🎼Anxiety Is High, But I’m Holding On…🎶

Hello Gentle Reader!

Forgive my absence for the last two and a half weeks. A few things were being focused on so I didn’t have a chance to think about writing. 😳 At first, it was just the final weeks of rehearsals for the Dragon Theatre project I had mentioned. Then, I found out that my survival job wasn’t going to be available until next year so my team got the official furlough. This had me scrambling for insurance purposes since my hubs has been going through treatments. Lastly, his birthday was at the end of the month, so I had to make sure I had that ready, too. So, I haven’t been lazing around as you can see. 😓 Couple all of this with the new COVID news of the last few weeks and surely you can understand how anxiety would be running rampant in my home. Sorry to have butchered Blondie’s awesome song… 😱

In the last few posts, I had mentioned that I wasn’t sure what the poetry project was going to end up becoming because I couldn’t “see” the end result. Well, Dear Reader, I can say that for something that seemed to be a little chaotic, it turned out really, really well. The end result of our epic poem is a tribute to Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL and was quite resonant with the audience that has attended so far as well as for myself. We worked for several weeks building our collaborative muscles and created an eight and a half minute piece that is the highlight of the show.

The way the film ended up being edited together was masterful and lends a bigger impact to the overall message of the poem itself. Our process was something I didn’t realize how much I needed to keep myself sane and composed, but being in the “audience” to see Filip Hoffman’s visual edit with Nathanael Card’s editing of the poetry itself created a crest in the wave that allowed the emotion to break and let me have a decent cry in the presence of a shared experience that is theatre. In the Q and A that followed, the moderator messaged me to see if I wanted to add anything to the conversation, but I was barely holding it together enough to not be a snotty red eyed mess. On Zoom, no less. Good Times! 😂😂

While it isn’t the immersive theatre experience that I wanted when originally cast in AJ’s Annual Party, this version was just as rewarding. I still have my fingers crossed that at some point, AJ’s Annual Party will be done on a stage. The idea of vignettes done in the guise of a party that fills the entire room where the audience is part of the party and setting sounds like a blast. While this may not have been that same experience, being a part of this piece of devised theater will be in my memory forever. I have been moved by the words and emotions of my cast mates while we worked through the weeks where some weeks were tougher than others and tech issues but we have a beautiful piece that I am very proud of.

We have two more performances of AJ’s Virtual Party coming up on Friday and Saturday 8/7 & 8/2020 at 7pm on Zoom! Get the details and tickets at Dragon Productions Theatre Company.

My Gentle Reader, I have bent your ear enough, but I hope you are keeping safe and alert. I would also like to invite you to the “Party.” If I don’t see you there, I will at least be in touch next week.

Stay adorable, Dear Reader.

Poetry Corner…

Wizards and Warriors

I can create something out of nothing.
I can fight through tears and fears
I use my five senses and my will
I cry WAR every time anxiety appears.

Always opposing, war and creation
Burden my warrior’s heart
But to honor my wizard’s hat
This is why we create Art

To be strong enough to face the trials
Yet wise enough to make the right choices
To be clever enough to see the true world
And tough enough to rise and use our voices.
(work in progress…)

🎶We’ll fast forward to a few years later… And you’ve washed your hands clean…

whatta mess

Hello Dear Reader!!

I trust you had a wonderful week. The week and a half since my last post seems to have flown by.  My goodness, I have been deep in the weeds apparently.

I have been on a cleaning mission of the craft room. The very same room I have been doing most of my Zoom calls in from this post.

I made mention that the room was a kind of library/craft room/catch all type of room. I may or may not have given you a great image of how cluttered it was, but I don’t think I did. In any case, let me take you back to about 2 weeks ago at the end of the acting class session…

Picture it, Gentle Reader, in a decent size room, where there is really only about 4×4 feet to maneuver around as you are flinging and flailing your body around as a physical warmup and you crash into the drum set and all the stuff piled on top of it  which is behind a few yards of fabric that has been hung up with tacks in the ceiling to hide all the clutter behind it from the rest of the class, because you lost your balance after stepping on a pencil and tried not to break it. 😱 CHAOS!! That’s when 2 things happened. 1. I was so glad that I was muted from the class so they didn’t hear all of that while swinging in their own spaces, and 2. it was totally time to clean the hell outta this room!! 😜

All the work I did to clean and reorganize the rest of the apartment did not extend to this particular room. I don’t know why.  Maybe it was because I never really go in there.  Well until the Zoom calls…

So as I waited for the final “grades” of the acting class, I didn’t have anything else to do so I rolled up the ol’ proverbial sleeves and got to work cleaning the room. I found things that I had long forgotten about and things that reminded me of great times, like a Blockbuster Video membership card and hot air ballooning in Palm Springs.  I also found a folder of old school papers.  No report cards, just actual essays and old scripts. One page I did come across was a judge’s review sheet from a monologue contest. I missed a perfect score by .1. It was on the stupidest thing, too.  My introduction. Then, like now, I didn’t like to talk about myself {in person anyway!  😈 I am really only talking about me on this blog, so it doesn’t make sense, I know}, and didn’t do the best at slating (the start of the audition where you state your name and the piece you are about to present/ character you are auditioning for). Point. 👏One. 👏 UGH!!!!  Such is my life!!  The things that really stick out with me is the comments that were left. There are some shorthand spelling issues, but this is exactly what they said with that in mind:

Comments on Delivery:
Very good intro – Don’t trail off! Good Physical & Verbal!
Comments on Interpretation:
Excellent – very clear and defined! Your usage of Body & eyes is remarkable!
Comments on Impact:
Very Excellent – especially ending!

