Talk About Frozen…

frozen_fruits_1-t2I was so excited the other day because I had the apartment to myself.  I don’t know if other people work the same way, but all I can say is I need to be alone when I want to work on something.  Be it a dance or memorizing a monologue.

  • Reason number 1:  I get easily distracted.  It’s true.  Sometimes Perry watches some terrible tv show and when I am trying to write, I begin to mock the dialogue.  Now my whole train is derailed.
  • Reason number 2:  I usually do what the next whim tells me to do.  So I could be working on a story but a song may play that makes me want to dance.  From there I may want to see if I can still do the splits.  So I will try.  (The answer in case you are wondering is no.) But gimme 6 months.  I get embarrassed though, so I can’t stay focused or truly get into it.

So I had the whole place to myself for HOURS. Freakin’ HOURS!!!  I thought of all the things I would do.  The writing, the dishes (I know that’s not creative, but they ain’t gonna do themselves), weird dance moves I would commit to memory so if I choreograph again I have something bizarre for dancers to figure out.  I thought of the collage that I have been wanting to finish, and the track pants that I need to sew together to complete.  I tell you, I have no shortage of projects begun.  It’s worse than my knitting UF.O.’s (UnFinished Objects)!

I pulled out my poäng (it’s a CHAIR from Ikea. You dirty birdies!) and grabbed one of the MANY notebooks off of the shelf and started my story ideas.  I came up with about 9 different ideas, but when I tried to open them up a little more or dig deeper, they were rehashes of something that someone else has already done.  I don’t wanna do that.  After about 15 minutes of doodling on my notebook, I realized that my desk was a mess! I couldn’t work like this.  So I made the papers into nice little stacks, as opposed to actually putting them away or tossing them.  But I found $5!!  Score!

Then it was back to staring at the soft blue lines on the semi shiny white page.  And staring.

Nothing was coming to mind.  I didn’t even have the desire to get up and dance when Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” came on.  (I have this whole 80’s dance I wanna do to it with a group of dancers)  I always wanna dance or at least sing with this song.   The video makes no sense BUT I adore the song.  There’s nothing a good shoulder shimmy can’t make better, right Elizabeth Lawrence?

I was truly frozen.  It wasn’t until the oven timer went off that I remember even having an actual thought.  I was truly frozen in my chair with a notebook in hand.  I don’t know exactly how long I was like that.  Once that timer went off, I was startled out of my stupor and went about life.   I am still unsure of why I “shut down” like that.  I wasn’t asleep, at least that I know of.  I recall seeing the leaves outside moving and everything.  I just don’t understand.

Any suggestions on how to “thaw out” the old melon?  I know conventional thought is: write anyway even if it isn’t great.  The practice of writing will open up some door for you to walk through.  I would love to know what other ideas you, dear reader have.  Any thoughts on why the mind shuts down? Hmmm… Pondering… Pondering…

 

I Hate My New Favorite Song…

 

I am sure that by now you have heard this catchy little tune all over the radio.

Bastille’s Pompeii has facehugged itself into my soul, forcing me to ingest and feel this thing growing inside that I have tried to ignore.  It has become almost like a personal anthem of mine.  But as music is so subjective, I am sure the way I “love” it is not the way you, dear reader, might “hear” it.  The band has explained the song as a conversation between two people of Pompeii.

I have this conflicting emotional war that occurs nightly.  It mostly prevents me from sleeping.  Sometimes when life is still, it rages through my brain and I get moody, to put it lightly. I struggle daily and try my best to put it on the back burner of my mind so I can keep on keeping on.  But at night…

Let me explain why I have fallen in love with the song.  It puts beautiful words on my inner battle.  I live to do all kinds of artsy stuff but I can’t live without a roof over my head.  To paint, one needs the money to buy the tools.  To knit, one needs money to buy those tools.  Here is the inner thought that this song has forced me to face.

Chant: Ay ay ay oh ay oh, ay ay ay oh ay, Ay ay ay oh ay oh

Actual Lyrics                                                                      Inner Monologue

I was left to my own devices                                           I spend my time trying to figure out what I can do
Many days fell away with nothing to show               And at the end of the day, it is always the same 

And the walls kept tumbling down                              And after every shift, I realize that I need to build
In the city that we love                                                     Something to fulfill this unrelenting desire
Great clouds roll over the hills                                      But self doubt and other voices stick in my head
Bringing darkness from above                                      One stands out though

But if you close your eyes,                                               Every night I get crazy ideas.  Some I don’t
Does it almost feel like                                                    Know if I can do, but I HAVE to try.
Nothing changed at all?                                              When morning comes, I have shoved my idea away for
And if you close your eyes,                                             The words “As long as you can pay rent”
Does it almost feel like                                                    So I get up and go to work
You’ve been here before?                                                 And I sometimes think “I’m here, again?”
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?             But I suck it up and put on the upbeat attitude.
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?             I suck it up and put on the upbeat attitude

