Tag Archives: Work

12 Oct

…I have to think of something else.

My brain has been full of horrible thoughts for far, far too long. It has consumed me entirely. It has stripped me of everything from joy, to my health, to my dignity. And with nothing else to lose, (except, of course there is,  and when you’re me and my brain, we can even itemize them out for you…alphabetically, if you so choose) I sit here in between hour two of what will be a lot more, running lines tubed into my left ear, via my phone headset…during work, with the still dark thoughts absorbing me where they should be concentrating on lines I’ve had to relearn so many times now, that I can’t remember the count.
I’ve failed at a lot of things in life, but this was always the one thing I could count on to be solid. 

Art. 

Theatre.

I’ve always worked my damn ass of to assure that no matter what, I am prepared. I am professional. I am solid. Because I have no other self-identity other then being an actor. It’s what I am. It’s what I do. It’s my purpose. And now it’s failing me too. Or rather, I’m failing it. 

A lot terrifies me. But my “purpose” leaving me, is now officially taking the damn cake. I couldn’t try grasping frantically for some shred of recognition or safety more, if my life depended on it. And it feels very much like it does. Couldn’t pray harder. Couldn’t lose more sleep, push more, plead more, cry more, melt down more. I couldn’t lose more dignity if  every bodily fluid expelled at once, on stage vs the humiliation I put myself through, at last night’s rehearsal.

…Absolutely zero control.

Despite an extremely understanding and totally supportive team, I can’t help but see the inevitable trajectory this shit-fest is taking, and my total inability to stop it…despite all major efforts I am attempting to negate it.

I just closed “Dark” on Sunday, and “Blithe” opens in 8 days. I have never struggled like this for the most basic requirements of doing the job I need to do, on that stage. Never mind the character, I can’t even get grasp on the fucking text. What should be a light and airy word-play of epically brilliant double-entendres, and bitch-bitey exuberance, is a nightmare of impossible-to-recall word specifics that no one uses outside of a Mensa meeting, and broken record of Agatha Christie repetition-hell, of saying the same thing, slightly different and more catty, 13 times, in 15 different monologues, without rest.

Am still very broken from the last show, all but shattered before we’ve even opened this one. And for the first time I am really and truly actually questioning my ability to do this anymore. 

…And if I can’t. What in the flying fuck has it even all been about?

I’m trying to open a show in the middle of my biggest fucking mental breakdown since I’d been diagnosed, in 2009.

… I have to think of something else.

~D

Almost One Month

20 Jul

I have two very good friends who recently came back from a month living abroad in Paris.

…They are multiple-discipline artists, who went, not as tourists, but to live and work amongst the natives. They are writers and painters and chefs and builders of bookshelves and boxes of homemade goods you can send all over the world, to administer creature comforts and small tokens of love to people you know…far and near. They had saved up their pennies and dollars and coffee allowances for god only knows how long, in order to secure that tiniest of flats with only a hot plate and toaster oven, in that magical city…because that experience was a requirement for their art and soul. So they made it happen.

…And so, (naturally) the leading question of nearly every person who sees them since they’ve come back, is more of a demanded statement: “Didn’t you just have the most amazing time ever?!?”

…And the answer: it isn’t quite exactly what one might expect. 

It is something like this:

“It was incredibly difficult. And we’re really glad we went.”

This does not mean it went poorly. This does not mean they didn’t enjoy it. It means: sometimes, even getting what you want is hard work. Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed no matter how prepared you think you are. Sometimes the language barrier, the tiny living conditions, the just not being where you know everything and where it is and should be, is stressful and exhausting and…a lot.

One month can be a long time.

…And I feel like all of that, is exactly where I am with this new job. 

Somewhere inside, I have to believe I am at the place I am supposed to be, but my fourth week in: my struggles are not rosey and beautiful. They are hard. Still. Like stress headaches and tear-bursting-while-on-the-toilet, kind of bad.

…I miss the stupid fact of just “knowing” things. I miss auto-piloting my day-to-day masses of crap. I miss being overwhelmed, yet still feeling fully capable. I miss that when shit came down– I knew how to fix it.

I have been, and always will be, my toughest critic. I expect a lot of myself. And yet I feel like a grace-period of a month is more than sufficient to not feel like this anymore.

…I’m in mutherfucking Paris!

…I should just be blissfully contented beyond relief!!

…Isn’t this what I wanted?! Isn’t this what I left for?! More money and some damn self respect? 

I’m the holder of a Company Credit Card. Head of all accounts. Unlimited spending on whatever the hell I need to make this place bop and beep to whatever the hell tune I want it to.

 …And yet…

One month in– I somehow miss that abuseful bastard job, like it was my own pillow.

What-the-actual-fuck, you guys.

I’m exhausted. Still. Only kinda more so. And feel too full to add any more in. I *think* I’m still glad I left, but that totally depends on the day. 

I saved up all my “hope” pennies, and dollars to get here…and it isn’t heaven at all. I don’t super understand the language. The numbers are kinda douchey, but they treat me like a person and buy me lots of really good coffee.

…Yet, I am still incredibly overwhelmed.

This is all to say: New job – still processing.

~D

Mr. Jingles

29 Jun

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We have a mouse at work.

…We know this, not only because of tiny poop presents on our keyboards, and teeth marks through the package of every granola bar from the Costco box… we know this because we have seen him. At first, in darts and flashes of fur, and now in week two, the tiny asshole –bold as you please — just wanders from office to office via a sequence of holes in our crawlspace, meant to wire our Internet in.

… Traps have been laid, food stuffs have been sequestered, and we await his end-times. But thus far, he’s been too good at the game, and flaunts his wins daily. (Including his ultimate finger flip of shitting his tiny little shits, all over the place.)

Our Warehouse Chick has name him: Mr. Jingles.

He may or may not live up to the role.

Every day now starts with vigorous Lysol wiping of every surface and pen, no one so much as goes to lunch with a cough drop on their desk, and every sighting has become like an office drinking game (minus the booze and real fun.)

Someone: (yelled out) “Mr. Jingles!”
All Else: (answered, like a toast by all present) “Mr. Jingles!”

… Despite the disgustingness… we sorta all want him to win.

So it goes, in the totally classy establishment, I work in.

Next: My year of Fitbitting (and it’s erased blog) are the only current events I own. The blog (killed via Internet or some other technical burp during posting) was meant to celebrate my win of an every day constancy…my 365 days of ass-busting, my over 6.1 million steps, over 16,100 on average per day. But after it ceased the Web world, I thought: “Ain’t that a general F-you from the fates, who watched me work this hard all damn year…”

… So I didn’t rewrite it. That’s my finger, back at them. I did the thing, I know all it meant, I guess I don’t need the witnessing to own the full meaning of it.

Sometimes enough is enough.

(And somewhere, my shrink –prob’ly imbibing on an all-expense vacation I’ve helped pay for–just applauded.)

Meanwhile: It’s heat. And walking. And heat. And head cold ending.