(Oh!! Also, in case you are interested, the monologue was from King Lear, character was Edgar.  If he has more than one, I can’t tell you which one it was. LOL! 😂 I came to find out a year later that the review was from John Healy. He was a pretty big deal in the Bay Area.)

Seeing this, Kind Reader, took me back to my big TBA audition a few years ago that I thought I was over. For the last few days, I have been stewing about that audition because I kept thinking of myself as Val in my own version of “Dance, Ten; Looks, Three.” (That was A Chorus Line reference. 🎭 If you haven’t heard the song it is one of my faves.  Check it out and tell me your thoughts) Granted, I didn’t change myself like she does, but the idea is there. The work is great, just not the person doing the work is how it feels and that sucks balls!  Especially now in this time where we are seeing that POC don’t have the same chances as “others.” I am starting to believe that that is what the real issue was.  They didn’t know if I could fit into their companies because they don’t really use people “like me.”

Then, I got my assessment from the teacher… A near perfect grade.  Her biggest critique? “His next step is trusting his impulses more, finding where he can release within himself/his body.”  I have always been told my instincts are excellent but I don’t think I will ever be comfortable in myself.  THAT’S WHY I ACT!!! 😳LOL!  Kidding.

At least, mostly kidding.

She also commented on the work: “…has tremendous depth.  It is a gift. He has a keen humor and sense of timing. He can trust his instincts and move beyond relying on that.”

I thought I had washed my hands clean of the TBA audition and the mental job it did on me. It turns out I still have some things to work through. So, Dear Reader, as I bag up garbage and toss it out, I shall toss out those critiques, even the good ones!  I know I can do the work.  I have had proof since ’95! LOL! All I can do now is blast some Alanis Morissette and break up with that shit. 👍

Until next time, stay safe, alert and kind, Gentle Reader.

🎶A Long, Long Time Ago, I Can Still Remember How My Podcast Used To Make Me 😀🎶…

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Hello Dear Reader!

How was your weekend? I hope your holiday was bursting with fun! ( See what I did there?) It is crazy how this virus keeps us second guessing what it is doing? I just read an article that the WHO and CDC want to announce to the public that COVID lingers in the air for approximately 8 minutes. The 8 minutes comes from a second article related to the initial findings. It really makes you wonder why people would want to rush out into groups of other people without a mask! I drove down the coast for a few hours over the weekend and I was really amazed at the number of people that were trekking to the beaches without any regard to their health, their kids’ or even other people, unmasked.

During these crazy times, I have noticed more and more podcasts being created or being more aggressive with their marketing.

10 years ago, when I started this little blip in the internet, there were a lot of podcasters but not in the droves there are now.  I also had an accompanying podcast to go with this blog.  It had the same name as the blog. I had a blast doing it.  The thing  that I liked about it was that I would go out and interview artists that were being creative in the area, kind of like a theatre reporter for the local places that didn’t have a ton of money to use on radio ads. I would interview casts or staff of shows report on some of the opening nights that happened. I talked to art galleries and some of the artists during exhibits. I did about 22 episodes, roughly a season. Then, I just got very busy with my own productions that I couldn’t make it out to see other shows as often. I loved talking to so many people I didn’t know or didn’t know well and it was nice to learn about them and their journeys as well as the current projects.

Sometimes I think “maybe I should dig out that mic and go talk to some people.” Then, Gentle Reader, I read articles like the aforementioned one and decide, this isn’t the right time. LOL!

I have my fingers crossed that the human immune system will soon reach the point where it has adapted well enough to fight off the virus on its own.  I would love to visit artist studios and have a cup of coffee or tea (or a mimosa) with someone while talking about their passions. While we wait for that day, here’s a little poem I was working on earlier today.

A Memory of a Podcast

Thousands of days ago,
Millions of hours past,
A talk that lasted as a blink of the eye.
The world ended behind our seats.
There was chit to be made,
Chat to be had.
Once ways were parted,
Those seats, were separated by oceans.

(work in progress…)

Until next time, Kind Reader, be kind, safe and alert.

🎶It’s My Party & I’ll 😭 If I Want To…

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Hello Gentle Reader,

I hope this finds you well and taking advantage of good weather if where you live is having some right now. I am not a big fan of summer, but the Bay Area has been having mostly beautiful, if a bit on the hotter side, weather. Luckily, there are beaches within an hour drive, so I can just take a mini road trip and drive along the coast if it does get too warm for my liking.

