boom!”

Fight on Team-Miracle. Lets please live up to the name!

~D

 

 

Annoying Necessities

4 Feb

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Marketing has begun in earnest on “Miracle,” and I’m faced with the immediate knee-jerk reaction to go on defense against what can only be stated as, “good common sense, solid name recognition, and branding hype.”  In short, it is very annoying, very necessary, and very practical.  And I hate it.

…Which can come off as incredibly snotty and apparently self-serving, given my role.  This was not my intent when this morning’s happy post of the theatre marquee change hit FB.  It should have frankly excited the hell out of me!  We are 15 days from opening, with a killer cast who is constantly fighting for and making smart and informed choices, a crew who is totally supportive and accommodating, down to wiping smashed eggs and water off of every theatre surface we touch, and a director who isn’t interested in self-pity or being pretty, but wants it real, and hard, and inevitably dirty. 

The basis of this rehearsal period has been like boot camp, with the outrageous demands on body and psyche hammered every rehearsal, every day.  I’m not what I’d call “in shape” by any means of gym-regime definition, but I can lift a damn 80 pound kid in a one-arm curl as she squirms, while walking down stairs, grab a 20 pound chair with the other hand, slam it down, and her on top of it, then commence with a struggle ending three times on a cement floor, in a corset, as only about 50 seconds of a 9 minute battle scene.  My body, such as it is, imperfect as it is, has grown to embrace and muscle through things I could never imagine previously…nor frankly even at the beginning of the night before it is done. 

…This is a beat-show…where every moment, I have to focus absolutely everything I have on “right now, this moment.”  There is no room for the arch that reaches beginning to end, that arch will take care of itself thanks to the book work and previous rehearsals we’ve had.  I can’t think about the “allness” of it…I need to focus on this kid, this moment, this task…which given the circumstances of theatre and an untrained fairly savant Helen, requires me to be on my toes for any new accommodation that might be necessary.

(Keep in mind, this is only “playing” this person in her struggle against unheard of odds, for two hours. Not actually living it, day-to-day, as she did.)

…And I fucking love it. 

It is mind-numbingly difficult, and requires all I have, to do it.

…Which makes me think of this interview with Imelda Staunton I was listening to, yesterday. 

…By the time she hits 7:53, I had a total “YES! YES! YES!” moment of confirmation.  I am not the only freak who enjoys the struggle and ass-kicking more than the rest of it.  But where we veered in attack, was my absolute fight for the biography.  And that biography, I’ve been swimming in from all different  corners of the internet and book pages, for months now.  Months of confirmations and months of proofing, and months of reading over and over and over again how easily Anne Sullivan was dismissed as a mere coda in the events of Helen Keller’s education and life.  As if she was not only NOT directly responsible for it, but that she was apparently unable even to exist without hanging onto her apron strings later in life. 

…As if her efforts and achievements completely ended at the water pump that day, instead of merely transitioning into a “part three” of a long life, already full of adversity and achievement unto itself.

…Which makes seeing the marquee, seem like another slap in the face, or brushing aside…belittling at least half of the story which gave us the reason we– any of us– even know who Helen Keller is today.

…The fact that for smart purposes, it reads: “The Incredible story of Helen Keller” above the title, shouldn’t bother me, in theory.  But it does.  And it seems that even though Gibson specifically wrote this piece as a sort of love letter to Annie herself, and even in the title, refers to her…what we know about this show in the collective consciousness is exactly what the marquee claims.  The fact that even a show about Annie’s history and work, gives Helen top billing, because that is how her work has been regarded historically, sucks.  And I’m not saying this from the Actor’s perspective of not getting “my” character’s name up in lights. I’m saying it for the simple fact that Annie herself deserves it to be there.  Of its own accord. In her own biography. And stand just as strong in recognition without Helen’s beside it.

…What bothers me is that no matter how many books are written, or times this show is ever produced, THIS is going to be the marketing necessitated…because without Helen, who-the-hell is this “Annie Sullivan” person?

…To which I say, “Without Annie Sullivan, who the hell is Helen Keller?”

~D

Grapes of Wrath (And Other Kinds)

28 Jan

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Corporate has been here all week doing inventory counts and driving us to drink.

…A new Regional Manager swap out happened with the New Year, and we traded in our GQ-Havana-smoking-bottle-of-cologne-per-day Rep, for an 80-year-two-pack-a-day-bronchial -cougher.

