Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A very growed-up morning, day, life?

Living in Brighton is delightful. As predicted, I find it much more more pleasant than Allston if only for the reason that my living room does not feel like an enclosed extension of Comm Ave. Living with Dena and the kitties has indeed been great; I like it muy mucho. Since getting my new camera phone, I have begun allowing Mushkillah to begin her modeling career. I better get a cut of the profits when all is said and done.

Cat personifications aside, I had a very grown up morning today. I decided to get up about 10 minutes earlier and T it to work from the Washington Sq. C line stop instead of the (slightly) closer Washington St. B line stop. For those of you not hailing from Boston, the B line is the slow, rattling, undergraduate cousin of the C line, usually filled with a higher percentage of obnoxious students, noisy tourists and children. The walk from my apartment to the C line stop is almost idyllic compared to my former surroundings. Lawns ... side streets ... those sorts of things. Best of all, the train ride into Hynes was essentially silent. Folks who looked dressed for work or some other local activity were mostly hunkered down reading the Metro or a library book, and we zipped along from stop to stop landing me at the Hynes at 9:40 -- a mere 25 minutes after I'd gotten on the train to begin with.

In the mood for chocolate, I proceeded to Starbucks instead of my usual Dunkies or mug from home, in pursuit of a mocha. There, I bumped into the ASM with whom I worked on Semele and we chatted about her work on Mahagonny at Tanglewood, and how everyone refers to it as the Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany (a dark laquered wood, not a Weill-created metropolis). While waiting for my mocha, I chatted with the barista about the sample cups of Kenya blend coffee which apparently, when consumed with orange, tastes like orange. Instead of suggesting that perhaps that was because it was being consumed in conjunction with an orange, I happily accepted the free coffee and went to work.

Feeling less psychotic, I was steeled my nerves to actually *read* the e-mail from a certain opera company which, after a phone interview yesterday, I was sure had rejected me outright for a snazzy admin. position. The e-mail, titled, "This morning's interview" had loomed ominously in my mailbox since the previous afternoon and, having skimmed it, I had come to the honest and whacked-out conclusion that I had been rejected. In reality, however, they were merely requesting writing samples, which I of course have in spades and so I sent them. Two hours later, my favorite supervisor at work suggested that I talk to the Big Guy about taking on the open full time job in the Fall. Options and quasi-options!

In other, less grown-up news, I finished Twin Peaks at long last. Aside from being a beautiful mind-fuck of a series, it also revived my inner Fan Girl, who had been dormant since the 7th or 8th time I saw Rent in 8th grade. I would be completely happy to go to a Twin Peaks convention dressed in some sort of wacky, expensive costume and suspend reality in honor of how awesome David Lynch is. It's not every day that I want to suspend reality and act like an idiot. Oh wait. Yes it is. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

44 some odd thangs.

Courtesy of Margaret! It's like one of those awesome middle school passalong surveys. Yay.

44 "Odd" Things About Me:

1. Do you like blue cheese? As a variety yes, as a condition, no.
2. Have you ever smoked? Yes, I find it occasionally pleasant to inhale a campfire for one or two puffs. Ironically, I took my first hit of pot at choir camp.
3. Do you own a gun? I own the entire Gun Show.
4. What flavor Kool-Aid was your favorite? I was not allowed to drink any aids of any kind.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Ridiculously so.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? They are aptly named. They are both hot AND contain dog.
7. Favorite Christmas movie? Elmo Saves Christmas, when watched with Eli. Elmo learns that if every day were Christmas, Christmas would suck a lot more than he had originally surmised.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Complimentary non-fat lattes. Is what I prefer. What I usually drink is black Maxwell House. And occasionally Earl Grey.
9. Can you do push ups? I am not sure I agree with Margaret's assertion that "anyone" can do push-ups. I, in my weakling days, could only do about ten "knee" push-ups, the fake way. I can now do regular push-ups, but not like Margaret's brother and his friend can do 'em.
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? I like my polka-dotted earrings that I got at Shooz in Lenox, but the blue earrings I bought with Dena at Claire's are gaining on 'em
11. Favorite hobby? Singing. singing singing singing la la la esp. when I get paid to do it, which is like getting paid to read (which is babysitting).
12. Do you have A.D.D.? Well, sort of. I have the ability to focus intensely for long amounts of time when necessary. I often deem it necessary. However, I have noticed that my job at Symphony Charge has made me very used to a new task or activity habitually arising every 10 minutes.
13. What's one trait you hate about yourself? Jealousy, since I myself am so awesome. Also, hubris.
14. Middle name? Drew, after Daniel Drew, the pirate, who Sean-Michael tells me failed in the pirate business because he did not have a good name.
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
1. I think I have eaten too much fiber today. Uugggg.
2. I don't want to be at work right now. I wish everyone weren't so loud and off the wall. I'd rather be on the wall. Sleeping
3. I am really hot in this pantsuit, both literally and figuratively.
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Coffee, water, rum.
17. Current worry? That I worry too much.
18. Current hate right now? Money. Money money money and money and its general existence. Also the fact that we don't put the following on our message so that 96% of people could hang up before speaking with a human: "Thank you for calling symphony charge. Lawn tickets to classical concerts do not sell out. Please purchase them at the concert venue and save the $5.50 handling fee."
19. Favorite place to be? Anywhere with friends. It's tawdry, but I'd rather be with friends in the Comm Ave. Shaws than in Tahiti alone. Most of the time. Sometimes I just want to be with a little friend called television ....
20. How did you bring in the New Year? This is a good one-- running around Boston's Waterfront very drunk and barefoot. I'll just leave Margaret's answer for that. Then I talked to David on the phone while waiting for the 66 to start moving, while Steve Buck and Mike Budwey (apparently) waved at me like maniacs and Margaret thought they were craaaaaaazy.
21. Where would you like to go? To my new apartment .... with everything moved into it already ... by magical elves that don't cost $300, beer, or my eternal love.
22. Name three people who will complete this. Goddamnit Margaret, you know how much I like talking about myself! Perhaps Anthony, Ryan or Erin will give this a go ....
23. Do you own slippers? Naw.
24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Black and awesome pantsuit with charming chartreuse paisley lining.
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? if I am getting paid to do so?
26. Can you whistle? Anyone can whistle, or so Stephen Sondheim says, and I believe everything he says.
27. Favorite color? Jewel tones and chrome.
28. Would you be a pirate? I would rather *do* a pirate.
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I sing that Vivaldi piece from Shine when he jumps on the trampoline that has a difficult-to-find piano reduction. :: snort ::
30. Favorite Girl's Name? Poe
31. Favorite boy's Name? Jeremy, Jordan, Eli
32. What's in your pocket right now? My Chahlie cahd's wikkid in my pawket.
33. Last thing that made you laugh? "Is yaw pawcketbook made outta gold?!" - coworker Joe, on other coworker Leah's ability to buy a plane ticket to belarus.
34. Best bed sheets as a child? Clean ones?
35. Worst injury you've ever had? The brain injury which caused me to apply and audition for three voice masters programs.
36. Do you love where you live? Allston/Brighton has its charms for sure. I think I will like being on a side street better than being in the middle of a strip-mall, so it should be sweet.
37. How many TVs do you have in your house? Solamente uno.
38. Who is your loudest friend? I am my loudest friend.
39. How many dogs do you have? No dogs, but several dawgs.
40. Does someone have a crush on you? Why, are you applying for the position?
41. What is your favorite book? Fiction: White Teeth (Zadie Smith) Poetry: One Stick Song (Sherman Alexie) Non-Fiction: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (David Sedaris) Play: Angels in America, as published in one volume (Tony Kushner) aaaaaaaand 1st Runner-Ups: Fiction: A Specimen Days (Michael Cunningham) Poetry: The Penguin Book of the Sonnet Non-Fiction: Under the Banner of Heaven (John Krakauer) Play: Amadeus (Peter Schaffer)
42. What is your favorite candy? Pear jelly belly beans.
43. Favorite Sports Team? The Lasell College "Lasers", because of their hilarious name.
44. What song do you want played at your funeral? I would like you all to listen to Shoop, as performed by Ellen Degeneres, including the part where she says, "And that's all I know". You should then remark that I knew the whole song.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The lawn does not sell out, how can I help you? The lawn does not sell out. Yes. Thank you.

