Wednesday, February 25, 2004

ice castles

why was TRIO airing the 1983 Miss America Pageant tonight?
why couldn't i stop watching?
barbara mandrel anyone?
all these women in blinding evening gowns with hair like my mom.  women in their early 20s looked a lot older in the early 80s.  the orchestra segued from "the theme from ice castles" to "memory" (i can still hear my sister playing those songs on the piano...) as all these women paraded up the mic and announced their intentions in life. 
miss kentucky:  "i'm studying the science of sending messages electronically...!"
of course, eventually miss new york steps up: vanessa williams.  a musical theater major from syracuse, hoping to make her way to the bright lights of broadway.  wonder if she ever dreamed of being queen of grouchland?
didn't she have to give up the crown for posing nude somewhere?  i guess nobody cares if the queen of grouchland posed for playboy.
my family used to gather round and watch these pageants when i was growing up.  there were less channels on tv back then.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004


i watched XMEN-2 on sunday.  it was strangely comforting.  i realized that *i* was a mutant -- only one without any cool powers, except a mild ability to feign interest.
the past few days have been excruciating.  at work, the people who'd come to the show gradually approaching me, gingerly tiptoeing around any compliments.  i should have kept the work people clear of this; i should have kept my workplace a safe, neutral harbor.
slowly, the mixed responses begin to filter into the inbox.  you have read between the lines in some cases.  people who can't quite bring themselves to lie, but can't quite bring themselves to tell the full truth either.
honestly, i never imagined it would be this bad.  i know i should be consuming all this feedback.  i should be using it to help me revise and learn and grow.  i know that this is just part of the process of putting your stuff out there -- they're not all going to be unequivocal hits.
but right now i just need a little more time to come to terms with everything...
called out sick today.  ate something bad on sunday and had a hard time sitting through work yesterday.  went to bed at 7:30pm.  missed all my reality shows (Littlest Groom, Obnoxious Fiance, Average Joe 2).  now i stay home and gaze at my wounds.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

A Walk in the Park

The cold aftermath.  The day after.  All that buildup and then the buzzing silence.
The second night was infinitely better than the first.  Everybody kept it rolling.  I was with the story all the way through.  I got some very positive feedback, *both* nights.  And yet, I'm left with an empty feeling.  More than half my friends/acquaintances didn't even come up to me at the end to say anything.  I thought it played really beautifully the second night, and yet there wasn't much change in the response.
Yeah, it runs too long and there's a lot I'd want to fine tune with the text before taking it further -- but I have seen so many bloody fucking awful pieces of shit theater over the years, from friends and strangers... at least I was trying to do something different...
There's this arrogant, white-bread guy named **** I know from work, he does this monthly one-man kind of show called "New Normal" that is fucking the WORST ticket in town.  I've seen it FOUR times and it's gotten progressively worse.  There is something totally delusional in him where he thinks it's a raving success.  HE thinks it's like nothing the world has ever seen before, and yet I've seen it plenty before and his is a piss poor example of it.  He's very charismatic and he gets a lot of folks from work to go, but he doesn't seem to realize that it's this same bunch of friends of his coming to his stupid show every month, blowing sunshine up his ass.  He came the second night, ate pumpkin seeds and drank beer in the back row, tried to chat it up with C. while she was trying to run the lights/sound -- tried to get her to come to his show the next week.  At the end of the show, he just gently shook my hand without saying anything, as if he were being noble and gentlemanly and diplomatic and had nothing positive to say so he didn't want to say anything.  What a dickhead.  He thinks he knows me, but he has no fucking idea.  It was a mistake to advertise this at work.
OK.  Positive thoughts.  A lot of good.  A lot of good feedback.  It's only my first solo outing.  It was a small show, I'm young and I'm exploring.  Not everything has to be an unequivocal success.  It's good to try different things.  I'll do better next time.
For today, however, I hide away from the world, like Axl Rose...

Friday, February 20, 2004

heart's filthy lesson

the countdown.  tomorrow, the show begins.  the reservations are packed -- wait-listers and late-comers will have to sit on the floor, if we can even fit them in.  saturday's a bit more open, but i have a feeling a lot of folks are thinking of just showing up and they may have to be turned away.
which is good, but i just hope we'll reach a wide range of people.  it's my first solo go so any amount is a good start, but... well, between me and the cast and crew, we've got a LOT of friends... and i'm really thankful for all the friends who are coming, but i'd really like people who don't know me to get to see it, too... that sounds greedy and perhaps presumptuous, but for all the work we've all done, i want everyone who wants to see this thing to get a chance to see it...
i know anything can happen the next two days.  i don't want to jinx it either way.  i have trouble being anything more than cautiously optimistic about ANYTHING.  which makes it really difficult for me to talk up my own work.
i feel good about this work.  as much as it scares the shit out of me, i want people to come see this.  the cast are tremendous.  come what may, i'm proud of this.  i've done the best that i could with my time and resources, and i am looking forward to this.  i don't know what people are expecting, and i'm not sure i'm going to be giving them what they're expecting, but i hope it's in a good way.  i've been talking about this fucker for so long, i'd better deliver on something...