… It’s finally regaining a sense of smell in time for 4th of July BBQ eating, setting friend dates, applying for jobs, watching the casting boards while salivating for just the right thing at just the right time… Hoping to be back into a happy and healthy head and life space, surrounded in higher pay, actual appreciation, and an artistic outlet to fully invest in.

… It could happen.

(And I wish it would fucking hurry up about it, already.)

~D

Tent City: A Soap Saga

29 Oct

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They cancelled all the Soaps from my childhood, but the memory remains clear (and will for life) of the high-stake emotional roller coasters of inbreeding, murder, mystery and hysterical outbursts they produced. Whole towns stuck in perpetuity of land lock like Brigadoon, where everyone had an evil twin no one knew about, and people would continually die and then come back to life again…or have massive reconstruction surgery to look like other people…for reasons that never made any sense, but were totally based on actor availability at the time.

…A part of me mourns their loss. They were fucking ridiculous, and if you missed one day you’d have no idea what the hell was going on anymore, or who was married or sleeping with whom…but it was an easy way to kill a sick day.

….I only bring this up because New Boss has taken to eating lunch in his office, while looking out his windows. It’s his new favorite thing. I know, cuz he’s told me. His very own tent-city soap, which he narrates while I type away in my office.

To set this up, (if you’re new, like he is) you need to know: we are located just out of the Port. It ain’t the greatest side of town, and has been the topic of many blogs across the years about Dancing Tweakers, Stoned Homeless Models, a Tunnel Tranny (prostitute crossdresser), et al. From time to time, we will also find ourselves the neighbors of a transient Tent-City…which will start with one, and multiply to half a dozen “homes,” collecting across several days to a month, until the cops come, bust them all, and they load of their kits like travellers, gone by the next day, until they mysteriously re-emerge slowly again, several months later.

…So happens, New Boss, got hired just after one of such transitions, so that one day while eating his yogurt he hollared out:

Boss: Hey! There’s a puptent!
Me: Oh yeah. They do that. Must be city rebuild time.
Boss: What?
Me: Yeah, it’ll start with one or two…and if they don’t get busted another will show up soon..then another…
Boss: Seriously?
Me: Yep.
Boss: What do we do?
Me: Nothing. It’s not our property, they never come in our yard or anything to bother us.
Boss: They just “live” there?!
Me: Yep.
Boss: On the side of the overpass?!
Me: Yep.
Boss: Just like that?!
Me: Well, I mean…it’ll grow now. If no one busts em.
Boss: What do you mean?
Me: Watch. You’ll see…

…And he did. Totally fascinated. For over a week now. Like its some kind of social human study on transients. Every lunch: he’s sitting there,watching them eat and drink and have domestic disputes just like they were a living soap opera, playing out their daily dramas.

Day 2

Boss: There’s another one!! Look!! Now there are TWO tents!
Me: Yup. I told yuh…
Boss: …Same piece of grass, but like 20 feet away.
Me: it’s like a “gentleman’s agreement” of land rights. Those’ll redistribute to smaller plots as it continues to populate.

Day 3

Boss: That one has a bike now. He looks like he’s talking to someone but I can’t figure out to who.
Me: Prob’ly no one. They frequently have arguments with the air and trees and things.
Boss: Seriously?
Me: We had one dance outside the tunnel for like three hours one day to no music at all.
Boss: Like, for money?
Me: No, for fun. He just felt like it I guess.

Day 3

Boss: Five!! Five tents!
Me: Yep.
Boss: Not to be gross, but…where do they…you know…go to the bathroom?
Me: There.
Boss: Where?
Me: Anywhere. There…or there…or there…
Boss: Just–Out in public?
Me: Well yeah. It’s not like they travel with Honeybuckets or something…
Boss: Seriously?!
Me: You’ll see. Literally, at some point (unfortunately)…

Day 4

Boss: OHMYGOD! THATWOMANINFAKFURANDHIGHHEELSJUSTWALKEDACROSSTHESTREETTOTHATOTHERPATCHOFGRASSSQUATTEDANDPEED!
Me: Yep.
Boss: Just like that!
Me: Yep.
Boss: I can’t even. And that guy! What’s he doing do you think?
Me: Picking the ground for cigarette butts and needles most likely.
Boss: Woa.
Me: Yeah, I can’t handle the shoot ups part…s’why I’m super glad my office faces the tunnel and I don’t have to see when they do that crap. Too much traffic.

Day 5

Boss: Fight!! Its a fight!
Me: They’ll calm down in a minute. All they do is yell…if it got violent, the cops would stop and make them all go away.
Boss: So they just stand there screaming back and forth? What does that resolve?
Me: I dunno. Nothing. What does it ever resolve.
Boss: It looks like it’s about that fur-coat lady.
Me: So I’m gonna guess she banged someone she shouldn’t have and now her boyfriend is pissed.
Boss: Well yeah, but..I mean…one would guess based on her behavior and dress that that is like her “job” so to speak.
Me: Oh yeah, no, she’s totally a prostitute…but that’s just her job. It’s like what’s-her-face in “A Hundred Ways To Die In The West.” It’s an agreement you do what you have to for livelihood. She’s just not supposed to like cozy up with someone for “fun.”
Boss: And that guy was “fun”?!
Me: Dude, you’ve seen their world. At least he still has most of his teeth.

…And so on.

…It is a bizarre and horrible fact of life that people can and do live this existance. And of course there are a variety of reasons they do…though the communities in our area of the Port seem mostly due to mega substance abuse. After years of watching them repopulate and relocate and come back again…one sorta becomes anesthetized to their presence. Like neighbors in New York, we ignore one another and do what we do to survive. One only realizes how matter-of-fact it has become when it is seen through fresh eyes….who are clearly old enough to have seen it before, but never on such a close-up, daily, routine and basis.

…In time, our neighbor’s lives will become as face-valued and unsurprising to New Boss, as a coma victim waking up after 20 years lost out at sea, or a backstabbing evil twin who stole the other’s identity and even his own wife couldn’t tell. Because that’s just the way it rolls in America…sadly.

…At the moment, at least, Tent-City has a most consumed witness to their daily stories…until one day when we come in to find they have moved once again, to greener pastures.

~D

The Deal

23 Oct

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…So the deal is, two days before I went on vacation for a week in order to open this show, Corporate arrived on a surprise visit, fired The WHS Pimp, and brought in another guy.

…With no time to process any of this, I had to call a cab to take The Pimp home, and meet and start training my new Boss, within two hours. Hadda total meltdown at lunch in the car, then finished the day, ran music and lines with a recorder, and that night, went to see our Sister show Open…only to wake up and do it all over again the following day.

….Friday night, I left my desk with no fucking idea if I’d have a job or an office by the time I got back, a week later…but there was certainly no way I was gonna cancel the vacation, as I was also (as previously discussed) freaking the fuck out about opening this show.