Symphony Charge Pie

-- 1 pie crust, leftover from HS friends brunch
5 beaten eggs, 2 of which you had forgotten were in the fridge because they were stuck in the back of the fridge but expire August 3rd so they're still good 2 go.
-- 1/2 cup skim milk from whole foods, which when added to eggs tastes 45% less like water
-- 2 Morningstar farms black bean and corn veggie burger patties, crumbled. Said patties must have traveled: 1) From Shaws on Comm Ave. to Allston apartment freezer 2) From apartment freezer to Great Barrington condo fridge. 3) From GB condo fridge to living room of first house in Madison, NJ for 12 hours unfrozen 4) To and from each freezer in three seperate Madison, NJ abodes 5) From last Madison, NJ abode to back of Dad's car for 12 hours unfrozen and 6) Back to Allston apt. freezer.
-- 2 tablespoons cilantro pesto, purchased in err at Whole Foods, because you mistook it for its nuttier and more flavorful older half-brother Basil Pesto. I hoped, not in vain, that this pie would answer the overarching question, "What the hell does one do with cilantro pesto, exactly?" I'm pretty sure that cilantro pesto as an entity has never done anything much better in its life.
-- 2 tablespoons Paul Newman mango salsa. There's no story to that one. It's just good, and I always have it on hand. I have been known to put it on everything, ranging from Soyful Heart wraps to ... Mushkillah
-- 1 teaspoon of the noblest of Mexican spices, cumin(face)

Pre-bake pie crust at an unkown setting, along with random chunk of cheese dangling from oven grate that looks eerily like a schlong and will eventually catch fire. When crust is warmed, dump ingredients in and swirl around in a delicious vortex of rawness. Bake until kind of firm but not quite ... the texture of a nice bum.

Consume for four days instead of buying more Lean Cuisines.


I'll tell ya, this pie did not taste like the Clusterfuck that it was. It was ridiculously flavorful, as well as a full vegetable-based protein. Rather than being a true quiche, the whole just just kind of melded into well-textured melange of deliciousness. Many people think I am a very good cook, and I agree that it is true, but not at all in an Elegant way. I don't really use measurements. I am basically good at strong-arming food into being delicious. Still, I am very grateful for my practical cooking skills, and for the fact that I am moving 100 yards away from a Whole Foods (Whole Paycheck). I am going to learn how to tastily cook all those whole grains that come in their dispensers for cheap.

In other "news" ... my computer, despite the very best efforts of Carlos, has bit the dust. My phone exhibited similar Beth March-like death gasps the other night when I somehow allowed it to become entagled with the soaking wet umbrella in my bag for 45 minutes. So that was kind of ... my fault, but still. It's old and texting has been difficult for a while. Eventually it will need to join my other phone, which fell in Rachael Baumann's toilet, in the Verizon graveyard.

I have two book ideas floating around in my head, one about sex/virginity in our society, and one about meatless non-tofu cooking ... too bad my computer's broken, or I'd be forced to start one of them.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

How to Defecate on an Art Project and on My Life

So, this month at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, the focus of the student-created art in the lobbies is "community". This theme manifests itself in a community knitting project, a how-to DVD on paper cranes, and an "I AM" bulletin board just outside the entrance to the theatre under which there is a basket of paper scraps, pencils and thumb-tacks. One is, apparently, supposed to take a self-affirming moment to write what one is. I don't know. It's tacky, but like those diaries they sell in Barnes & Noble called "All About Me", I kind of have a soft spot for those sorts of things. So, while I waited after the five-minute warning to open the doors after Act I, I read a few. They were mostly from kids, but a few adults had contributed as well:

"I am an artist and I love classic rock"
"I am five and I am smart. I am going to be a doctor."
"I am someone who loves."
"I am someone who lives with the best dog in the world."

So this was charming. And it made me smile a little bit while I was waiting to open the doors.

And then I saw it.

I've been thinking lately how I may need to get out of patron services, a sort of soul-sucking profession into which I got entirely by accident. I will just go ahead and say that what I saw at that moment may have just been an engraved invitation to do just that.

Some crusty, dried up, old bitch had written, "I came 1,000 miles to see 'According to Tip' and there are no fresh cookies?? You lost my vote!!"