…With The Pimp gone until today, still on leave, that left two of us having to babysit the old gossiping bastard, trying to get legit work done while he hovered like a parasite on it’s host, attempting to suck the absolute life out of us.

Three days of loaded questions, and trying to turn one against the other to disclose crap about a third…for what the hell kind of purpose??? Who the fuck knows. But we have…oh…30 other things we could legitimately be doing instead of this bullshit-fest, which he started on day one by trying to dig up dirt on The Pimp, behind his back, while he was on bereavement leave. How fucking callus can you GET?!

…Needless to say, he hasn’t won any points this round…nor is he bound to before his (AT FUCKING LAST) 3pm flight tomorrow. It was already all I could deal with today…I have no idea how the hell I’ll get through tomorrow. The temper fuse is running short, and my bullshitting meter is tapped out.

…So, I’m tired. And pissy. And not super in the mood to deal with my music-blaring upstairs neighbor, while I try to rest before showering, and wrapping my legs in padding like a mummy, before call.

…The only GOOD thing this week, was that cupcake on Monday, and solving the mystery of this clump of bruises constantly reinfecting my upper thighs. Steel boning is the culprit, not tiny Helen hands, spoon stabbing, or floor-falling. Either way, with fresh markings after every rehearsal, (and no clear way to prevent them with the amount of crawling, carrying, tugging and squatting I’m doing), I’ve decided to embrace them as my personal Grapes of Wrath, and deal.

…The show must go on.

Dear God, I dunno how in the hell I will even find the patience to get through tonight’s technical reblocking from hell. Annie may have more bite than usual tonight.

@%##$#&#%#*$#@%# !

~D

The Corseted Lineman She-Hulk

12 Jan

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First of all, my back feels awesome. 

…I’m not being factious, I’m being real.  And that’s saying something, considering what my body went through last night.  The saving grace: a steel-ribbed and reinforced rehearsal corset (thank you Mdm Costumer!)

…Another surprise is that the heels of my palms aren’t bruised all to hell, from slamming down onto and crawling around on a  cement floor over and over again, nor my right pinky bone from repeatedly ramming my spoon-hand to table top for vibration and re-set mark purposes.  My knees however were not so lucky. 

…Without a single ice cube or even a bag of veg in the freezer to help…the swelling last night, together with the bruising already coloring up, made even the weight of PJ pant legs uncomfortable. 

–BUT, The Breakfast Scene is choreographed!

Outside the emotional “gut-puncher” that is the ending at the water pump, THIS is the biggest moment of emotion and physical response in the show…besting all the other dozens and dozens of mini-battles we erupt into, for one reason or another.  The Breakfast Scene is the grand poobah of frustration, fight, chaos, and control of the entire piece, coming in at just the half way marker of the show.

…A mega ballbuster.

Until I go to repeat the fight actions tonight for our first stumble of Act I, however, connecting the emotional content with the actions, counting beats, protecting the kid, watching for audience splash and projectile flinging zones, aren’t my concern…nor my knees that look and feel like mutilated punching bags.  It’s the simple day-to-day form and functional use of my arms and legs.

 …Lifting an 80 pound, squirming human, wrestling her to the cement floor, and pulling her back up, over and over and over again…for hours, even when you’re in shape, is a lot on a body.  When you’re sick-grossly NOT in shape (like me), it’s a lot worse.  My already notoriously weak muppet-arms were a given to take the hit.  My quads however, are screaming proof today that ye olde corset did its job, forcing me to lift with my legs and not back.  Today, my limbs feel like I spent last night bench pressing a semi-truck and not a near-teenager. Even knowing this was coming (based on the necessities of the battle sequence), you can’t really prepare for the kind of soreness that follows something so insanely physically taxing as: “The Breakfast Scene.”

http://youtu.be/crV5q2j9DBI

…We follow it in word-for-word specific breakdown, as it is kept intact in the actual script, with very few small adjustments needed merely due to set adjustments, and safety. But the violence and action is the same.

…And THIS is what Annie Bancroft was wearing under her costume.  For obvious good reason. 

 

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Even Linemen aren’t kitted out this much, downstairs…but with the above as reference, (and a Ma who can whip up damn near anything with a sewing machine), this Annie is spending her LAST pad-less day on set tonight.  I may feel like a marshmallow man in bulk, even before adding the Victorian high collar, petticoats, and fitted long sleeves to the mix…but if I learned one thing last night it was that cement floors don’t give a flying fuck.  About plates, bouncing silverware, overturned chairs, OR “you.”