We were caught up and lost in all of our vices          I get caught daydreaming and
In your pose as the dust settles around us                  Researching on the side and prepping

And the walls kept tumbling down                               But when time is not my own,  and I can’t
In the city that we love                                                     Devote myself to the work I want
Great clouds roll over the hills                                       I feel myself shut down
Bringing darkness from above                                      I lose the willingness to play

But if you close your eyes,                                                Even if I center myself on a “time out”
Does it almost feel like                                                     In my soul, I feel like I am stuck in this rat race
Nothing changed at all?                                                  Where those words are the only thing
And if you close your eyes,                                              That matter during my waking moments.
Does it almost feel like                                                     That feeling of repeating myself that I despise so
You’ve been here before?                                                  Cannot be avoided
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?              But I try and keep my happy attitude.
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?              Try and keep up my happy attitude

Oh where do we begin?                                                    How in the world do I change myself enough
The rubble or our sins?                                                     Start over or adjust my surroundings?
Oh where do we begin?                                                    Where do I begin?  
The rubble or our sins?                                                     How in the world…

And the walls kept tumbling down                               This leads to the same cyclical mind set
In the city that we love                                                      So when I try to sleep, I get restless.  I know,
Great clouds roll over the hills                                        I know this is the only time I have to myself
Bringing darkness from above                                       Do I sacrifice more sleep for this?  Can I?

But if you close your eyes,                                             When I do try to sleep those words are haunting me
Does it almost feel like                                                      “As long as you can pay rent”
Nothing changed at all?                                                   And I know that unless I can sit to create
And if you close your eyes,                                                I will always have this feeling.
Does it almost feel like                                                      This familiar feeling will be a part of me
You’ve been here before?                                                  Even though I don’t want it.
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?              It’s hard to be so upbeat all of the time.
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?              Yes, how am I?

If you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?

That chant at the top and at the bridge of this song feel like something old and primal.  I recalls in me instinct and raw urges.  All I want to do is create and when I hear it, I feel lifted and encouraged.  It has prompted me to take action, I am happy to report.   I look forward to what the next few weeks hold.  I have my fingers crossed.  I can be an optimist about this.  Of that, there is no doubt.

It Was A Dark And Gloomy Night…

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Last night, I wrote about not wanting to be a director.

It is tough!  So what if I don’t want to direct?  I have learned the lesson that I wanted to learn.

DO NOT misunderstand me. Jesus Christ Superstar is going to be great.  I love this music and the groove a lot of these tracks have is  rocking.  Our cast has put in so much work to create great characters.  They have the dances in their feet. They have the notes in their souls and they are so excited for you, dear audience.

I’ve enjoyed colllaborating with them to create something that has the handprint of all 50+ people that are a part of this chaotic, exciting, exhausting, but always entertaining journey.  The many, many incredible faces that light up the rehearsal hall and the stage as they run thru the show make me honored that these people were so brave in following my crazy hair brained ideas. And I have a few more up my sleeve before opening night. But shhhhh…. I can’t tell them yet.

Superstar Super Opens on Saturday!!
Get your tickets buy going to http://www.wvlo.org.

Say hi if you are there on Opening Night.  My understanding is that there are still a few more tickets left.  So stop on by and let’s sing a song!

When One Piece Goes Missing…

falling house of cards

I have officially decided that this whole director chore is not for me.

Let other people handle this kind of thing.

When nearly everything that you have worked so hard towards leads up to the one card that gets pulled and brings your whole house down, well it’s just too much for me.  Let someone strong deal with that.  I just don’t have the heart to.  There’s a lot of fight that has to be done, but jeez it takes away some of the joy in the process.

I am grateful for the experience.  It’s been a challenge to pull everything together but I think I’d rather play poker than try and use the deck to build something.  Poker is just way more fun.

Dear reader, please understand that I am not demeaning the hard work that has been put into the show thus far.  No, not at all.  I am saying that I would rather have fun dancing the dances, and acting and singing with the actors than being in charge of them.   That’s all.

The Home Stretch…

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As I write this my awesome stage manager is on her hands and knees retaping spike marks and my set designer is putting some more layers of paint on his creation.  The theatre is quiet except for the sound of the occasional scrrrrkt of small pieces of glow tape being torn from it’s roll. 

This process has been long and filled with headaches. There were times that I wondered why I even decided to give this a try.  There was no time for anything outside of this or my job, so it made everyday life a little weary. As someone who loves variety, I had such a hard time only going from work to the theatre nearly every day for the last few months.

Most of these people I knew before this show, but the ones I have gotten to know are crack ups. I have had fun working with all of these incredible people and that is what has made this whole thing worth it.

As we head into the last week of my time with them, I feel this weird kind of sadness.  I thought for sure that the emotion I would feel was relief.  But, now is not the time to dwell on this.  I have a little more adjusting to do so that this show that we have brought to life is filled with emotion and great characters. I cannot be satisfied to have a show that is pretty.  For me, that is not enough.  So… back to WORK!!