As I add another verse to the song of my life, I am saddened by the situation that keeps us all separated, yet again. In any normal circumstance, Kind Reader, I don’t really enjoy celebrating my birthday.  There are exceptions, of course.  Dinner with my closest friends… Cake with cast mates… but since we have been required to be apart since March, I WANT to see all my beautiful friends. I WANT to be in the midst of a joyful crowd.

I am getting Zoom-ed out.  I don’t know about you, Dear Reader, but do you find you have to put more energy into Zoom compared to when you were physically in the same room with the people you are meeting? I HATE meetings, but I would love to be around people now.

At this point, I am practically begging to go back to my survival job just so I can get out of my apartment before I give Ikea and Amazon all of my money!  I have spent a good chunk of money on more furniture than the little apartment can allow.  I know I should have saved it for future use, but that is how bored I am.  I am spending just to have something to do.

I know keeping everyone safe is the HIGHEST priority. As it should be. I just feel like there is a peak when I reach my breaking point and actually walk out on the beach like so many people are doing now, BUT I will wear a mask. I’m not an asshole.

This current project I am working on is steeped in poetry, which is not really in my wheelhouse, but I am learning. I see that most of my works when compared to my cast mates is more whimsical than theirs.  I am assuming that is my optimistic and upbeat nature coming through.  I find it surprising because even when I feel like I just want to scream and kick at the world and burn down injustice, inside, I just want to share happiness.

Here, Gentle Reader is a snippet of a poem I wrote called “Knitting A Hat”

Cast on 96 stitches,
breathe and count
focus on the task at hand

Join into a round, careful they aren’t twisted,
96 little links holding hands
facing one another, patient

Work knit2/purl2, in the round until length desired,
round and around the columns grow
joined together to make something good

I’ve noticed the words “hands” and “grow” are featured several times throughout and I can only wonder if that is my deepest want. To be helpful. To be of use. To encourage. While those actionable wants are right there, RIGHT THERE, I am stuck, apart from others, and the wants I have. That is where the sadness comes from, I think.  I have always been one to actively do something about what I want, and currently, I am limited by something other than the usual.  I have found a way to get around “the usual” but this “other” is really kicking my ass.

So, yay, another birthday, but in truth, it will be just another day of the same.

I don’t say this to be a downer.   I think I am just finally accepting that there won’t be crowd celebrations anymore.  People will get together, but now it will be in smaller clusters. There will be no big street fairs, no art walks or Christmas in the Parks for the year. Just more days of the same. I used to be okay being by myself and I still am. I just can now confirm that I do have a limit on it.

And it has passed.

Until next time, Kind Reader… stay safe and alert and listen & learn.

Yo, I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want…

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Hello Dear Reader!

I hope you had the most fabulous of weekends! I really do. It was Global Pride Weekend! I have been on an emotional upswing this week, mostly. There were a few moments of sadness, but they didn’t last for long. Physically, I am still trying to adjust to the movements of the acting class I am taking. It is so different from my experience with Meisner and Stanislavski method classes.  This one has a focus on Laban Movement which is really fascinating. I love learning all of these different techniques. I think it will be crazy fun to “build” characters combining all the various methods/styles, and I can’t wait to try it.  Whenever that may be.

But, before I get bummed out dwelling on this, Gentle Reader, let’s move on…

Yesterday during a “Brunch For 2” breakfast, we decided to watch Bridge Theatre’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream thanks to National Theatre At Home on Youtube.  For the record, I do enjoy watching Shakespeare contrary to what some may have heard. (But we aren’t focusing on that right now. LOL!) I even enjoy learning monologues and soliloquies from his works, but I have never wanted to audition for a Shakespeare show. The honest to goodness reason, selfish as it is,  is because most of the places in this area are Shakespeare in the Park type of companies and have the bulk of their performances in the summer months. I don’t do summer.  I hate being overheated unless I am exercising, in a dance class or performing. As most of these places do the bulk of their rehearsals and performances outside, I steer clear.  I will go see the shows since it is only about 3 hours of a day.  I can handle that. Only once a month though! LOL! 

Kindest Reader, watching that production was breathtaking.  I was full of humor and heightened tension and brilliant releases of energy that shock the audience out of the expected in the best possible ways. There were beautiful stage pictures nearly everywhere you looked. Everything about the production was lush and vibrant.  Even the beds looked great! LOL!

And it made me realize what my soul has been missing.

While I loved being in the shows that I have been lucky enough to participate in, the one thing that I have been longing for is something that is an extravagant reimagining of a classic or an immersive world creation.  I felt like the latter was going to be what the original idea behind my summer project with Dragon Theatre was supposed to be. Then, COVID-19 put a stop to that. I trust that some day I will get the chance to be a part of something as incredible as this production. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, Dear Reader, I highly recommend it. 

 A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Check it out while you still can.  It is the best 2.5 hours in any day. The actors playing PUCK and BOTTOM steal the show, in my opinion, but there are no weak links in the cast.    I hope you check it out and let the magic of the show color the rest of your day. 

Enjoy your Monday, Gentle Reader! Stay safe and alert and open to learning. I adore you. 

Until next time.