…As for my spaghetti-noodle arms and screaming legs, they’re just gonna have to suck it up. We’ve 39 days to opening, and a month of runs ahead of us.  By the end, even without meaning to, I should have the fucking core and toned lift-strength to rival She-Hulk .

…Meanwhile, as I blubber on…keep in mind that Bancroft and Duke did it for 719 performances across 21 months…and then again across five brutal days of filming for three cameras, months and months later, as if for the very first time. 

…It’s the kind of realization that makes my brain-balls wilt like raisins as the word, “freaks” involuntarily escapes my mouth…(not for the first time.) 

…Brilliant bastards…

~D

I Was Asked…

5 Nov

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Back by popular demand…I’ve been requested to do an office update. 

…What air-headed new upset has The Gnome gotten into? Has WHS Pimp followed through on his custom designer tampon line?  What shenanigans can two actors in one real-world job situation get into?  Exactly how much junk food can you consume in a single day without puking it back up again?  These answers and more, in our ongoing soap-like drama of Brothel-joy.

First: The Gnome has been on maternity leave for over a month now.  For which we are all glad. “Stupid” may be occasionally cute and funny when tempered across several week’s or months of time in a “greatest hits” kinda deal…but when you actually have to deal with it live and in person every work hour of every day, it is fucking exhausting.  What is nice is not having to temper screaming things like, “OH MY GOD, HOW DO YOU STILL NOT KNOW HOW TO FAX?!” or “YOU ALPHABETIZE BY LAST NAME NOT FIRST…HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW MANY FUCKING ‘FREDS’ ARE IN THESE CUSTOMER FILES?!” before I’ve even had my morning coffee. On a continual basis.  

…Basically, I can get through the day now without wanting to punch a pregnant woman in the face…and I count that as a win.  Especially as unless you try to interact with her in person, that just sounds really bad…like I’m a super terrible person.  And while I’m no Mother Theresa…I’m hardly a Mussolini.  But a person can only take so much active stupidity across an extended length of time, without mentally rebelling in some way.

…Which is how Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impression REALLY got born.

True story.

…Anyway, she hadda boy.  The Gnome.  And we haven’t heard from her since. We hope, for the child’s sake, that she somehow birthed a savant who can feed and diaper himself…but other than that, she rarely comes up in conversation, unless first prefaced with something like:

WHS Pimp: Where the hell do you think she put the contract for that thing? 

Me: You mean as opposed to what a NORMAL person would do with it?

WHS Pimp: Yeah. Like…what was her “system” do you think?

Me: It’s cute how you think she had one.

WHS Pimp: No, but seriously though.

Me: It could, literally, be ANYWHERE.  Anywhere at all.  And I’m speaking actual not-shitting-you truth.

WHS Pimp: Fuck.

Me: Welcome to my world.

…Meanwhile…

Cecil of “Earnest” fame, has taken over The Gnome’s domain.  In the past month she’s ripped all the files out and alpha’d them like a normal person would, has digitally archived all record retention needs, learned how to do contracts the right way THE  FIRST TIME, and brought a plant in, called Ruth, who sits in the lobby being green and anti-depressive.

…A giant-fat-wealth of betterness has come in her wake.  Also an almost constant stream of theatre talk and commiseration zombie-eyed mornings on tech week.  It’s nice to have another in the room who gets it.  Since she’s joined staff, we’ve made it through two closings three rehearsal processes and are on our third opening weekend.  It’s manic, but it’s what theatre peeps do…so though we manage the ebb and flow accordingly, WHS Pimp’s head spins with conversations like:

WHS Pimp:  What the hell? Didn’t you just open a show last week? How are you closing already?

Me: No, that was my show.

WHS Pimp: Which one?! You’re doing two right now.

Me: No, I closed that last one, and am only doing one now.

Cecil: That was me.  I just opened.  But then I’m rehearsing now too.

WHS Pimp: Like she just did, with the two-at-once thing?

Cecil: Right.

Me: But then I closed the one, and am almost to tech week for the second.

Cecil: But I had to close my last one first because they are at the same theatre.

WHS Pimp: What?

Me: My second show and her first show are in the same season at the same theatre, back-to-back.  So her show has to close first, while I’m in rehearsal, meanwhile, she’s in rehearsal for her second show at a different theatre.  Her first one is closing soon, which means my second one will open soon, which means shes about two weeks from opening her second one.  Somewhere else.

WHS Pimp: For fucks sake!  How the hell are you even awake right now?