We serve Mrs. Fields cookies. They're fine. They just come in fucking wrappers because we spend most of our time thinking about how to produce good theatre. I am sorry if I fail to see the humor in his/her little "joke". It kind of makes me want to vomit blood that this person would actually take up space on a community art project, decorated mostly with sweet little statements by children or adults who trying to be positive and creative, to BITCH ABOUT THE REFRESHEMNTS NEW REP SELLS. How fucking sad is that?! How fucking selfish?!

I know you might think ... "It's just a lame art project in Watertown. It's not like she's writing her grocery list all over the Mona Lisa". And I know that. But what happened to "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"? Why do people who want to look at a community art project have to listen to some crusty old bitch whining about a pre-packaged cookie? And why the fuck is that cookie so important?! What about the fucking theatre that she apparently came 1,000 miles to see??

Worst of all, there's a Panera RIGHT NEXT DOOR. They have an assortment of fresh cookies because they are purveyors of baked goods. Fuck.

So I wrote, "I am someone who tries to be here now", took a deep breath, thought about making it through July, and opened the doors at the blackout so they could all come pouring out.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

"Zees apartment better have many mirrors in wheech I may regard my fabulous self." - Mushkillah

After 12 days that may or may not have felt like my entire life, Dena, Simon, Mushkillah and I have finally found an apartment! It's a basement unit on Summit Ave. in Brighton in between the B and C lines, and has SO MUCH to make up for being in a basement: FREE LAUNDRY (right in the basement no less!), exposed brick, tons of storage, a private entrance, Whole Foods 100 yards away, and, my personal favorite, a breakfast bar!! Observe!!:

Isn't it cute?!

Tell me it's not cute and I'll punch ya in the babymaker.

I feel extra positively rosy about the whole thing, because I am also proud of the initiative Dena and I took in finding the place, evaluating it, comparing it with others, negotiating for a sane rent, and ultimately paying the first, last and security deposit all by ourselves.

Plus the chairs from my living room are going to look really cute in the living room .... and we're going to put decals in the muddroom ....


Fiscal responsibility rox, kids!!

Even though it's still the summer, I'm raring for this (academic) year to commence. I'm finally going to get a voice teacher and maybe even another job, and finally act like I know the lay of the land.

Which I do.

Heh heh.

I said lay.

Mmmmmm Lays.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Directed musings.

So I've gotten to an interesting point in my petit career. It seems like I already have a couple AD gigs for the fall, they're in various stages of gotten-hood, but they've been loosely confirmed, plus a good shot that I could pick something up at a few other companies with the connections I've recently realized I have.

However, I think that due to my love of structure, enjoyment of things well-organized, and a desire to be around quality work, I have gotten addicted to ADing. It's also been an invaluable experience in terms of learning how professional theatre actually works, in addition making really awesome connections and having a ridiculous amount of fun. When I started ADing, I was a bit at sea, having trouble answering questions like: "Where would I direct?" "What space would I use?" "What shows are both good AND good for a small space and small company?" "Do I really know what I'm doing?!" I'd poured a lot of energy into The Importance of Having Men Audition at Gazebo Players, and I was feeling a little let-down and deflated. I had a few ideas, but I mostly wanted to tag along somewhere until I'd learned the rules.

I haven't learned 'the rules' yet, per se, but I have learned a general outline of the rules. I have ideas now, a desire to produce my own work, and a desire to get into grad school sooner rather than later which requires, you know, actually directing.

To that end, I contacted a small local company to which my friend and co-worker has mucho connectiones. I had noticed that there were only three shows in the season, so I asked if they might consider hosting me some time in the Spring of 2009. He wrote back promptly saying that I had an impressive resume and he was glad that I had gotten in touch, but that they had no more room in the season, and that I should AD or design something and then we'd talk about next season. This I understand, and was actually quite excited about, because they're a relatively well-established small company that rents space in a great location and has press coming to see their shows.

But then I realized .... it could be as late as Spring 2010 that I'd get to put this play up, and that's way too late. If I have a show I want to produce, I should found a company and produce it. The problem is there are SO many small companies with no funding floating around Boston right now. I don't really have administrative support unless someone reading this wants to comment and volunteer. I'd rather not spend all my time incorporating myself, booking space, and making sure people actually see the damn show, when I could be working on actual things pertaining to directing a play. Can't all these tiny companies play together? Weren't they all started because someone wanted to direct something? It seems egregious, and I can't help but be jealous of actors who want to act ... pick a company, any company. I know, I know. How's that for an over-simplification? But still ....

