Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays from the dayjob

So - found out a couple hours ago that as a holiday present, my dayjob gave me an ipod nano. And fired me.

Yup. As if out of 'glengarry glen ross,' 4 days before christmas they called to let me know that my services will no longer be required, as they've decided to hire someone who treats the firm more like a career. And guess who that person might be... the friend i found for them to cover my desk while i was out of town, who told me that if they offered her a full-time job she wouldn't be interested.

I have to laugh! It's really pretty absurd. I'm actually not that devastated by it all - i'll file for unemployment and go to temp agencies (wasn't looking forward to that, i admit) and hit the auditions double hard (which i am very much looking forward to), and look for other, unexpected opportunities.

Meanwhile, i've got 2 more shows here in roanoke. Elizabeth N. is in town, which is kind of wonderful.

And hey, if anybody knows of any astounding work... i know of a hell of an actor.

Monday, December 18, 2006

X-treme Theater

This weekend was awesome and exhausting, physically and emotionally.

Number one on the list of 'what was he thinking?!' would have to be that i chose to get out of bed at 6:30 saturday morning in order to meet paul for a 7+mile mountain hike before doing not one but TWO shows that day (bear in mind that the only time i leave the stage during these shows is for intermission and for two unbelievably quick costume changes into and out of those drywall stilts). Blew the carbon out of my system, wore me the fuck out, but what a great feeling. And this sort of thing totally opens up your acting (or it can anyway). A friend wrote about a spiritual teacher who says you should piss off your ego once in a while. Which i agree with, and add that it's a good idea to push yourself in a serious way, or somehow surprise yourself or shake yourself up once in a while.

Ran into some offstage personal drama later on that night, wouldn't you know? But nothing like the day when i did the long bike ride followed by two 2-man shows followed by having a break-up phone call with sunny during which i got call waiting from beth who NEEDED TO TALK TONIGHT, IT'S IMPORTANT so after sunny and i finished breaking up on the phone over 800 miles i called beth and found out that our cat had died. Oy - that was a day! Yeah, this was nothing like that, and i won't go into it here, but it was enough to prevent me from getting good sleep, in spite of being completely exhausted. Then yesterday after the show and the bah hum bug fiesta (big success, btw) all the players in the offstage drama found ourselves in the same places at the same time, for much of the day. Tee hee! Not sure who's pissed off at whom right about now, but i'm being cool about it (as far as i know) and not letting it weigh down on me too much.

Tonight's the secret santa party - ho ho ho!

Thursday, December 14, 2006


...on tuesday made me hungover yesterday (ok, it wasn't the karaoke that did it - it was the shot of jameson, the jack and coke, and the many many beers, but the karaoke didn't much help) I was not in my best form, i must say - did a barely passable 'born to run' to represent hoboken, and fairly butchered 'should i stay or should i go.' How did these songs end up so high? They seem like they're right in my range when i'm singing along... oh, wait, maybe it's the beer and the smoke (bars down here are still really smokey) and the microphone and the eyes on me.

But it was a really good time, much fun with the theater folk, who amused each other if not the crowd in general (and i think we did amuse the crowd in general, although i doubt that many of them will be rushing out to buy tix for xmas carol.) A local hottie singing 'gold dust woman' got my attention, which resulted in a drunken pass i should probably be embarrassed about but which resulted in her phone number anyway.

So magic 8pod: what's going to be the deal there?

'Moonlight in Vermont,' by Billie Holiday. Nothing terribly revealing about this response, but it's a great version of a gorgeous song about a beautiful subject, so that can't be bad...


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tidings of comfort and joy

Yesterday turned out great! Got some stuff done. The mechanic scared me with what might be wrong with my car (for instance, it could have needed a new fuel injector or compressor - yikes!) but then it turned out to be a loose spark plug (whew!) So that was a relatively cheap fix - and now my car feels like a luxury ride.

