Monday, October 30, 2006

Pre-halloween celebration

Well the first bit of good news is that I FOUND A SUBLETTOR!!!! Thanks to the sweet, great, wonderful and fantabulous janna, who has not been nearly enough in my life for the last few years, i have a good guy to look after my place and allow for my trip to virginia to be profitable in the material sense as well as the spiritual. Thank you thank you thank you janna! I owe you a dinner and a half. Let's make a night of it.

Otherwise than that... life continues to flow on. The show closed yesterday, which is always cause for sadness as well as celebration: you grow attached to the people you've been working with (and there's nothing like a show to get to know people intimately in a short period of time. Sex doesn't even come close in this regard. Seriously. Well, ok, sex can achieve that kind of closeness, but it certainly isn't guaranteed to...) and the work is almost, but not quite, the sine qua non of your life (and that's sort of true no matter what show it is - which is a whole other box of wine...)

Then there's that person... not wanting to go on that rant here and now.

Because there are so many other great people. Much fun was had at the bar after friday night's show! In spite of the driving nor'easter it was a blast. Good luck at the music store on saturday - went in to pick up the new decemberists (excellent) and see if they had lady sovereign, only to find out that it won't be released until tuesday (halloween, that is!) But, they just happened to have an advance promo copy, and if i want it i can have it. ! True story, and it's those kinds of things that make my local hoboken music store SO MUCH BETTER than the mega chains and hipper-than-thou caverns of cool. So alright, lady sovereign is maybe not superdeep, and tastes a little like a flavor of the mtv month, but i think her grime is good, you know what i mean? And it was just a cool thing to happen. And as if that weren't enough jqln had a link to her 'love me or hate me' video up on her badass blog, which i looked at for the first time this weekend, so that added to the sychronicity of it all.

Ok, i'm putting in a couple shots from the show

And last but not least - one teeny tiny magic 8pod query:

How will things go with the sudden sublettor? 'Golden Hours' by Ida.

Yeah. I'll take it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

bohemian rhapsody, or, life=maya=illusion=whirlwind

The whirlwind goes on no matter what else happens. When things seem to slow down it's just a pause in the storm, a brief inhalation in the breath of life that will then come back with greater fury than before, shaking you from your slumber and knocking you in ways you can't predict, although it's merely a sigh to the universe. This is just part of the ride, and it's best to let go and sail through it. Don't forget it's all illusion anyway (you want maya on that?)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

what works and what doesn't

Last weekend was fantastic! Put together the sublet email notice and sent it to a bunch of people. Got an email from sunny, who's in the peace corps in togo. Saw 'the last king of scotland' which is brilliant, though brutal. Brunch with sherin and jessica at bubby's: yum! Much fun all day sunday; followed by a good show with lots of friends in the audience. Out afterwards with jessica, chris, jk, beth, abner and jackee comes out of the woodwork to join us!! That was a treat (although i guess she's kind of down these days - hope the night out helped!) it's getting chilly in new york, as it will this time of year, but i like it - the crispness in the air, pulled out my cold weather coat. And it's world series season!

I got a question about why i'd go to a party hosted by an asshole: fair enough. Truth is, i didn't go, but the reason i was considering it is that the guest of honor is the opposite of an asshole - he's a great guy, and when i heard about the party i actually thought he and his girlfriend were hosting. But it turned out that another person was hosting it: not my favorite person, though i'd be able to deal with him better if he hadn't slept with one of my exes. Not that there's any reason he shouldn't have, but i gotta say... just don't feel the need to hang with him. So i feel a little bad about not making my friend's birthday party, but i can live with it.

The sublet thing is wearing on me. I REALLY want to find somebody who comes with a personal reference. I've had a bunch of nibbles, but i need someone to take a big fat bite right about now. Don't want to be dealing with this next week, when i should be getting ready to roll. Shoot some good sublettor energy this way, folks.

The day job is busy and frustrating (blah blah blah) but i'm also busy getting ready to move on to the next stage (literally). You know how i roll.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Random Fun

Very little time, but here's a thing i do every once in a while when i want to cheer up: take a superball (like the kind you get out of a grocery store gumball machine) bounce it in times square, or some other crowded street, and watch what happens.

Now people, be nice - don't bounce it into traffic, we don't want to cause an accident. But on a good, heavily traveled sidewalk, when the cars are scarce, or stopped at a red light, you can give a fun jolt of surprise without doing any harm whatsoever.