Anyway, these are all excuses probably born out the fear and sort of isolation I feel at the prospect of having a Cottilion Ball sort of thing for myself as a director here in Boston. Which is all the more reason I should stop whining and do it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"I am in 3rd grade; I am a GROWN-ASS WOMAN!!" - Paraphrased from the Maury Povitch show, circa July 2007.

Below are some key musings from my recentely-recovered 3rd grade journal, in which poor Mrs. Houston was forced to write back as a way to motivate to us to practice our cursive. Apologies to those of you who have already been subject to my jenius, but it's just too good not to share with those of you have have not yet encountered it.

January 6, 2004
I can't wait til my dentist apointment! I know I've been brushing well! I hope I get a good report.
(Even at a young age, I was eager to please AND delusional!)

Jan. 11, 1994
Over the snowdays I went sledding with Rachel and her sisters. I went to the book store and got a bible.

Jan. 14, 1994
I like learning multibucation. it is fun. And it's a little easier to do the subtraction.
Mrs. Houston: A lot of people agree with you. Still, you have to learn subtraction. You'll need to know those facts all your life. If you know subtraction, then you'll be sure to always get the correct change, and you'll be able to balance your checkbook some day.
(Really? REALLY?!)

February 2, 1994:
My mother is helping with the costumes for Harriet Tubman [epic school play]. She will be backstage too -- if it's all right with you. I am child number 2. I am very excited!
(My mother begins exercizing her theatre jones, and I find my place in the Best Supporting Actress club).

February 3, 1994
I can't wait til all this snow melts! I can't go outside to play, I can't ride my bike, I can't ride my horse. Actually, it's not my horse, it's the stable's. But I can't go see her or go ride her.
Mrs. Houston: You must miss her a lot. Unfortunately, the groundhog saw its shadow. I hope it's just superstition and that we won't really have six more weeks of winter. What do you think?
Me: I think the ground hog is probably right. I wish he weren't. But I'm happy we finally got to go to the pond. Last time we found a dead rat. I thought it was pretty funny!
(I have no words ...)

February 8, 1994
I can't wait til we put on the play! But I'm glad this not the day before it, because I forgot my script! I'm such a nut [drawing of a nut].

February 10, 1994
I pretty much have all my lines memorized for the play. The first line I have to say is, "You see, our teacher told us to a report on a famous black person, and we chose Harriet Tubman."

February 14, 1994
Today is Valentine's Day! To celebrate in my house yesterday we made cookies and dumped frosting on them! [Again, how little things change ...] Then we exghanged presents. Today I'm going over to my friend's house who lives in Norwood, and while the grownups go out to dinner, we are stuck in the house with my friends 8th grade sister. But I still cannot wait to see both of them. I just hope that Kaitlin -- that's the sisters name -- will let us play Netendo.

February 15, 1994
I am so so exited about the play. I wish we could just get it over with, because I know all my lines and I want to still remember them by the time we do this thing. [Hah!]
Mrs. Houston: You know your lines very well. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready yet. More practice will help make the play extra terrific. [yeah right.]

March 4, 1994
I am so mad that it had to snow! I want to have the play!! But at least we will get to rehearse in the gym! [.... great!!]

March 9, 1994
I hope the play is not posponed. I really hope that there is school tomorrow. You are right. Alot of people are getting sloppy about singing songs.

March 10, 1994
I am going to get Doofus [stuffed penguin, class pet to be passed around nightly] over the weekend. Tomorrow I want him to see the production. [Hah!] So maybe you could hold him in the audience?
Mrs. Houston: I need both hands to be free so i won't be able to hold Doofus. Maybe you could put him behind Andee's chair so that he'll be present but not visible. After all, I don't think Harriet Tubman ever saw a play in her life.

March 11, 1994
I had lots of fun in the play. But I was so embarassed when I forgot to turn on the mike! [Classic ...]

March 16, 1994
I am diasppointed that the play is over. Oh well, at least I still remember everbody's lines in the play! [Oh you have no idea, 3rd grade self]. I also remember the songs. I sure had a lot of lines to learn myself. [Hah].
Mrs. Houston: You have an amazing memory. I have a suggestion: How about using that great memory to learn your math facts? [NOT BLOODY LIKELY!!] You'd zip right through those time tests!