Last night went out to see 'stranger than fiction,' which was surprisingly good. Have to admit that on the whole i'm kind of over will ferrell, but this was a very different kind of picture for him. Excellent writing and directing and dustin hoffman and emma thompson provided really fucking good work. And... maggie gyllenhaal. Yum. Omigod omigod she has something beyond description and beyond category. Did some magazine just say that scarlett johannson is the sexiest woman alive? Frankly scarlett, not even close.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA!!!!!! Hope you're having a fantastic time in germany and netherlands.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Crazy Warm

It's like 60 degrees out today. Which begs the question why am i in a coffee shop - no good reason except to do some internet/email stuff, including downloading a song one of the actors needs. Took my car to the shop: hopefully not a big deal; guess i'll find out later today. Would like to get in some tennis or maybe a hike later on. A bunch of people took off to visit charlottesville/monticello, but i wanted to stay closer to home today, to deal with the car and because i knew i'd be up late last night, which i most certainly was:

-Had dinner
-Couple beers with kelly and talked about life and how to live it
-Watched the simpsons
-Few more beers with various and sundry; tried to describe the pleasures of honey dust to a few of the actors - it's one of those things you kind of have to try before you really get it
-Played:taboo (fun game - you should try it) euchre and poker
(at around this time, ben showed up wearing a bathrobe and seemed intent on flashing the world while making it look accidental. And then he and scott started throwing cupcakes at each other for some obscure reason)
-Then a late-night check-in with scott, who by this time was past being drunk enough to throw cupcakes.

Got to bed around a quarter to 4 for some much much needed sleep. We have yet to see what today will bring...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What's the opposite of frustrating?

Fulfilling, maybe?

Anyway, that's what yesterday was, on the whole. Really full and wonderful in surprising ways.

I went to elizabeth n's family place, because her grandmother passed on thanksgiving, and the memorial service was yesterday. Had a bit of a reunion with that whole clan, then went to salem presbyterian: she'd asked me to sing with the choir at the memorial, and of course i was happy to (and there isn't much out there that i wouldn't do for elizabeth if she asked - she's just one of the great beautiful brilliant wonderful people in the world). Got to meet her neice claire for the first time: gorgeous and precocious, natch. And the service was very nice, and moving. Then a couple receptions during which i got to meet much more of the extended family and some friends. Their minister once trained to be an actor. Hmm. Lois, the dearly departed, whom i never did have the pleasure to meet, seems to have been a singularly magnificent individual, and i was honored to be a part of the celbration of her life.

But i had to bow out early to head downtown for the show. Traffic was odd because fridays are HUGE CHRISTMAS EVENTS this time of year, especially yesterday because, in spite of it's being about 16 degrees out, the xmas parade was happening in the evening. So i watched a little bit of that (had to feel for the baton twirlers, who were seriously underdressed) then went on to the theater. Good energy in the air; did a warm up, played 'big bootie' with a couple of the young cast members (this i'd have to show you in person) and then did the show. And it was FANTASTIC - just one of those nights that starts out well, and people throw in some new stuff and other people react to it organically and the audience responds in kind. [GREAT audience last night, which kind of begs the question: does a good audience make a good show, or a good show make a good audience? Answer: both, of course; but in my opinion, much more the latter - if it's funny, they'll laugh; if it's moving, they'll be moved] Even a wardrobe malfunction (fred's wife's petticoat came undone during that interminable party scene), which did cause some onstage corpsing, resulted in spontaneity that kept the show alive and on its toes.

Then out to a bar for a fun discussion with a bitchen bunch of folks.

All in all, a pretty good day.

As promised, a wee bit o' magic 8pod:

First one from last weekend that i didn't have a chance to write about then -

How will Operation Slut-It-Up-A-Notch go? The Kinks, "Who'll Be The Next in Line?" Don't really need to add much to that, do i?

How will our 'Secret Santa' turn out? Jimi Hendrix, 'Killing Floor' Yikes! Maybe we should focus on the fact that it's an amazing version of a rockin' song, or else that party might turn into a sam raimi movie.

How will christmas in new york be? Stevie Wonder, 'Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day' Hey i kind of like this one a lot. Great groove, sweet and sexy... maybe i'll have a nice warm return to the city.

What about the drive back home? Soulwax, 'Beatles vs/Kraftwerk' A cool mashup of 'Eleanor Rigby' with some good ol' synth from deutschland. All the lonely people? All right, I'll be alone on that drive, but if i can treat it like the autobahn, kraftwerk-style, i won't complain.