For a week, I sought a buffer and tried to land some kind of solid footing on emotional ground. I didn’t succeed. But I did survive.

….And I came back from my non-vacation, to the same job and desk. And I didn’t die, or have a meltdown that Monday. Even when Corporate came back again. And I didn’t on Tuesday. And I didn’t on Wednesday.

…And I say this more as a form of wonderment than achievement, because I still don’t know why.

These past months of awful, just seemed to get so much worse, even when I thought it couldn’t possibly. That bitch peaked at like a Mount Everest height…so it makes sense that it was hard to breathe and terrifying at every step.

…And then, because, I guess there’s nowhere higher to go in the vicinity: it stopped climbing to worseness.

…Which doesn’t mean the world and my problems in it are magically fixed somehow…it just means that at some point, the fates were like: “Yep, she’s totally teetering on her last straw. What comes next is what they make Lifetime original movies about…guess we should back off her ass a bit and see if she can keep floating or drowns. No use beating a dead horse…”

Despite the fates’ combo-metaphor usage, they knew enough to stop when they did. I’m not gonna say I’m grateful about it…they’ve been making dick-moves for ages. But I will say: “It took me two weeks to process all this, and I think both theatre and office worlds are slowing achieving a better place.”

…Leaving me with an actual weekend, were I can actually relax a bit, with only laundry…a performance, and a choice of whether to audition for that one show, or just wait and work on Seattle Fringe.

This is a more reasonable speed, fates. (In case you were wondering.) This, I can do.

~D

Whatchu Been Missin’

29 Jul

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Some reads to keep me sane through the bleakness of in-between casting which goes on and on.

….Season General’s are super great…while doing them…then about 6 to 9 months later. In between, there is just a hollow hole of nothingness in purgatory. Waiting. Waiting for second and third calls. Waiting for the next show to cast first. Waiting for more waiting.

  …In the meantime, I’ve scooped up some lit-read gigs and script one-nighters, which feed me just enough that I don’t artistically starve to death. Which I truly believe can happen to a person, if they allow it to.

…As nothing but the written word, walking, and Netflix, seem to be helping in my current day-to-day Hell of work-life, I have dedicated myself to them almost completely. Even with a maybe sorta broken but for sure sprained toe, I’m marching and spewing words from any and every source I can get a hold of. My yoga mat is forever now where my coffee table should be, so even whilst streaming on the TV, I can get more steps in.

I feel that I have a certain responsibility to just “DO.” Constantly. Whenever I can. However I can. Up hills, by oceans, on mountains, in the car, even while waiting for reports to print out…I can’t seem to solid focus on anything without tag-teaming it onto something else…because somehow, I think my brain figures that occupying my entire person’s function at all times, will make me feel like I own some sort of control over something…at some point.

…I don’t though.

Instead, I’m just perpetually exhausted.

I have no alternative fix or answer to this predicament. I am only stating fact.

…Maybe, when another show is on the roster and I have responsibility to it, and its team, my brain will ease up a bit and let me enjoy the sunshine and being human. Until then, I feel this is the best medication I can grant myself…so I’ll have to keep at it…through even purple toes and pissed off Fitbit buds.

When all you have is all you have, you can only do what you can.

…But I’d be full of shit if I didn’t admit: I’m fucking tired, and hungry-starving to be back home in a cast again. I’ll trade you ALL the Fitbit badges, for that. Gladly.

~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

RIP, Pops

22 Jan

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The WHS Pimp is on family leave in CA after losing his “Pops” the week of the Corporate Manager’s Meeting.  He was in the middle of a shit-storm of flight delays, and missed connections when the word came through from home…stranding him alone in an airport bar, halfway between here and there, with what would end up as something like a 1 am final arrival in Florida.

…Pops had been sick for quite some time, but the plan had been to divert the return ticket after the meeting and see him in person, say the things a son says when they are facing that moment, and come home with at least some semblance of a closure.  Instead, WHS Pimp tossed back about a fifth of gin amongst strangers, got on another flight hours later, and was deposited to a three-day orgy-fest of unnecessary political game-playing…which he somehow managed to live through, even in his emotionally fucked-up state, with more grace and self-respect than the yahoos conducting the whole enterprise.

Any other person would have waved a giant finger of “fuck you” to the Corporate heads back at the airport, and changed destinations right then and there…I sure as hell know I would…but the WHS Pimp didn’t. And not only that, he failed to even tell us back home that any of it had happened, until two days into the Conference.

And it sucks. 

…It sucks he missed the face-to-face goodbye.  It sucks that his Pops was so young to begin with, and that life-choices can handicap a person so severely that sometimes you just can’t find a way out.  It sucks that The Pimp was alone when he heard it…that no one was there to get the top bottle off the shelf, put it in front of him and say, “Tell me some stuff about your Pops…I know there’s a million awesome stories…”

…And it sucks that even when he got home, we were all too damn poor to front a bottle, set up a wicked feast, and wake the man a proper way.

…All we COULD do, was take over the biz, and shove him out the door to California, to be with the people who COULD do all that for and with him.  So we did.  And he’s there.  And is reporting back with pics of long-ago friends he hasn’t seen in years, and sister time, and mornings with Mom by the pool, and general shenanigans that you need to have to survive the kind of shit-storm that is “death.”

It’s good for him to be home…has been too many years since he’s been.  We all wish it was under better circumstances (obviously), but I happen to know first-hand that sometimes the only thing to bring you together is the loss of something great.  It’s a stupid law of life, but there it is.

So, from here we wish him well, and lots of stories, and “remember whens,” and laughs, and building more good memories to bring back… helping counter the hard ones that first sent him there.

…And we also would like to say, for the record: “STOP CHECKING YOUR FUCKING WORK EMAILS…ALL THAT SHIT CAN WAIT!”

Love and stuff,

~D

A Corporate Meeting

14 Jan

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Annually, all the yahoo Big-Wigs on the East Coast, gather up reps from the Regional Management team like cattle from across the Nation, and corral them into some big hotel with a giant board room, and an open bar.

…All book their flights in separate classes from first to steerage, and arrive at said destination  as the plebeians are met and crammed into taxis, and the CEOs share a limo, dropping all off at some resort-like hotel, where they retreat into their double-occupancy suites, and open the seal on the minibars before first meeting.

…And from that time until the “conference” is over, (some two or three days later), the entire entity of people who run our company, are basically fucking hammered…until the conference room after a 2-hour shut-in meet, smells like a whore house dipped in stale cigars and sour vomit, while many sit in sunglasses, heads hovered over coffee, still sporting stripper glitter on their faces.

I know this to be true, though I have never attended said meetings…and how I know is: pictorial proof stretching back to as far back as the original Boss, and since confirmed by WHS Pimp.

…And the stories.  The stories and stories and stories that never seems to end or die. It’s the kind of thing you would expect from Frat House parties, but certainly not a gathering of the Top Brass and affiliates of a multi-million dollar company.  Certainly not with the Corporate HR manager in the room.  

