An Uneven Palette

We signed the contract with the venue today. I’m not quite sure how to feel—elated, yes, but definitely apprehensive. Gary’s been so distracted lately. And when he looks at me sometimes it feels like I must be on another planet, or treading water far, far away.

And yet when he speaks to me it’s only in the most direct, immediate terms. Bossing me around, actually, one might call it. “Have you called Dramatist Services to see what’s taking so long with the paperwork?” “Where’s my latte?” “What’s the story on this meeting with Martin, is it happening?” As if I’m his assistant, not Christine. And Christine, well, you’d think she were my boss or something! The way his assistant takes that snippy tone with me whenever I ask her a question, as if twisting the knife a little further that it’s not me who pays her salary… well this time, guess what Christine, it just about is. And that begs another good question–why does Gary have an assistant and I don’t yet? Hmmmmm.

I guess it’s true what they say, mixing business with pleasure get’s messy. I’m beginning to think that we’re not actually producing a play, but a fingerpainting.

Slalom as usual.

Sometimes I think he thinks he can just keep jerking me around. Like I’m a mailbox (or an ATM) he can visit when he’s looking for something. And then other times I see the poetry he creates on the stage and I know it’s all worth it. His insight into the human mind, into the human condition… that’s not something that can be taught.

And there I am, looking in from the outside.

But when the curtain falls and the cocktails are finished and the chorus boys have backed off for the evening, he comes home with me. And that’s the time nobody else can take away.

We didn’t have a very good Valentine’s Day this year, but since then it’s been getting better. We talked about the need to talk, and when I brought up the point that I felt like I spoke more to his assistant Christine than to him he seemed to really melt a little. Like he’d been so stressed out and frozen solid that it just took the tiniest crack to let the warmth flood in.

And then we went away skiing last weekend and that made up for everything. I’m a better skier than he is, and—not gonna lie—it was pretty great to beat him at something, for once! Oh, Gary. So many talents. Downhill is not one of them.

The rehearsal schedule is taking shape—I’ve been pretty proud of myself. Nothing like playing honorary stage manager and chief investor for a little while! Here’s hoping one of his deus ex machina-like investor schemes comes through.

passion. in the lower case.

“But what are you passionate about Paul?,” my movement teacher inquired after a ferocious bout of ‘sound and motion’ this Wednesday in Hell’s Kitchen.

My jaw locked. My shoulders drew up to my ears. My toes curled inward. I had just spent an hour and a half moving around wildly, allowing my every breath and impulse to be translated into movements and sudden bursts of sound; I had felt so free and unencumbered and open to evaluate and come to the present moment of my life – and just when the moment came to put all this work into a word and speak my truth. . . I clammed up.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “Can I tell you next week?” Wah-wah.

And that’s how it always is isn’t it? Would I cease to be an artist if I were able to just put my truth out there in life and not lean on the crutch of a playwright, a director or a choreographer to help me channel it into perspective?

There is this fire inside. This burning desire that brings you to your feet, to class, to the stage and it feels so certain and human and essential and intrinsic to your nature that you feel it is rightfully yours. Then why all the trouble figuring out how to express it yourself? Why the cold feet? The self-doubt? The desperate attempts to back up this intangible idea, this inner greatness with exterior BS?

I really don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

I just pulled $5,000 out of my savings last week to help back a new show I am working on with, well let’s just say a “very special someone”, and although I trust the process completely and know that with hard work we can really let our inner passion shine through this project – I am crippled with doubts. How can it shine, how can it be all worth it if I don’t even know what it is? I mean really Paul what is your fucking passion?!?

I just feel that I am running into walls everywhere I turn and the wall is me. I wish I could run away on a year-long retreat. Or go to Germany or Iceland or China or Greece and just do my thing- A show of self-discovery and unabashed Passion with a capital P! I would do it in the streets if I had to! But that will never happen. I’m way too rigid. Wah-wah.

Have a nice day. I’ll try to be a little more optimistic next time.

On second thought, rehearsal tonight – Yay!