March 21, 1994
I am the mother pig in The Three Little Pigs. I am wearin ga pig mask, even though Matt said I already looked enough like a pig! [Let's hope Matt was flirting ....]

March 30, 1994
Friday is April Fools Day, it's also good Friday. I think while I am at the doctors office I will think up a few practical jokes to play on my parents. I've only tricked the with words before.

April 5, 1994
I had a good easter. I found out who the easter bunny is. It is my mom. This year I shared the egg hunt with my dad. He is Jewish. But he was pretty good anyhow. (HAH!)

April 12, 1994
My mother is the producer of a play called Hello Dolly. That is her next play in the theater company she belongs to. She also has a place in the chorus where she belongs, she says. I am very excited about the show.

April 29, 2004
Yesterday I went to Mom's brush-up rehearsal. A brush-up is when you have on rehearsal to brush you up. To help you rememebr the show. Beacuse there is two more shows to go. At brush up you play jokes on people.

May 2, 1994
Yes I went to all the performances of the play. They were all good. I am thinking of being in the next preformance that has kids in it. I like theater a lot. Do you? This July I'm going to see Phantom of the Opera. It is my favorite play. My favorite part is the music.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Sono Commosso!

Although I am back, screwed out of my job and totally broke, NJ Shakes did a lot of good for me. I think I finally learned what the job of a director is of a large cast, large tech show in a resource-laden theatre. Essentially, it appeals to me, and I finally know that I want to be a career director, and not an academic one (primarily). I also want to do some auditioning because hey, theatre is theatre, and I kind of miss being in a cast. Basically, it cemented my identity as a Theatre Person, the last dregs of "Maybe I'll become a Baroque opera star after all ...." faded away, and I am very, very grateful. It was wonderful being around such a positive group of people who wouldn't rather have been anywhere than where they were. Plus, they all loved me as much as I loved them, and that never hurts.

While in NJ, I began living an inadvertantly healthy lifestyle which I intend to attempt to keep up while back in Boston. Although I was working 12 hour days for no pay, I walked to work, walked to all my errands, ate Lean Cuisines with more regularity than regular food, and rarely ate out. Not a lifestyle that is really condusive to urban living, considering it would take me an hour to walk to work and beer and fried fish are essentially this city's mainstays .... but something to learn from at least.

I was just offered and accepted the position of AD on New Rep's production of Cabaret. Rehearsals began December 22 and it goes up January 11, so my head might explode as Margaret aptly put it, but I think it's going to be *spectacular*. I'm also psyched because I have this huge burgeoning interest in the different ways theatre and music can be used together, and this will be the first musical I've ADed.

Finally, if you know or are yourself a 32-year old early career actor in Boston who wants to Adam Rapp's Nocturne with me, let me know ..... It's a beautiful play. Too bad A.R.T. figured that out only 7 years ago. No one ever said my timing was good.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Fuck off, you're not the man!" - the British fellow playing Rosenberg (about rejection).

I would like nothing more than to win the battle with my demons of neuroticism and my patron saints of overthink. Perhaps it IS me who is making me miserable and no one else.

But I would like to also proclaim, in a bratty, horrible, selfish, non-perspectived way that so far, I have THE WORST romantic track record OF WHICH I HAVE EVER HEARD. I just have bad luck. It has little to do with neuroticism, or a lack of the risks that I work so hard to take thereby quelling my head demons to a point when even they can root for Me until I inevitably get shot down Again.

After almost 24 years of the seat to my left being empty, of game-playing and women's magazine aggression and energies poured down the drain, my impetus to get back on the horse is really starting to wane and I don't know what to do about it.

Would you really be able to stop worrying about it, if you were me?? Really?!

I don't know what's with the question marks. This post is pointless and I'll probably delete it within 24 hours. If you reply, I'll probably write something like, "I've had it worse than you!" And you'll get mad and rightly so because who am I to assume.

So, forgive me if I just can't be the picture of ruddy-cheeked optimism anymore. I'm not 16. I'm not 18. I'm not 21. This is getting kind of scary.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008



Since posting about money, two funny things have happened.