…But then, that’s our company: a myriad of oxymoron’s. In fact a myriad of ALL the morons.

Can’t order a name brand Bic pen because it costs 30 cents more than the Staples brand, but you can write off a lap-dance as a “business expense” when purchased for the Operations Admin. Anyway…it worked when Boss showed me the check refund that one time.

…Get hammered with emails when spending a- buck-a-can more on fast-drying display paint, due to our weather conditions…but no one gives a shit that you drank so much, you puked on the SW Territory Manager’s shoes in the bar, and he turn in a compensation receipt upwards of $150.

…Two of our THREE only high-ranking women in the company, spend their time getting so sloshed and slutty, their boobs fall out of their blouses, while becoming suctioned in public make-out sessions with married Sales Reps, and have to be carried/dragged to their rooms.  Or more often get their kicks playing, “body shots” with the CEOs. Of course, they are eventually disciplined (being women) and rarely do the same return, one year to the next.  But like a legend that must go on, they seem to re-cast with the same “type” who keep up the shenanigans the following year…like a really badly plotted out Diversity placement program.

…The men, meanwhile, are as Gods in their playground.  Corporate cards burning a hole in their pockets, they return every year with the same intent: to out-do the last one.  They “treat” favorites to saunas after lunch. Picked up in limos by the half-dozen, they file out at posh night clubs and order shots all-round at $30 a pour, fighting over who pays next as they whip out their black American Express cards with the kind of pride that means it doesn’t matter what size is hidden in their jockey shorts.

…And AFTER the meet-and-greets…after the “after parties” and “after, after parties,” the karaoke and cigar smoking over pool tables…after the last tab has been fought over and paid…or forgotten about entirely and charged next day to a now “lost” credit card…they all somehow double and stumble back to the hotel for MORE “fun.”

About here, the stories of Boss and WHS Pimp split their course.  Only because The Pimp is smarter and knows what he HAS to do to “keep face” with these people, and yet manages to do it without losing his consciousness or dignity. Because HE, unlike Boss, isn’t a fucking idiot.

…Which means, while WHS Pimp is in the shuttle of all the main events of the “good ol’ boy network,” his ability to hold his liquor and self-respect, even while surrounded by them, gives him ample study and text time to report back on the events as they occur.  (Not to mention a sick amount of ammo against all involved.)

…So that through all of this last meet, when the capper event to end ALL events went down, he was so on the inside, it is entirely possible he might inherit the company full-out one day.

Picture it: The CFO, CEO, Director of Operations, our own Regional Territory  Manager and the HR Manager are in the upstairs uber party suite on day two, after a long, long, long night of other pre-parties below.  At a fire pit outside by the pool sits WHS Pimp and other lesser company commodities when they hear screams from above and look up in enough time to see a man drop from the fifth floor window.

…What they didn’t know until the slideshow—yes SLIDE SHOW—presented the next morning, was that this had been an ongoing bet by the Top Brass in the upper room across the past two nights.  A bet taken to such extremes that on night one, the CFO sat and calculated speed, and velocity, in order to prove or counter prove the theory being waged : on how fast a person jumping out of said window could land in the pool below. 
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…Meanwhile, the CEO and our Regional Territory Manager opened the window, cut – yes CUT—out the screen in its entirety, and started pitching everything that wasn’t nailed down, out the window into the pool below, while chant-counting and arguing weight difference and gravity.

For reasons we will never know, no one from the Hotel saw fit to stop them hurling things out the upper story window into the pool.  Quite possibly as it was around three a.m. at that point and the danger at a limit…until the following evening, when they took up where they left off. The same team assembled, the same soused state achieved. Only THIS time, the debate over form and weight apparently necessitated taking it a step further…to the point of fashioning a dummy.

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What they used as weight-filler is unknown, but a particularly stellar move of dressing it up in our Regional Bosses’ $250  button-up, belt and pants before hurling him out the window, was a specifically fine cherry topper.  Not as awesome (and I mean “giant” not “cool”) as the amount of total terror from patrons and co-workers below, watching what they assumed was an actual person, dead-weight falling out the window after the chants “Jump! Jump! Jump!” sounded from above.

…And really nothing but nothing is finer than the slamming of said dummy, just shy of the actual pool target, into what would have been a total impaling by the wheelchair access water launcher.  Nor the fact that it was entirely filmed.

https://imgflip.com/gif/gec3x

…Except possibly the fact that with our biggest Top Brass and Chief Financial Officer in the room above doing the math, they forgot to include thrust and projection of said body, thus after two nights of calculations and what is I’m sure a HEFTY room charge for vandalism later…the bet is still unresolved…as the body never even made it to the water.

These are the people running our company, folks.

…There aren’t enough words.

Truly.

~D

Gallery

Donna Reed Disease

30 Oct

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Am in desperate need of a vacation.  

Somewhere not here.  

…Not where paperwork and same-routine waits at my office desk.  A place where phones don’t ring, or even exist.  

…I need a break from the depression of sitting on my couch for hours on end streaming Netflix until two a.m., and not taking showers on weekends till show call. I need a place with fresh air and detox facials…with yoga stretching, and books…with no beach bods in bikinis reminding me how horribly out of shape I am. 

…Also, no children.

And it needs to be virtually free.  

…If you google all these qualifications, you come up with a few pilgrimage monasteries and not much else.  But I hate dirt.  And road trips. And camping.  
I’m a sucky pilgrim. 

…Not as bad as the ones who swapped smallpox blankets for Indian corn…(I have morals)…but I can admit my limits.

Thing is, I’m still depressed from “Rita” closing.  I miss the work it took, the challenge, the journey.  “Dial M” is like being in a radio show with costume changes. I go home afterwards, tired and depressed from doing nothing but crying…because it’s all I’m scriptually allowed to do. Ten or twelve different ways. And then I go home and drink while chanting, “suck it up, you have a job, other people don’t.”  

I wish I could do that.  

…Instead, I’ve contracted Donna Reed Disease.

Donna Reed the PERSON was one of the first women executives in television history.  She launched her own production company, siting lack of roles being shopped her way, even after winning an Oscar four years previously… proceeding to then create her own vehicle to star in, which ran for 8 seasons.  

…But nobody knows that part.  

You say “Donna Reed” and everyone immediately thinks of the stepford-like perfection of 1950’s housewife: subservient to her husband, dutiful to her children, vacuuming the carpets in high heels and circle-skirts, with a full five course home-cooked meal on the table… greeting hubby at the door in formal wear with a cocktail in hand, every evening by five.

I love the 50’s…don’t get me wrong.  But after playing a lot of back-to-back ball-buster women in a row…I have never, until now, been so keenly aware of the backslide in women’s lib, post-40’s.

The 1940’s were my years.  

…Women tossed off the housedress and went to work and fucking OWNED it.  Cuz they had to…cuz they could.  Cuz War happens.  Then the War ended and the fellas came back and womanity backslid about 5 paces, right off the bat.  Again, because they had to…because PTSD’s are fucked up…and the women respectfully backed off to help heal and encourage the fellas to find their footing again.  

