Audition Jitters

MaryI don’t think I can ever remember a day I’ve been more nervous in my life! It started with dropping April off at my sister’s, and trying to get out the door before Liz made me feel too guilty for leaving her there. Thank goodness I was able to secure an appointment for this audition, or I never would have been able to go.

My days of waiting in line for hours are, for better or worse, over.

So anyways, I dropped April off with Liz and drove over to the studio. Once I found parking . . . something happened. I froze. I don’t know. I just couldn’t do it. I sat in my car for probably twenty minutes, just frozen, thinking.

What if Liz was right? What if I’m selfish for wanting to try and give it another shot? I mean, she has a point, kids are expensive and April deserves a mother who can be there for here, 100%.

I don’t know how I stumbled through the dance combination. I mean, I’m a ballet dancer—or at least I used to be, and this was all hip hop! I stuck out like a sore thumb. Everyone was so good! I hid in the corner, I nearly burst into tears. But I told myself, all I have to do is remember the steps and I’ll be happy. They don’t have to be good, but as long as my brain is still quick enough to remember them I’ll be happy. But still, a hip hopper I was not.

Then I sang. The director left it totally open in terms of song choice, he said he “didn’t want his vision to cloud our true expression.” I’ve heard he’s very good at what he does, but I would have much rather had some guidelines—especially my first audition back! But we didn’t have any guidelines, so I sang “Foolish Games” by Jewel, because it was something that really speaks to me and I sang it last week on Liz’s karaoke machine. So I knew I could still hit the notes!

I think my hands were trembling a little while I sang, but I can’t be sure. I forgot how terrifying auditions are! I don’t know if I’m cut out to do it all again. When I picked up April at the end of the day, we went out for ice cream. I told her it was for her, to celebrate her being such a good girl while mommy went to her audition. But secretly,  I know the ice cream was really for me.

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Ambrosia and Cocktails

In the theatre of Ancient Greece, nearly every drama was saved at the end by a deus ex machina, the “God from the machine.” Suddenly, when things are at their worst, a plume of smoke and flash of fire rains down from the sky, and everyone’s problems are solved. Kind of a hokey idea, right? Today’s critics would call it a “simple” or “predictable” resolution. The easy way out.

Try as I may, I can’t help but love the idea of a deus ex machina. I mean, why can’t regular mortals call upon a deus ex machina in their everyday lives? More specifically, why can’t I, right now?

I guess it’s something like having a super-power. If you could have one, which would it be? I think I would choose to have the power of flight. Or no, scratch that. I would want the power to fix problems. To be my very own deus ex machina, and descend from the clouds at just the right moment to save the day, all the time, every day, or whenever I felt like it. Then carry back on with my dinner of ambrosia and cocktails like nothing had happened.

Wait a minute. . . did I just write that I wanted my super-power to be that I’m a god? Hang on there a minute Jane, that’s a little entitled, even for you. No. That can’t be what I mean. Just that I want to solve problems. And that sometimes a bird’s-eye view can be the clearest view.

But I suppose even birds must feel trapped, sometimes. Do they look at the clouds and wonder, “if only I could go higher things would be better?”  Or do they gaze from the air at the sea and think “If I could live where the fish I eat swim, then I would have no problems’?

Maybe I just have the classic old Cinderella complex. I’m waiting for my fairy godmother to come, wave her wand, and set the coach into motion. Maybe I should move out of New York City. Then I’d have to learn to drive.

 

Tongue Tied

So many thoughts going through my head right now. I took an acting class and the teacher told me that I took myself too seriously. Really? I think he’s mistaking my focus for seriousness. I mean I like to joke just as much as the next guy, but how would anyone get anything done without a little focus?

In other news I saw Debbie again. I think I might be in love. Might be. We’ve already talked about the apartment on the upper west side with the kids in private school, the cars (matching his and her mini coopers unless she wants and Benz or a sensible Honda Civic, hybrid of course), the 401k, and vacations in the Hamptons and Fiji. And by “already talked about” I mean we’ve said hi. Ugh! I just can’t find the words to say. The last time we talked I got so tongue-tied that i said, “Di Hebbie” instead of “hi Debbie” and she thought i said, “Die, Heavy.” I’m such an idiot. Even still I think I’m doing okay. I’m up for the lead in a new work that’s playing in New York for 6 months. I find out soon! Fingers crossed.

I need cake.

G’Night world. I’ll devour you tomorrow.

-Aaron

Graham.

Is this it?

Sometimes when we argue I can almost feel myself breaking away for good. Like I’m a bungee cord stretched to the breaking point and about to snap. And sometimes, I truly believe I’m going to do it, too. Snap. Leave. Move on.

That’s usually about the time I arrive home from fighting with him, or hang up the phone, or delete the offensive email.  I look up and see myself in my apartment, and suddenly I feel so trapped. Stuck. Staked in place. For what am I really? Not the bungee cord, no. I’m not flexible, or strong, or liable to break away. I’m the figure tied to the end of the cord, and he’s the one holding the string. I can see him, standing on my rooftop, stringing me along like a puppet as I bounce up and down at his request. And I bounce up and down, peeking in the windows of my neighbors apartments as I go, wondering if their lives are like this too. And all the while I hope he’ll reel me in and that when I get to my roof, it will just be him waiting there.

No strings, no games, just him.

And then, just when I give up all hope, just when I think he’s going to polish his ring and head home, his hand reaches down and pulls me up to the ledge.

And there he leaves me, hanging on for dear life, clinging to the ledge. It’s the perfect vantage point to see him turn around and walk away. But not before he clips my bungee cord to the chimney.

Every blog needs a good start.

Every play needs a good start. When you have a good beginning, the rest just follows automatically. The same holds true for blogs, as well, I suppose. And here it is, my first official blog entry. So why am I sitting here in the middle of the night in my pajamas, without a good beginning to anything?

I shouldn’t say that. I’ve got a great start—too many, in fact. Swirling around me, tantalizing me with the promises of great stories to follow. But which one do I choose? What story to tell? What character voice is ringing loudest in my head?

I’m probably over-thinking this, like I do everything. Stories don’t cure diseases. They don’t feed children. They don’t vote in elections and they don’t land on the moon. Heck, half the time my stories don’t even pay my bills. But they can teach people to do those things, and the days that my stories do pay my bills are the best days of my life.

I suppose the first story I should start with is the one that least interests me—my own. You’ve never heard of me, and chances are at this point you never will. But maybe you’ve read my words. I’m a ghostwriter, the lost fingers tapping at keys behind swirling mists of ether, lingering in a silent stamp on the page. The reader passes his fingers over me, caresses me, loves, me, hates me, laughs with me, and cries with me, but never knows I’m there. I suppose it’s an aptly titled job.

But there I go again, hiding myself behind a wispy barrage of words. One day I am going to stand up from my desk chair, walk over to my mirror, and see nothing staring back at me. That’s all I will have become, words.

There is one person who knows me for my words, and loves me for them too. I’m in love with him, and hope he never reads this blog. I suspect that somewhere deep, wrapped in a cluster of my most tightly-wound neurons I secretly hope he does. Otherwise why would I make it public, right? Oh right. Because if somebody soon doesn’t figure out that I’m here and alive and a living, beating body. . . well then I’m afraid I might actually become a ghost.

So there it is, okay? My worst secret out in the open, right here in my very first blog entry. I hope he does read this, and finally leaves his wife.

This blog might come back to bite me one day.