I'm just sayin'.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Competence vs. Urgency vs. Panic

Little rant about the day job, where some of the people, and one person in particular that i work with all the time, decide to live their lives in a state of near-constant frenzied panic. It's as if she cannot function unless she's FREAKING OUT about something or another. She came to me with a situation this morning that went something like this (i'll skip the details, but i think you'll get the picture)

She: "There's this problem...!"

Me: "Ok, so what do you want to do?"

She: (with added urgency) "Well, there's this problem...!!!"

Me: "I see, so what do you want to do."

She: (growing frantic now) "You see, there's this PROBLEM..."

Me: "I understand that, what is it you want to do?"

She: (out of her mind panicked) "IT'S THAT THERE'S THIS PROBLEM...!!!!!!!"

Me: "Fuck it, i'll just solve it myself."

Which, yes, may have been what she was looking for all along, but probably not (trust me.) And this is the kind of thing she pulls all the time - take something fairly simple and make it complicated, then continue to discuss it over and over, making it more complicated with each telling until people are confused and frustrated beyond reason. She's just a crazyperson. And they're everywhere.

So, real quick, a little magic 8pod:

What do i do with Crazyboss? Sunswept Sunday, Duke Ellington, from the Anatomy of a Murder Soundtrack.

Ok, i'll resist the temptation to interpret this as an instruction to murder her, and focus on this song's being peaceful beyond chill - think of all the wonderful, blissful, sunswept sundays with hot coffee and bagels and the new york times and somebody wonderful to cuddle with on the futon as you enjoy all these things in the moment, and leave this biz behind.

What's this party tonight (hosted by the semi-asshole who i met through an ex) going to be like? Love Me Tender, by the Ray Brown Trio

Oooh, this is kind of nice! Maybe i'll go after all.

Have a good weekend people.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nights at home and how to use them

You can forget how much you appreciate little things - like just coming home after work, cooking a good dinner and spending the evening with a book. Last night i came home after work and stayed here all night for the first time in weeks. Am in the process of doing the same thing tonight - 2 nights in a row (!) for the first time in... i don't know how long. Wouldn't want to make a habit out of it or anything, but i gotta tell you it feels pretty good to be able to chill.

Reading a great book called 'interpreter of maladies' by jhumpa lahiri - collection of short stories, very sensual, very full inner lives in brilliantly drawn landscapes, compelling as hell. Was asked to read it for lori's reading group (whatever that is) tomorrow. I guess the deal is that people get together and have food and drink and talk about a book that everyone has agreed to read at least a good-sized chunk of. Well, ok. I suppose i have enough literary game to keep up with the conversation. Anyway, my streak of nights in ends tonight, unless i punk out and blow off the gathering tomorrow.

A relative (ok, it's my ex's relative, but i feel like he's family) is dj-ing an 80s party this weekend. This fact has resulted in a little project i've been working on the last couple nights: compiling a bunch of cd's of 80s music. This was made much easier by the birthday box set i got from miss g, but i'm punctuating the whole thing with a custom-made mix of songs that weren't included in rhino's set for some reasons (having to do with copyrights, i reckon).

So here's a list of some tunes NOT included in the birthday set i came up with for a fantabulous 80s mix:

Let's Go Crazy - Prince
Add It Up - Violent Femmes
Melt With You - Modern English
Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Clash
It's The End Of The World As We Know It - R.E.M.
Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant
Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Pat Benatar
Rock Me Amadeus - Falco
Money For Nothing - Dire Straits
Safety Dance - Men Without Hats
Sunday Bloody Sunday - U2
A Million Miles Away - The Plimsouls
Can't Stand Losing You - The Police
Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
Purple Rain - Prince

Figured it'd be fitting to bookend it with the first and last tracks from the purple rain album. It's a mainstream group of pop songs (very hard not to include, say, the replacements), but that's what the guy is looking for - and i'm guessing he's got all the michael jackson and madonna he might need. Let me know what i shouldn't ignore and if i have time i'll include it in the set (and i'll let you know if it didn't make the list because it was on the gigantobox). The college students of providence, rhode island will thank you!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


My new show opens at La Mama this weekend - it's called 'Modern Living" - you should come see it: fridays and saturdays at 10, sundays at 5:30. Our first show was rough: lot's of thinking about costumes and props and moving things around. Our second show was rough in a different way - the adrenaline of being in front of an audience for the first time wasn't there, but there was still some sloppiness. Hey, it happens; but knowing that doesn't necessarily make it better. I actually think hat it was a better show, more about telling the story and sharing the experience of the play, but a couple of the folks who had dropped lines and stuff were pretty torn up. You comfort them as much as you're able, then everybody moves on in whaever way they choose. My good friend tim is in town this weekend, which is a big treat for me, and he was able to catch the show.