…But they bowed down and backed off so far, it became the social equivalent of going from Egyptian pyramid-building with full septic systems, to log-cabins with outhouses.  It was an entire decade of backtracking so hard we became virtually a sex of soap opera stars: melodramatic damsels in distress, consumed in Barbie doll perfections.  

…This should not be new to me.  The concept isn’t, but fighting this script to find SOMETHING to do with this role, became nothing more than a frustration of limitation.  You can only serve the script as writ.  I came in hoping for that 40’s Noir dame of awesome, whose seen some things, done some things, and knows some things…a woman of the world. None of which is written, nor supportable in this text. 

…She is a flat-out victim.  Written as a flat-out victim.  At every man’s whim to either destroy or save her.

I’m a pretty damn capable actor who can sniff out good dirt just about anywhere…but when there is none, there is nothing you can do.  

…But cry.

…As many different ways as you can.

…Then disappear for 20 – 30 pages at a time, and come back to cry some more.

It is frustrating.

…It’s a job. I’m thankful to have something. I’m trying to enjoy it.  To at least gain some level of cathartic channeling from a bad day in it or something.

…But it doesn’t work.

Donna Reed Disease.

There’s a lot more here of wasted wealth…and no one will see it or give a shit. And it bothers me.  I said it.

…In the end: I’m not good at being the “just-stand-there-and-look-helpless-and-pretty” character. I don’t do any one of those things good enough to fulfill my artistic needs.

…But what I DO get (thankfully) is a cast and crew of great people.  The fellas are hilarious and dandy drinking buds, and if I’m pressed to admit it: I kinda do really like that blue dress in scene one. Even if it is girl-clothes. 

Also: the murder scene doesn’t suck.  So there’s that.

…Which is why I think, most of all, I just really need a vacation right now.  Followed by some kind of steak-sized role to dig into, directly after.

“Hedda Gabler” for Christmas, anyone???

~D

 
 

14 Costume Changes & Some Acting

29 Aug

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Bit of a clothes horse, me.

…An option of fitting a first dress in before tech was jumped on, so we could focus on one horrifying onslaught before a tidal wave of others come in to cream us this Saturday. And so, a first dress was had. Last night. And it wasn’t particularly brutal on anything except my feet (dear three and four inch heals…you’re assholes. It’s a good thing you’re cute.)

….Anyway…we charged ahead, I broke some things, we managed line-call-free, fit in all my 14 costume changes, and called it a late night for the first time since we began rehearsals…but we DID it, which I think is the important thing to focus on at this point.

…At this point.

The last time I did a two-hander show was “Oleanna”…again: a professor and a student, having at one another for two hours of stage time. Just me: just him. That’s it, folks.

…The amount of focus, LISTENING, line retention, blocking and prop movement is insane. It REQUIRES nothing less than 100% lock-and-load on the other actor…so that no matter what choices/accidents/line-flubs/enlightenments/emotions are flying around through the air between you…you are a one-entity receptor.

…It’s like ballroom dancing, in a two-hour-long competition, where we both take turns taking the lead, changing styles from fox trot to samba to waltzing seamlessly, at any given moment, and attempting to do it all without one single misstep. Your anchor is in the eyes of the other guy…you make the audience phase out into the wallpaper and bookcases of your world, and together you begin on step one…and it never ends or eases up until the curtain goes down.

…And we know this from experience. As even before costumes and props were added, every break has been filled with line running and blocking, since day one. We don’t pop out of focus, we still can laugh, take a slog of water, and a quick slash…but damn if we’re not still running a monologue while in the loo, walking blocking while feeding from a water bottle on set, or futzing with props ad nauseum. Because we have to. And that’s okay. Because we happen to really fucking love it, you know?

…Like really. A lot.

Difficult is good. Frustration can be tempered and recycled into something better next time, thanks to the lessons you’ve learned. And when you click with a character who you know in your guts…who you can access without interruption in mind or manner…it’s a fantastic ride to be on. Even more so when you trust…really TRUST the team behind you, and that guy right there opposite you, on stage, every night.

…Even on the days of frustration and energy-sap…even when I know there’s more we can find in a moment (and we will, next time)…there is nothing lacking in the team work…in the connections we’ve made, in the amount of fight it takes for two people to command the stage alone… lifting words from a page, into something exciting and wistful, amusing and dangerous, hysterical and poignant, witty and humble. It’s an honor, a challenge, a fucking hell of a ride.

…And every night, when it’s over, the realization comes crashing in, on the ride home…as the adrenaline drains from every pore: and complete mental and physical exhaustion smacks us stupid with inevitable result. We are totally…right now…this second…living an actors dream.

Hells. Freakin.’ Yes.

Bring it, tech week.

~D

Chicken Fires & Whiskey Donuts

18 Jul

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First of all, WHS Pimp says, “Hi.”

…The Gnome would too, if she knew this blog existed.  She a very “interested” person, in general.  The MSN news page is one of her best friends. (‘Course so are “LOL cat blooper” and “how to bedazzle anime chihuahua sweater” YouTubes), but the point I am trying to make is that she is a curious person, who likes to learn things, and contribute.

…Usually one would think that would up a person’s practical intelligence…ie: real world facts, figures and info, but it never seems to.  She instead somehow manages to skip over all the political unrest, current events, and new cures to diseases…coming out reading the top news stories page every morning with a comment like, “They found a two-headed monkey in Belize!” while in large red block letters the day’s headline reads: “Typhoon hits China, killing 500!”

…She has a knack for missing the actual point of things…in general, skipping over the informative to get at the side-bar item.  Which is totally fine, obviously, each to his own.  But perhaps this helps explain how a person can reach their mid-twenties and still be quite clueless about so many things that the average person takes for granted as general knowledge. Even things which have nothing to do with politics or world-events…things that come with collective everyday American experience of this century.

…Like the other day when WHS Pimp handed her some cash to do a Taco Bell run. “Just get one of those mix box things of plain tacos and burritos,” he said. The result, a tentative unwrapping of a wrapper from the front office and her voice calling out:

She: “Um…does your burrito have cheese and sauce in it?”
Me: “Yeah.”
She: “Shoot! I told them plain burritos.”
Me: “That IS a plain burrito.”
She: “It is?”
Me: “At Taco Bell? Yes.”
She: “Oh.”

…Or how on Monday’s she frequently needs to relearn how to put someone on hold and take them off again without disconnecting them.

…Or how she loses track on which week is payday, when it is only every other one.

…That she can’t figure out that emails you sent to the wrong person with customer contact information can’t be magically “taken back,” that you have to hold the red button up on the water cooler at the same time as you press it, in order to get “hot” to come out…that ones boyfriend shouldn’t leave pot butter out on the table overnight and be surprised when your dog is totally hallucinating at two a.m..