Monday, February 16, 2004

if we could see tomorrow, what of your plans...

It's a little past 4am, monday mourning.
Carla just left for the airport.  6am flight to Honolulu, to bury her grandfather.  He passed away earlier today.  Sunday.  The 15th.
I woke up early, headed into the city and bought her an iPod @ J&R while she was sleeping.  She'd been really wanting one for a while.  I'd been wanting to get her one but just couldn't scrape it together in time for Xmas or her birthday.  She's got a lot of traveling to do the next few days and I just wanted to offer her some bit of comfort.  I feel bad that I couldn't go with her but it's a journey she probably needs to take on her own.
We spent the better part of the day loading albums onto her iTunes playlist.
What a grim time it is.  Tragedy upon tragedy.  It makes this reading of mine seem all the more absurd.
The house seems so empty without her.  Absurdly too big for just me.
She'll be back Thursday, jetlagged & strung out.  I'm glad she'll be surrounded by family.  I feel this awful mix of sadness and guilt that I never got to meet him.  I've never even been to Hawaii.
I don't know if I believe in a "god" or an "afterlife"... but times like these, I have to believe in something...

Friday, February 13, 2004

don't cry

more bad news in the never-ending series of plagues that beset my reading and those working on it...
it seems c's gung gung (grandfather) has taken a turn for the worse.  he's been ill for a while but now he's been transferred to a hospice.  she may have to leave for hawaii as soon as next week, potentially missing the reading.  well, the reading's small potatoes next to life and death.  i never got a chance to meet her grandfather, though i've heard many stories.  early in our relationship, he suffered a stroke which hobbled him quite badly.  i would never get to meet the man that c knew.  i don't know if i can make it out to hawaii -- in which case, i'll have never met him at all.
he's 92.
i edited together some house music to be played while everyone shuffles to their seats before my reading.  i tried to pick tracks that are evocative of the play.  tonight, i burned it onto a cd and played it over and over and depressed the hell out of myself...

Thursday, February 12, 2004

3 strikes for good luck

so, i just lost my THIRD narrator for my reading...
i'd write what's on my mind, but you can probably imagine if you dig deeply enough...
i have yet another replacement... oh, a constant game of musical chairs... don't actors keep date books?
ok.  replacement #4.  if he doesn't get struck by lightning in the next week, we'll be fine.
till this show's over, i am boiling inside...

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Stage Directions

Just lost my Stage Directions reader last night. This is the second Stage Directions reader I've lost for this thing, and now it's a scant two weeks from showtime. I guess people assume it's not such a big deal reading stage directions for a reading, so it's not a big deal if they quit at any time. Forget the fact that I need this person to act as the narrator/storyteller for this reading -- because it IS just a staged reading and not a fully drawn production. I need to seriously reevaluate my policies for working with "friends"...

Fortunately, the remarkable C has already found a replacement for me.

I'm still seething, though. It's that much worse when friends let you down.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Butcher Blitzkrieg

sent out the first full wave of publicity for this BUTCHERHOUSE reading, come what may.  it's listed on theatermania (alphabetically under "The Boy from Oz") and generationrice (scroll to the bottom, under "event listing").  sent out to several listserves.  sent out to the friend list.
now... we wait.  well, actually, we continue to rehearse.  it's looking really good, and i'm not just saying that.  the actors are giving some really nice performances.  i am genuinely looking forward to people seeing this.  not just for me, but for Them.  and by "Them", i mean all the fucking voices in my skull why won't they just shut up JUST FOR ONE GODDAMNABLE MINUTE!!!
please.  come to the show.
feb. 20-21.  fri-sat.  8pm.
750 8th ave, betw. 46th & 47th St.
(in the rush of the publicity blitz, i accidentally had it listed as between 47th & 48th St.)
$7 admission
busy weekends ahead of me...

Sunday, February 01, 2004

snowball pong

Play this.  No real twist except for the mouse click thing.  No real pay off.  But you'll have just killed 5 minutes of your precious time!

Till the world looks more encouraging...

big rehearsal today, of my play.  it is looking very good.  i'm so very impressed by all the actors.  it feels good to be getting into this again.  i think it's going to be a very special show.  i think people are going to get their money's worth, even though it's just a reading.  i want people to be excited to see this show.  i want people to be excited leaving this show.
i am glad it's finally coming together, after all the delays.  it's so easy to get discouraged doing this kind of thing.  writing spec scripts that no one'll read.  dreaming stories that are trapped as theoretical descriptions on paper.  to see something start to come to life... this is encouraging.  i only hope that others will see this.  that some people who've never seen my work will see it, as well as the faithful teams of supportive friends.
i believe in this.  i believe in the people i'm working with.  i want people to see their work, as well as mine.  i hope that this goes somewhere.  i hope that i do not become an old man putting up plays in my basement starring my cats, begging my friends to come watch.  there is so much more i want to do...