Why not?

JaneThe thing about spring is it just makes me want to dance. What’s wrong with that, you say? Well nothing, unless you’re strapped to a desk typing at a rate of 70 wpm. And why does it always seem that the most beautiful weather comes with the most excruciating deadlines?

Still, there was some good news. I heard from my friend in Greece, and she told me all about this incredible program where you travel the countryside putting on shows. Sounds like a dream job! I’m so impressed with all she has done since graduation. I feel like while I’ve hidden behind a computer screen and shrunk from life, she’s gone out and grabbed adventure and her dreams by the reins and told them where to go! It’s inspiring to see, really.  But it does make me feel like a little chicken.

Something she said to me really got me thinking. And it was a pretty simple thing to say, too. When I told her I was so proud of her accomplishments, but could never do them myself, she simply said, “Why not?”

Well. . . why not?

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The Crux of the Story.

LauraIs anyone else not surprised Paul’s being an asshole again today?

Aaron and I were rehearsing the scene where the strongest, most passionate character suddenly has a change of heart…with zero evidence of why in the script… You’re watching the show, and then all the sudden you’re like, “wait a minutes, what, I thought that…?”  Our moral compass loses its magnetism!! Which would be fine—maybe— if that were the crux of the story… But it’s not!  It just doesn’t make sense!  Ugh!!! GARY!!!!  He may be my brother, but this script sucks.  It’s awful.

Gary’s writing lately has character schizophrenia.  A character will start out interestingly enough one way, then lose all steam and become entirely another character (or two!) before the show is over!  You can’t watch it without being completely confused, and you sure as hell have a hard time acting it! It’s like he started writing, forgot where he was going with it, and said, “Eh, this worked before, I’ll just throw that in there.”  Success comes with its hazards, we all know that, but here we are, a group of dedicated artists excited about this interesting, very Gary script, when it suddenly gets a hoke injection!

Poor Aaron has to search his heart and soul for some way to make this scene make sense.  So, yes, PAUL, things were progressing at a little slower pace than Aaron and I usually work at, but cut us some damn slack!!!  It takes a lot off effort to make shit smell like roses! We’re trying here!

What pisses me off even more is that Paul should know this!  I hate to admit it, but he’s a great actor.  AND I’ve snuck some peeks at stuff he’s written (and kept quiet about) that he left sitting out at Gary’s coffee table.  Again, hate to admit it, but it’s pretty damn good.  You’d think anyone with Paul’s talent and vision could see our struggle…instead he just freaked out and screamed at us, “Just say the goddamn lines, Aaron!  The words are right there on the page!  And so help me God, Laura, if you make one more inappropriate face…”  Aw c’mon, like he’s never raised an eyebrow at an odious line before.  And his eyes are so piercing, when he fixes his gaze on you it’s like he’s yelling at your soul.

I know, he’s an artist, and even when his artistic vision is off, his artistic temperament still reigns.  But what is Gary doing to him? Forcing him to abandon he believes in? I know Gary pretty well.  I love him.  But he ain’t worth all that.

This rehearsal process is just killing me.  I’m so drained: physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  So many people’s dreams were riding on this show.  And now…this.

I need a cup of coffee.

On Fire

DebbyI’ve been thinking a great deal about “taking ownership.” Taking ownership of my life, making sure I’m the one who holds the reins and putting out exactly what I want to see in the world. Having a sense of peace about it all—but that doesn’t mean putting out the fire!

If anything, I am on fire! I feel more passionate about what I do now than anything I’ve ever done before. Proof to me that if you put it out there, you’ll get it back. By letting go and having faith I’ve been more free than ever before.

Which brings me to this new show. Auditions were today and I just know I got it! Well, I don’t know, but if those auditioners weren’t completely dead inside they’ll know I’m the right one for the role. Just think…. I could be in Gary’s first play! I’ve seen everything he’s ever directed in town before, and just to step on stage with artists of that caliber, well it’s proof to me that I’m right where I want to be.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity I had today. And even if they don’t call me (which would be crazy!), I’m proud of how I did.

Come on, Life, what’s next??!

All Tied Up.

When I was in my twenties, I thought that in my thirties I would have all the answers. That I would have figured it out by now.

Now that I’m here I have to laugh. Have I figured out anything except that I haven’t figured it out yet? Does that even count?

Heh. Maybe that I analyze so much is what’s holding me back. How do you stop analyzing? Certainly not by writing about it. Maybe I should stop doing this! Maybe I should take up watching sports?

Or what if the point is that we never figure it out, that we’re always just pushing forward. Sometimes the current is with you; sometimes you go upstream. All I know is I’m over 30. Come on . . . something!

I know, I know…. It’s just a number. But still! When am I going to feel like I’ve grown up and gotten it all together? Where’s the nice little bow to wrap around my life?

I hear they were having a discount on bows at Target. I should probably just go pick some up to stick around my apartment, after all, it’s the holidays. . . no one would think it strange.

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!