…As if these mental blocks aren’t enough, she’s also added the new “Pregnant Brain” comments to the list. This is for the things she does that she actually REALIZES are not the smartest choices. Which lead to moments like:

Me: “Did you know ‘Pregnant brain’ is the leading cause of wrong shingle color this week?”
WHS Pimp: “Is that a thing?”
Me: “Well, it’s cost us about $300 in repairs so far, and it’s only Wednesday…so yeah, I guess it is.”

…Or…

Gnome: “Oh man, ‘pregnant brain!'”
WHS Pimp: “What?”
Gnome: “I brought in these donuts and forgot about [WHS Chick’s] insulin thing. She can’t have any of these. I should have got her a plain.”

…Or…

Gnome: “…So I was gonna get these diapers on craigslist …like a hundred or something for thirty dollars and things but then I thought about Costco. What are you guys buying them at right now?”
WHS Chick: “Well…we just got a box of 90 at size one, and 90 at size two for about forty bucks.”
Gnome: “So…is that worse or better? I dunno…I don’t do math too good right now…with the extra hormones and everything…”

…Really, it goes on and on. But there’s no need to beat a dead horse…(even if you think its whole problem is just being a lazy bastard.) But it does make things like trying not to laugh at someone’s future mother (6 months in), really, really difficult.

…And that doesn’t help AT ALL when one morning you come in and are greeted with:

WHS Pimp: “So, The Gnome won’t be in today. I guess her apartment burnt down in a chicken fire.”
Me: “Sorry, what?”
WHS Pimp: “I’m not really clear. She was kind of hysterical. And you know how when she gets all worked up she forgets words and things?”
Me: “Yeah.”
WHS Pimp: “Well…it was like that.”
Me: “So…a chicken fire.”
WHS Pimp: “Apparently.”
Me: “Is she…okay??”
WHS Pimp: “I think so. I mean she’s physically fine…she was out walking the dog at the time. But I couldn’t really make out much more after that other than they won’t let her back in, she only has the clothes on her back, and the whole thing has something to do with chicken.”
Me: “Okay.”
(long pause)
Me: “I’m super tentative right now, and I’m not meaning to make fun, seriously, but…was it by any chance her fault. Like, we aren’t going to have to bail out a pregnant woman from jail on accidental arson charges?”
WHS Pimp: (equally tentatively.) “I don’t know yet?”
Me: “Okay. So…we wait it out.”
WHS Pimp: “…It’s gonna be a ‘Monday.’ Yeah.”

…Turns out the Chicken Fire was NOT the Gnome’s fault after all. It was totally the crack-head living downstairs, who decided to plop some chicken into a deep fryer and proceed to fall asleep.

…Which in the end was…”comforting???”

I dunno.

…But after many calls with Red Cross and other donation agencies, she is back under a roof, with more than just a single change of clothes, an insurance settlement, and no longer living next door to a crack addict. I don’t really know if this is a silver lining, cup-half-full thing or divine intervention from raising a child next door to a drug dealer.

…So that happened.

…In Other News: WHS Pimp decided to rock it 1940’s-Cop-Style this morning with a breakfast consisting of Gentlemen Jack in a coffee cup, and a donut. This is definitely not the norm at 9:05 in the morning…but considering he still hasn’t been to bed from yesterday yet, and was still here loading contractors at 3 am…that makes this both his Happy Hour, AND technical end-of-day. To which I say: “Party, on, friend. I tink my coffee cup to you!”

“…But if you touch that fucking custard filled beauty waiting for after this final report run…I will kill you.”

🙂

~D

Educating Me

14 Jun

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One of the longest casting waits, for a most wanted role, has come to an end. Gone: the shallow breaths, the gut-spinning angst, and all the doubting emo feelings that go with it.

One call on a Saturday, and I’m cured.

“Educating Rita” is a hell of a gig, all on its own. I know it like a soul mate, it fits like a glove, yet the challenges it’ll bring me and the things I will learn from it from rehearsal through performance, excites me to unknown end.

…Add to that, a Director who I’ve never worked with and know by her results and reputation will work my ass off in all the best ways…add to that an SM who is a family love, very dear to my heart…add to that a “39 Steps,” and “Office Hours” bud with killer comedy and so-easy-to-bounce-off-of chemistry, its almost ridiculous…and you have the biggest fucking cherry-topped joyride of blood, sweat, tears and hard work ahead of us that I can hardly contain myself.

…Only, I have to.

At least for a little while.

…Early casting was primarily for line learning and month-long Director sabbatical-taking. A few meets in July, but nothing in earnest, till August.

…Leaving me time to calm the fuck down, and give those twisted-ass “Maids” my full and undivided attention.

A happy, happy actor, now resides behind door number B1. Quite possibly the luckiest in town 🙂

~D

Things That Make Sense [Possibly Only] To Me

5 May

Wicked busy day at work…pushing $122,000 in new orders and bookings that had my butt stuck to my swivel chair for the full eight hours. 

…Decided to counter this with a 4 mile walk through partial spit and sunshine by the waterfront, directly after errands run of bank and script pick up.

…Then I peed.

…Checked my texts which had accumulated throughout the day, totally ignored…(due to reasons they pay me for)…and I saw a set from Puff:

Puff: “Awesome news…I will be up for Pride through 4th of July…!”

…JOY!!! Because, now that am camped in HRC with the Seattle kids…AND signed up for the huge-as-fuck event committees LIKE Pride…I was only the other day saying how kick-ass it would be if he were here for my first one, and I was there for his (in Seattle), cuz (without being a giant cock-block), we could hang some, and have times of awesome with him and his boys (whom I love), ‘tween my booth tending, button passing, and picture taking.

TIMES of AWESOME will be had. Indeed.

…Came home next, to find a gigantic box on my doorstep, weighing approximately half a pound.  After perusing labels which told me nothing, finally came to my senses and just ripped the thing open.  Arms waded through a sea of crumpled newspapers, reaching deep into the box’s guts to fish out: a giant globe on stand, and a card from an antique store in New Orleans.

…Texted The BFF, directly: “I presume was you who bought me the world…”

…The BFF texted back: “…It is your oyster after all.”

(This is why she is The BFF…reason # 562.)

…Wandered about house, attempting to find the perfect place for the world…and I found it: On top of record player by the complete Sherlock and choicest Du Mauriers.

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…Winning. Or rather, “won.” “Winning” sounds better. I will just move everything into the present tense now. Because.

…Go about opening new script (role secured only just last night), and begin to peruse the merchandise. She’s good, the playwright. A local. Commence to take notes, pull up dialect and start working for a good ol’ Louisiana drawl…mid-texting The BFF, who is well into the religious ceremony of Margarita drinking that is: Cinco de Mayo.

…I say I’m too lazy to go to the trouble of “all that mixing,” so offer chilled champagne, (still sitting in the fridge from my woeful birthday), or a warm scotch, as substitute.