Today we have our official opening, followed by the opening party. Like i say, you should come.

It's all about the experience.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tired, but in all the right places

This part of october was always a big deal growing up because:

Dad's birthday is the 5th
My birthday is the 7th
Grandpa's birthday is the 10th (gotta call him tonight!!)
And the baseball playoffs are always happening now too, which was an important event at my house.

Maybe as a result of this extended octoberfest, i always like to celebrate the hell out of my birthday. Not for me this attitude of 'oh no, i'm another year older, let's pretend it isn't happening!' Fuck that - let's party for like a month. The way i look at it, my birthday celebration starts around rosh hashana, and ends around halloween.

But the actual day always receives a little extra juice, natch, especially when it's on a saturday. So that's what this weekend was pretty much devoted to. Rehearsed on saturday (i love rehearsing/performing on my birthday, by the way - makes me feel like my life is going in an ok direction), then headed to a cool bar on avenue a for happy hour (even the cute bartender bought me a drink!), then to a sushi place down the street, then to see WWIX at bowery poetry club, finally to another bar across the street. Much much fun, I LOVE MY FRIENDS!!! They are the best, and i can't believe how blessed i am to have them in my life. And the day had enough phases that they kind of got to attend in shifts, based on their tastes and schedules. Some of 'em even got to meet the gal i'm spending some time with these days - and as she says: you don't really know a person until you meet his friends.

It was a blast. The only real problem was that i didn't pace myself as well as i could have done, which resulted in some of the predictable negative effects... Ah well, if you can't be hungover the day after your birthday, when can you be?

I'll sleep when i'm dead.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Big birthday day!

This date, October 5, i rode in on the bus, saw a GORGEOUS sunrise over new york. It rained last night, and as i watched the sun pour through the charcoal skyscrapers and chiseled granite clouds, i realized that today is positively bursting with birthdays - tons of 'em!

First and foremost, it is my dad's birthday. Can't wish him enough happiness and prosperity, the bestest guy in the world - happy birthday dad!!

Also and wonderfully, it is lia's birthday. She gave herself the present of a kick ass new job for a great landscape architecture firm, where she will thrive in a most fantabulous fashion - slappy mirthday, lia!

Nextquisitely - it is sydney's birthday. She's one of the newer lawyers in the office where i work, and a breath of fresh air she is. Glad to have you around - flappy worthday, sydney!

Last but not least - it is christopher's mom's birthday. This is almost ridiculous isn't it? All this celebrating smooshed into one 24-hour period. She's out in salt lake city, and mormonlike, will eschew the drunken debauchery that will attend the other celebrations of the day (well, probably not dad's, but you never know). Not even coffee with her cake - but you can bet there will be extra ice cream. Happy shmappy.

SO - a special installment of Magic 8pod:

What do you have to say about the ANNIVERSARIES OF THE BIRTHS of the following stellar personalities, oh all-knowing one?

Dad - 'Angel Eyes' Ella Fitzgerald. A good old-fashioned saloon song. Not, um, happy, per se, and maybe i'm all turned around on the whole 'dad probably won't get drunk' thing. "Drink up all you people/ Order anything you see..." It's about missing your loved one - maybe a reflection of my not being able to visit the fam for thanksgiving. But party on, dad - and maybe you and mom should come see my show in virginia (hey sis, would that be a good xmas/birthday present for them?)

Lia - 'Alta Loma' Tommy Keene. Here we go - a rockin' power pop song by a master of the form. Freedom, escape, dreams and love in a texas town. What more could you want?

Sydney - 'Come Together' The Beatles. Now what was i saying about drunken debauchery? Go easy on the hard stuff, party girl...

Christopher's Mom - 'I Need You to Turn To' Elton John. Beautiful song, reaching out to a loved one he relies on for warmth and protection in hard times. Not a bad tribute for your mother, i'd think. Bet she'd love it!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A day in the life

Here's what an actor's day might look like:

6:15 - out of bed, in the shower, do the coffee, grapefruit and cereal thing
7:15 - bus or train to midtown
8:00 - wait on line at the equity building until the sign-up starts for the audition you're doing that day
8:40 - all signed up, take the train or walk to the day job
9:00 - glorious office activity
12:30 - eat at your desk - you'll need to use your lunch hour for...
1:30 - subway back to the equity building for the audition
1:45 - sign in and wait on line again
2:05 - go in and do a monologue for someone who may or may not have a pulse
2:08 - head to the train back to the day job
2:30 - back to work, duck questions about your 'lunch'
5:30 - finish up at work, go to a cafe near where you're rehearsing to have a reuben and work on lines
6:30 - go to rehearsal in a room that may or may not have been swept this month
10:30 - train/bus home

- by the way, the show you're doing may or may not pay any money at all (although if you're in the union, at least these subway rides are paid for)

11:00 - good transit luck! home in time for 'the daily show' have cheese and crackers and some wine
12:00 - bedtime

This isn't every day, but you more or less get the picture. If i'm not rehearsing, i'll audition more, and the evenings would involve going out to shows or to the gym more. Sometimes i even have the discipline to go to the gym before work in the morning. Not often.