Ok, i don't know why this blog isn't letting me put things in bold or italics anymore; didn't use to be a problem. Also, why can't i plug links into the text the way everyone else can? Is this an anti-mac/anti-safari aspect. Blah. Not gonna let it crunch my buzz.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


on a bunch of levels.

I've been off the blog for a while. Felt SO GOOD not to be sick that i had some euphoria going on there for a while. There were some fun parties over last weekend (including a very small roving bash called slut-it-up-a-notch) Had some really good shows, and some that were less so.

Did a PR event with a local radio station yesterday - a car dealer donated a loaded 2007 vw beetle that's been dubbed a 'Bah Humbug,' which we raffled off on the radio: buy a ticket for a hundred bucks and get a chance to win the car. Total of about 350 seats for sale, so those aren't bad chances, and the money is split between the theater and a local charity. We sold all the tix, so that's a guaranteed full house and upwards of $35,000. The actor playing scrooge and i both helped out - a teeny tiny bit of air time, which was kind of fun, a lot of answering phones, and no small amount of sitting around. We met lindsay, the PR coordinator, at 6:30 a.m. and were told they'd need us for a couple of hours. We didn't get back until well after 11 - no big deal, but mildly annoying. Still, a HUGE success for the theater and for lindsay.

Then came this morning's student matinee. The theater rep makes his curtain speech, where he asks everyone to turn off cell phones, etc. For our regular performances, this is also when they acknowledge the corporate patrons, but i was a little surprised to hear him run through the list for the benefit of these junior high and high school kids. And then even more surprised when he went on to discuss individual contributions, and suggest that when they get out of school and start making money they should consider giving to the theater. Ugh.

And then about 10 minutes into act one, around the time marley's ghost shows up, one of the students begins moaning, loudly, in the audience, fairly near the stage. Other kids were laughing, and it rattled some of the actors. Pretty soon it became clear that this wasn't some jackass being disruptive, but a special-needs kid who couldn't control himself. But that wasn't necessarily clear to everyone, especially the folks who aren't on stage a whole lot (i.e., almost everyone) So there was some line shakiness, some unintended laughter (onstage and off), and even some pretty inappropriate improv. When the act ended i went to the deck stage manager, who was laughing about it - really not a bad reaction all in all, but i wasn't finding it funny at the moment. I asked her what was going on, and what was being done about it, and she had no idea. Not only that, no one had tried to find anything out or do anything about it at all during the act. I make it clear i'm not happy and ask to be told what's going on when somebody gets a clue.

Soon the stage manager shows up in the dressing room all 'i hear you wanted to talk to me.' I hadn't said anything about wanting to see her, but she went on to say "there's a group of disabled kids in front."


"And none of us knew about it."

"The house manager didn't know?"

"The house manager knew, but didn't tell us, and put them down front - he says he's going to move them to the back where they'll be less distracting."

"I'm not sure that's the best idea - don't you think that might be demoralizing for them?"

"Well, we'll figure something out"

Ok, basically it's too late at this point to DO anything much to help. Beforehand, some foresight in seating might have been helpful, and a little foreknowledge of what was going on would DEFINITELY have been good. I mean, last week they warned us that there would be some kindergardeners in the house, and this week they didn't feel it necessary to let us know that somebody in the fifth row would be moaning and wheezing and gasping for breath. Then one of the other actors comes into the dressing room and starts complaining about the inappropriate behavior of the young actors vis a vis the situation. I almost yelled at him: "They had no knowledge of what was going on!"

"The people in fezziwig's party were laughing and making faces"

"Those guys thought it was some kid being an asshole."

"It was obviously a disabled student."

"It was obvious to us because we were on stage the whole time - the fezziwig people had no clue. I didn't know for a few minutes what was up."

"I knew right away. And no matter what, it was inappropriate."

Which, of course, it was. And unprofessional.

And frustrating on so many levels...

Wow. I've got to write more good stuff, and less overwordy rants.

Next time i think i'll throw down another Magic 8pod.