The BFF says, ” Definitely champagne. But maybe I’m biased. It’s 80 degrees here.”

I respond: “I think it’s still wise here at 60-something. Cuz I mean..it’s champagne…”

We agree she is right. This almost never happens. She (presumably) goes to mix another ‘Rita…I grab a bar towel, and pop the cork.

…I study some more…

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…Mid-study I try to gauge the distinct difference between Creole, Cajun and general Louisianian dialects. Dunno which I’m suppose to use, so decide to learn all three.

…The Champagne goes largely untouched for some period of time, as I work. Then, as I fold up the script for now, I suddenly remember it.

Veuve Clicquot it ain’t, but it itches the scratch when yuh got it.

…I decide this would be an excellent marketing line, and I am totally in the wrong profession.

…I pour out some more.

…I drink it.

…I see the lap top sitting over there on the couch arm, plugged in and getting juiced.

…I decide maybe I should blog some. Then I can say I did a little study, a little writing, and a little walking with my evening…not just, “laid on the couch like a whore, swilling champagne and watching Burn Notice specials. Again.”

…Although, whatever sounds so bad about that, I’ll never know.

…You’d have to ask a non-actor civilian.

~D

Enuf

22 Apr

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A two-week build up in the office, just dun popped it’s lid today.  I thought it was all just about last week’s blood moon weirdness, but this week proves that, no…people are just giant dicks.

…As if I need reminding. I work with them every day.

Silly me, I just assumed the build up was a bubble of assholeism hailing from the full-moon crazies that I’ve come to expect when one happens. Never mind happening across several days’ time.  But this week (and it’s only Tuesday) is trying to “win” last week in outbursts, inarticulate screamings, threats, order errors, miscodings, useless communication attempts, and physically impossible requirements being thrown at us…and that is only from Corporate.  Lets not even begin on how many pissy, high-maintenance, self-entitled, elitist asshole customers (insisting they are our only customer and the exception to every rule) also added to the already overwhelming mix.

…Which would be considerably less intense if say other people were in the damn office helping.  But The WHS Pimp is on site visits and product runs, and The Gnome is out at least once per day at prenatal appointments already racked into the dozens this month for inexplicable amounts of time at any given part of the day.

…So it’s just me.

Dealing with all this rainstorm of shit, while the orders are flooding in…reallocating schedules, correcting customer service fuck ups, talking down asshole screamers for a myriad of apparent reasons, booking jobs, running reports, getting payroll in, babysitting the grown men who work for us, conducting road show reminders and Canadian product shipments, prepping for our Alaska project, placing ads, and trying to hire more builders.

…This shit is INSANE. 

I am mentally exhausted and it isn’t even May yet. 

…Right now, I am NOT doing the slotted callbacks on my roster…just so I can just fucking breathe here…at my desk…for fifteen-consecutive-minutes, and blow this shit out on my tablet. 

Just get it out!

Out!

Out! 

…Before I work myself up so high, I bash my fist into the sidewall of that bank of filing cabinets over there.

I’m pretty sure my fist will survive just fine…but it took me three years to replace the hand-me-down bastards I inherited from the last Boss, with only two working drawers per piece…and frankly I just don’t want to have to deal with that again.

…It’d be “just another fucking thing.”

…And I’ve obviously got plenty to deal with as it is.

(giant intake of breath…knuckle crack, knuckle crack…neck swivel til it pops)

Okay.

Back to the pit.

“Fuck you, Tuesday…!!!!!! FUUUCK YOOOOOOU!!!”

…Right.  I’m going back in…

~D

Bipolar Weather & Causes For Affect

2 Apr

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Our spring here can’t seem to make up it’s mind what the hell is going on. 

…It’s confusing the hell out of the blooming plant life that I’ve been taking walks past, while either in bluster winds on a sunny day or in pissing down rain.  One doesn’t let rain stop you from doing things here, else you’d never get anything done…but the point is: it’s sunny for five seconds today and was yesterday too, and both are cock teases.

Yesterday was down for the count thanks to a particularly suicidal Joan Crawford visit beginning at 4 a.m., with alllllll her bag of upset tummy-curling-into-a-ball-while-crying awesomeness.  The only up side was doing month-end from my laptop in bed…at 5:30 in the morning…only cuz it meant that when I finally DID fall back asleep, I could tell the alarm to go fuck itself, take another fist full of pain meds, roll over, and drift back to sleep again. Fitfully.

…Today’s repercussion of paperwork, and the forest of trees waiting to slaughter, has kept me too busy to even look out the window until about five minutes ago.  Roughly about the time I realized I hadn’t so much as gone pee yet, I’d been so busy today.

…Anyway…a bank of clouds is ominously starting this way, blowing north-bound, and bringing shadows in it’s wake since my first look out the window for the day.  This means that by 4, It’ll be dark clouds and cold with zero vitamin D’s left for me to soak up.  And rain, rain, rain projected for days now to follow.

Of course.

In Other News: I did survive the detox-from-hell…celebrating at midnight on the 21st day, with some 16 year-old Redbreast whiskey…which was the most decedent thing from my bar.  A fitting “fuck you” to the odds and celebration of WINNING!

…So now onto the six days on, one day off, trend until the rest of the weight is dumped. And may I never so over-indulge as to have to go through that whole nonsense ever, ever again.

I’d ONLY wish it on my worst enemy.  Really.  Not even a Nagging Irritant deserves to go through something like that, on purpose.

Meanwhile…

…We are three days to tech week, in a show which the jury will prob’ly still be out on till the second we open, or possibly even after.

…The Gnome has reached 13 weeks, and 20 lbs of weight gain…so she no longer looks like a starving waif-child who could blow away in a stiff wind…she looks like a waif child who swallowed a softball, and might bounce along instead.

…WHS Pimp has fucked up his back so badly, the MRI techs are talking a fusing…which he’s taken fairly well considering he won’t be able to tie his own shoes anymore and he’s only 33…but apparently that’s what kids are for, anyway…he says.

…And…after a couple weeks of deliberation, I decided to join my first organized group since brownies and the theatre. Mama be kickin’ it now with the HRC…only not just passively. I’m actually volunteering to do things and stuff. Which’ll be weird. Cuz I’m socially awkward as fuck and super shy. But, this comes from reflections, via lots of sources, telling me if I want the world to be a better place for a lot of my favorite humans, (and the rest of us), I gotta put my actions where my mouth is. So I’m gonna. By and large, politics piss me the hell off, but equality ain’t a policy it’s a right, and that I can get behind. So, P.S. prob’ly expect to hear about those shenanigans here, too.

…And so goes life.

Hope you find your second of sun and play and joy on this spring day. Go chase it down if you have to. Cuz I’m gonna. Just as soon as I can hit the freeway 🙂

~D

Some Things

28 Mar

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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

Great Actingness

13 Mar

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I dunno if this happens with every profession, but “acting” I think gets a shittier rap than it should.