1) I have successfully bargained my way into ADing Amadeus this summer at NJ Shakes for a month. Free housing is included, and, better yet, I get to keep my job when I get back here, thusly rendering it unnecessary to look for another job whilst trying to be artistic. I'm so excited. I'm going to treat it like an artistic retreat. I won't have to worry about patrons or working at all. I'll just go to rehearsal, do dramaturgical research on Mozart, and read plays in preparation for my intent to direct one this here summer. Plus hopefully use the free gym and a practice room!!

2) I lost my debit card and realized how much I miss it. So eat that, o money-bashing self. :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Money dearest.

To make an extensive story somewhat brief, I had to turn down NJ Shakes' very nice offer, largely for fiscal reasons. This was an odd sensation for me, disorienting and annoying, like a time-change or something. I am not entirely used to making decisions based entirely on money. That is to say, my money, and not my parents' money. Usually, when an artistic opportunity presents itself, I'd prefer to run at it, arms outstretched, oblivious to the fact that I might have to eat oatmeal more often than I'd like to for a few weeks. I gave up my actual job twice just this calendar year for assistant directing gigs that payed next to nothing, and always managed to pay the next month's rent. As Tim Gunn would say, I "made it work".

So, naturally, I thought I could do the same with NJ Shakes and their four month long no pay no income buy your own food offer. I had a preliminary deal with Emily Peters' brother to sublet up in here for June and July and I figured that since they couldn't house me until May 5, it would be worth paying May's rent just to have somewhere to live for those 5 days where I tried to pack up my entire life and leave town. Well. They later rescinded May 5 and let me know that April 28th was really my only option, and that it was quite the dealbreaker. I hemmed and I hawed about various things one and the other for about four days before I decided that I could not sign that contract.

There are a few reasons, I suppose. The first and most off topic is that for 2 days before they made their offer, I had been coming to a series of realizations about my performance career. A year ago today, I was singing every single day for several hours, analyzing music poorly, and learning lines for Into the Woods. Today, I listen and think more than I sing, and I am losing my voice in the sense that its endurance is greatly lessened by the break I've given it over these past few months. It's still lovely and colorful, but for only about 20 minutes. Imagine that. Oy. Anyway, I never stopped and realized what was going on last summer. I needed money and I had none, so rather than fight the law and have the law win, I decided to get a job at a theatre in the Berkshires like all my friends were doing. While there, I decided that I would settle in Boston just in case I, ya know, wanted to go to that prestigious grad school that wanted me to join them in the Fall. I learned some music over the summer, but that's when the lessening of my voice really began. In the fall, without a voice teacher or even an apartment, I decided it was time to get a church job at which, I of course, sucked and was a total wreck. Going to a first paid rehearsal while one is in the process of moving one's entire life is never fun! So I quit that and decided that that was "it". I had a few other paid gigs in the early fall but decided that largely I just didn't cut it.

Whoa whoa whoa whoa. I never stopped and said, "I am scared shitless of this amazing early music city with all its wonderful early music singers." I rationalized an awful lot to get out of feeling shitty about the fact that I did not feel ready to attend the holy grail of the kind of Voice I want to do in Boston. I mean, one could look at it like this even: Girl sings at college and elsewhere, girl gets into grad school, girl has no money so takes day job, girl is unaccustomed to doing things for money that aren't in her artistic field, girl arrives in Boston wanting to sing, girl gets scared shitless, girl quits.

Anyway, that's a very one-sided life story, but the realization at least convinced me that I asbolutely need to find a voice teacher her. I can't keep just letting my voice go to crap. It's too important to me. I suck at theory and I still have nightmares about singing Gesualdo with my ESTEEMED bcf colleagues who were about ready to eat me alive for the first two weeks, but I also learn a lot with each challenge I put myself through. Just by moving here and becoming involved through the back door, I have learned that there is a vibrant community of people who don't necessarily want fame, but want to sing and play emotional and intelligent music.

Therefore, I am glad that I will around here for most or all of the summer. I said I'd get a voice teacher out in the Berks last summer and never did, and I do regret it. The second reason for turning the whole thing down was that I also did the very objective math and would have had negative 540 dollars in my checking account (all the money I have to my name) at the end of teh summer. There's no point in destroying your entire life for the sake of being creative so that you have to come back and work an intense desk job just to be able to live somewhere again.