Fi diddly dee!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Premature Christmascarolation

So i'm taking the job in virginia - 'a christmas carol' at a really good company i've worked with before. Took a moment to consider, as it may very well result in me losing the office job i've been working for almost the last year - that's a mixed thing in that i get good pay and benefits and all that stuff, though i won't pretend it will be terrifically heartbreaking to give up the work.

See this is the thing: acting work tends to pay pretty crappy except at the very highest level; there is no insurance or pension benefits or any of that kind of thing unless you're in one of the unions; and even then, you have to work a certain amount before the bennies kick in (in the theater actors' union, it's 20 weeks a year, which may not sound like much, but it is far from guaranteed that any given actor will work on shows 20 weeks in any given year); so it's a plus to have a day job that pays ok and provides bennies, etc. But at a certain point, if you're spending too much time there you lose yourself. And when you start turning down acting jobs because of office work, you ain't an actor, you're an office worker. And i'm looking at about a 50% pay cut to take this gig, followed by... uncertainty. And i'm one of the lucky ones - i'm in the union, i've worked at a bunch of good theaters, as well as a some tv and indie film. This gig is seven weeks. Thirteen to go for basic health coverage.

But this is a really good role that i'm perfect for in a good show at a good theater. So that moment i took to deliberate didn't last too long. The show is a little jesus-y for my taste (sorry sis), but it's still a very good piece of work. I mean, ok, it is christmas carol, so there's gonna be a little bit of the Big J going on, but it's usually more about the acts of charity/goodwill toward men/milk of human kindness business than the let's-go-to-church-and-pray stuff. And now that i think of it i'm not altogether convinced that the 'roadmap to good behavior' provided by the bible, taken as a whole, is really that much better than what dickens gave us.

But i digress.

My point is that it's a fun and rich show, and i'm psyched to be doing it, even though it may mean that my christmas present to myself is a little bit of financial difficulty.

The other downside is that i'm apt to miss the november festivities: thanksgiving with my family (or my new york family) and the ultra-fantabulous t-day celebration with that crew (aka, 'the best friends the word has ever known') Unless i can talk them into bringin' the party down to virginia...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Good ol' fashioned day off

Yom Kippur today, so the office is closed, and there is no rehearsal. I'm not jewish, and am not involved with a jewish family at the moment, so what this means is an actual DAY OFF. No real plans of any kind, other than personal bidness (you know, gym, laundry, groceries, that kind of thing). This is an exceptionally rare thing for me, and i kind of like it. On weekends, i'm usually booked with friends or shows, but there's none of that today: i'm just chillin' on my own.

The weekend was a busy one, a good one. Yo la tengo on friday night, with gena (who is pretty awesome, but i need to figure out just what is going on there). YLT was great, of course, but i have to say they weren't at their best. Ira didn't seem as happy to be there as he has in the past; there was a really heavy reliance on the 'slow jam that builds to an orgasmic frenzy,' including two right in a row at one point, 'blue line swinger' from 'electr-o-pura' (i don't know - i think that might be the wrong tune: where can we find setlists?) followed by 'i heard you looking' from 'painful.' Still, very good show: and YLT on a merely good night is better than most bands at their best.

Long rehearsal saturday - DAMN is it good to have christopher back in the fold. Made such a huge difference having him with us. Then out for drinks with (part of) the company for meg's birthday; home for a bit; back into town to see 'baby wants candy' with aaron and shannon - improv musical troupe from chicago: SO good - got a title from the audience, and proceeded to perform an hour-long musical they made up on the spot as they went along. Man, chicago is where it's at when it comes to improv. These guys supposedly will be back some time in november. Who wants to go with me?

Whoops, that may be un-possible. I actually got a call while writing this entry that i've been offered a 'christmas carol' that would take me out of town for most of november and december. I just have to look at the script (and my finances) to see if it's a gig i want. But let me tell you, folks, it probably is.

Off to the wonderful world of the laundromat!