…Almost all you see about it are the glories and pitfalls…not the grunt work. Celebrity is great and all…awards are fantastic…excess, alcoholism, bitch-fights, and drug abuse are our biggest downfall…but the media has pushed these things so heavy to the forefront, as to soil the reputation of what we actually do out there in the world with our work, by and large.

This is an honored profession. It is an esteemed collective. It is a group of individuals, striving to show and share the human experience, broaden the brotherhood, celebrate our uniqueness, crossing age, race, sex, politics, religion…it provides another point of view, educates, enlightens, and broadens our horizons. It is a window looking into the best and worst of us, to study in hopes of understanding and relating to one another better tomorrow than we did yesterday, and last year, and 500 before that.

What we do (if we are intent to do it with serious ethic and art, not just for the bucks and golden statues), is an honor of trust. We are the mirror of the world and all it’s dark, bright, horrible, beautiful, terrifying, delightful places. And that, I think, is why we are so hungry to watch and seek and find new mentors from other people’s work. It is why we hold viciously intense emotional relationships with people we’ve known for two months time and might not even see again for fifteen years.

…It is why you can have an enormous amount of pride in another person’s drop-dead-gorgeous performance, whether you’ve met them or not…like it is a personal achievement of your own.

…Because it sort of is.

Great acting makes the world of “other” fall away. When you get sucked into a performance, it becomes a personal experience between you and the actors involved. They are peeling back and showing something naked and vulnerable to you…no half way…no safety net…without knowing how you will react to it, if you will honor it, spit on it, roll your eyes at it, get angry about it, hate them, or want to ravish them for it. It’s a hell of a trust exercise, I gotta tell yuh…and the success rate, even on an Award-winning-everything performance, will never be 100%.

…Because art is in the eye of the beholder, and what speaks to some might not to others.

…But when a performer sees another performer being brave…being honest, and naked and real. When it makes you feel embarrassed for watching, as if you’ve crossed a line that courtesy tells you is too far…when you are shown something that heaves your guts in empathy, or pity, or disgust…when it isn’t pretty, but somehow beautiful with the perfection of reflection on our imperfections, as “people”…it becomes almost a personal triumph of your own as WELL as whoever the hell just did that scene in front of you.

Because you KNOW what that kind of thing takes.

You’ve had to go there too.

…It isn’t about comparing your talents, it’s about embracing the fact that this is “family”…that person is your acting-brother-or-sister. This is OUR TEAM. And holy shit, did you just see what they did??!?!?!

I think this “pride”…or whatever you wanna call it…is in some part based on that familial sense of “we” and “us” that the acting community shares. It’s ties go deeper and get stronger if it is in regards to someone you have literally sweat and toiled with before, or have mentored personally, or have considered a mentor to yourself. But, these people do not need to even be aware of their personal link with you…they may have never met you…it doesn’t matter. If you have become invested in their art personally, then you take their hits and misses like a silent partner in crime…and you are one, because as everyone knows, the audience is the final cast member to everything we do. Whether they become invested and come along on the journey or not, has a huge baring in what our work will achieve.

When I see a performance that really, really arrests me…it becomes more than just an “entertainment.” If it has totally side-swiped my emotions, it becomes a literal part of me. A study piece. I will hold onto it. I will own it. I will make use of it, in some way, at some point, in my own work…it will live with me…in my tool kit of experience I’m constantly adding to.

…Someday, I will be faced with a moment, a line, a scene and in my brain I will think, “This is too much, I don’t know how to achieve all this. How can anybody go this far into the black hole of this character, and still retain a sense of self at the end of the day?”

…And I will open my toolkit, and take out a performance I have seen and say, “That’s how. Right there. You just become brave as fuck…like them…and do it.”

Last night I was up till 2:30 am watching a performance just like that.

Twice in fact.

…And it’s mine now. I own it: the lessons that come with it, and the pride in a sister-performer-teacher, who was balls-out beautifully brave enough to create it.

…Makes me feel “our team” just won a hell of a prize-fight.

…Makes me just itch to put it to use in my own right.

…Makes me proud to be a part of the family.

All good things 🙂

~D

Thinky Day

3 Mar

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This is one of those weird disassociation days.

…The kind that you get when the brains are pulled in totally different directions not even remotely in the same ballpark as one another, but at the same time. 

Crap sleep again.  Strange hormonal sweats coming in waves.

…Headache behind left eyeball through three cups of black coffee and all of Month-End. 

Successfully hit my numbers, ate a banana, took some head pills.

…Which lead to more paperwork, and bookings, phone calls, and catch-ups with WHS Pimp, who is currently at a Managers Meeting in Florida.

…He hates it, and thinks they’re all racist schmoos.

(They are. What kinda dicks wearing 3000 pounds of aftershave, cram into a cab and proceed to yell things like “Onward Habeebs! Lets move it Moostafa!” to the cab driver, on the ride from the airport to the hotel?)

…Now that they’ve completed all the keynote speeches for the day, though…everyone’s been left to their own devices.  Which means they will be wasted while getting lap dances on the company dime, by 1 pm, our time.  Easy. 

… I told WHS Pimp to go sit in the sun by the pool, and look at all the bikini bodies walking by, instead. He has decided, in lieu of this, to go back to the room and sleep. He never listens to me.

…And he should. Not just cuz I’m always right, but also on account of the fact he’s not allowed to come home without first securing a sugar mama of indiscriminate age, who will elevate him into the sort of lifestyle of which he should become accustomed…so I can quit work here and be his PA. And by PA, I mean “Personal Alcoholic.”

This was already decided before he left.

…I, of course, form no personal function towards him. As his PA, my job will be to drink Bourbon and Mojitos and park myself in ritzy resort cabanas with mountains of pillows and a foot-rubbing boy named Jesus-Federico, (who I will call “Fred” for short.) He will be supremely jealous of Conquistador Manuel Rodriguez (my lover) and Habitas Consuelo (my other lover), who both wear white linen over their tan skin, when not in their James Bond boy-short swimming trunks, coming in and out of the pool in slow motion to Julie London and Billie Holiday songs.

I have a plan, people.

WHS Pimp WILL deliver.

…Meanwhile…

In real life: I’m sitting here winking at the screen, trying to get my headache to go away…trying not to fixate on the fact I’ve my first actual rehearsal for the show tonight and still have no idea what the hell to do with my character.

…Still not off book like I wanted to be.

…Still exhausted, and trying to wrap my head around getting through the work day, never mind the four hours that follow.

…And knowing, as well, that through all of this relative nonsense, worry, and stress, they are putting my Grandfather to rest today.

A more deserving place to focus my thoughts, obviously. But they just don’t seem to focus on anything at the moment, merely “flit.”

…Is it any wonder it breaks away on it’s own little quest, beyond headaches and Month-End numbers and serious loss, to stupid mental escapes like a hummingbird?

…Oh look! Something shiny! I’ll look at that for a bit.

…Instead of what it should.

Stupid head.

~D

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