Me: Well, she’s twenty.  And I drink coffee. A lot.

…Meanwhile…

In Other, Other News:  WHS Pimp’s GF got him to sign up for a race. Like for running.  With his legs and everything. Apparently, “for fun.” It has been a journey to watch him combat morning stiffness in every joint, with afternoon pizza devouring, and after-work gin gulps…which he sends in IM’d pictorial proof together with titles like, “I made it to the end of the block without stopping.  CHEERS!!!”  I told him that though I’m not the best dietary nutritionist on the planet, I doubted that after-run hydration recommendations include alcoholic beverages…even if mixed with nothing.  To which he said things like, “Nonsense! Gin is mostly herbs, berry extract, and rubbing alcohol! If nothing else, I’m a homeopathic genius!” 

…Weeks of this ensued.  Together with talks about special anti-chafing underware, iso-socks that can cripple you if you put the wrong one on the the incorrect foot, and debating on whether udder cream, Vaseline, or chapstick is the best to combat this raw-nipple problem that apparently runners get who don’t have to wear three kinds of bras just to keep their boobs from knocking them out on the up-jump. 

…Across two month’s time he’s dropped about $350 on crap just to do this race…which blows my fucking mind, not least of which because it isn’t even a proper sport and requires not a single tool in order to actually do it.  When the hell did running turn into a multi-million dollar industry of whole shoe stores where people squat to watch your stride and make sure your $180 trainers are supporting your heavier in-step fall than your rolling out-step?

I dunno.  But whatever the craziness, it ended this last weekend.  In one single run.  The pictures of which show him purple-faced to the point where anyone would assume he might drop dead of cardiac arrest at any moment.  The look of pained concentration, with his 11 layers of light-weight, stream-lined, state-of-the-art gear blearing in florescent reflector glory, was a sight to behold. 

So was his walk, on Monday.

Me: Lookin’ good buddy.

WHS Pimp: Ffffffuuuuuuuuuuuck.

Me: –So full of healthy awesome!

WHS Pimp: …Oh god….

Me: –So energized…

WHS Pimp: …Sweet Jesus…

Me: — Just the picture of rock-hard-badassness.

WHS Pimp: She signed me up for another one.

(Total silence)

WHS Pimp: …I might have to break up with her.

(I nod, and offer a cookie.)


(He takes it. And starts to cry. Ever so softly.)

~D

 

Tag-Teaming Murder & Education

8 Sep

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Dearest “Rita” is alive and well, warbling her free-association wisdoms at-will (and speed), and having a great time playing with her Professor…which ends our first weekend of performances, and ushers in today’s first rehearsal of the next gig.

From Liverpool to London, back to Liverpool again…and London…I’ll be splitting time for the next two week’s ‘tween our enthusiastically educating Scouser and a London society-dame, fighting to survive murder, Hitchcock-style. While we are on the same island, there is a good sixty-year era-difference, not to mention sizable pocketbook increase…which’ll be fun to bounce around between…cuz who the hell doesn’t love Noir and 50’s fashions, mixed with sailor-mouthed, punk, fuck-me shoes?

Yes to it all!

…And so with today’s first table-read, we pack away the Chekhov, Ibsen, and Forster et al (Sunday nights thru Wednesday), and bring out some epic Noir film-festing to put some meat on these ingénue bones facing me in print. 

Famously portrayed by Grace Kelly, in her typical perfect-looking-yet-boring-as-hell-to-watch fashion, the plan is to make our Margot in Dial “M”, more than that.  Something with smarts, bite, and maybe even some (god-forbid) sex…seeing as she’s blackmailed for schtooping who she shouldn’t, and all.  Which means I’ll be forced (dammit) to dig out all my Stanwyck’s, Tierney’s, Astor’s, Bacall’s, Davis & Crawfords…Turner’s, Hayworth’s, and Gardner’s (woe is me) to settle in for some one-on-one refresher courses, (hee hee) on how to be bad-girl-awesome…in general.

…Working against iconic interpretation is always a “thing” when tackling something like a “Hitchcock”…which is 50% fixed in this case by not casting a blonde, really.  The moment lights rise in scene one, I’m automatically given more freedom to fight against the character-as-played in pre-conceived expectation, by physical presence alone.  The other 50% is taking dated text and infusing new life into it…figuring out how to leverage a more realistic, suspicious, sexual, “human” being from a white-toast sort of role, as usually played. 

…I’m going mining for more in there…and it’ll be fun panning to find it 😉

~D

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