That being said, I want to always make authentic choices. I want to find, and be able to do that thing that I would do if I could not fail. That, I think, would be singing. However, I'm also sick of being treated as if I have the I.Q. of a toaster oven by patrons on the phone. I want to get the highest degree I possibly can in something so that I can spend my days with smart and creative people all the time. Do I want to make money while doing this?

I honestly only want *enough* money to feel creatively fulfilled.

Some people have so much money that it makes me laugh at myself when I feel "luxurious" during pay week when I buy two pairs of shoes and Once on DVD and say "I like having some money!" But then again, what IS "some money"?

Where do you all stand on money at our age? It's one of those horrible little things that can define who we are, but is also a gauche topic at a dinner party. How much do you see yourself having? What do you want to do with it? Not do with it? Do you think our society has become increasingly materialistic since we watched commercials and read magazines when we were 13? Can someone survive in American if their primary motivations are neither love nor money?

Maybe it's just a sneaky way of finding out who actually reads this thing .... but it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately.


Sometimes I feel like a salad, shaken up with some new dressing in the to-go box of Kenyon, and then dumped out on the big white plate o' life. Don't you??

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Indecision Pt. II 2008

It's somehow comforting to give this entry that title, seeing as how I eventually resolved Indecision 2008 Pt. I and someday, too, will see the resolution to this.


I have been offered a Directing Internship at the New Jersey Shakespeare Theatre .


Being that my goal is to be a super-cool theatre professor one of these days, something like this would be a great opportunity. I would, specifically, be assisting Joe Discher, the Associate Artistic Director and an avocational singer like me, with his production of Amadeus (!!) and then spend the rest of the summer (May 22-August 11) preparing a few scenes and short projects with the acting apprentices, sitting in on classes, other rehearsals, doing dramaturgical research and masterclasses, Q & As with artists .... blah blah. Great opportunity.

However ....

They want me there on April 29th and would release me on August 11. That's in about 20 days, for those of you fluent in calendar. The internship will cost me nothing, with the exception of $925.00 for housing and the inability to make money for 3 months. By my shoddy-like calculations, living on a budget of $40/wk (some weeks more, some weeks less), I would emerge with approximately $500.00, assuming I have to swallow May's rent and utilities, which I probs do. The good news on the money front is that my parents have offered to pay for housing, so I definitely can't ask them for help with the May rent. As for June and July, I have a pending pending offer from Emily Peters' brother, and that may work out, depending on a number of things.

April 29th!!

I don't know though. That's how this business is. And if I can't handle the heat, I'd better get out of the kitchen. Into ... what other kitchen I don't know. Lately I've been deluding myself with the fact that I should make myself pick some art form that allows for steady, one-place work until success finally hits big some day. Ha. Although I've been unsure about careers before, I'm pretty sure that the fact that I like to read novels does not make me a novelist.

Reality is that I want to be a professor with a Doing focus. I could go to grad school for dramaturgy or whatever and teach history for the rest of my life, but I think I would start to question, in about 8 years of it, why exactly I was spending my life with all this Stuff if not to profit from it artistically myself. And I guess that's a good sign that Lifestyle only takes on so far, and that I shouldn't be afraid of the slightly tenuous first five years of this lifestyle, because I think ... I think I know ... that it will lead to what I want out of life.

I still plan on using NJ Shakes, as lovely as it is, as leverage for urging Williamstown to get its ass into gear, so that could be exciting too. That starts on June 12, and it's in the Berkshires, and it's $500 cheaper, so I could just die ....

So it will be an exciting week, but not as exciting as the next one, if it turns out that I'm quitting my job, cleaning out my room, and heading to New Jersey.

In other news, I was so very happy to hear about the results of the drama honors day awards:
Newman: Drew Schad and James Miller for Godot
Woodward: Cait for 3 Days (yay!!)
James E. Michael Playwrighting: Knud, who's play combined structure and imagination in a very advanced way.
Ashford: Marielle Ebersole, without whom Turgeon basically wouldn't have been able to finish up his last show at Kenyon.

All in all excellent, almost Fair-based choices, which never happens. Bravi. :)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Non-earth shattering revelations that everyone and their mother comes to.

My parents are moving out of my childhood abode in Medfield to pursue more urban pastures in JP. Coincidentally, their new condo is on the same street as the one on which Margaret's mother currently resides. This really produced few emotions in me, to be honest, other than being glad for my parents since they hate the suburbs, and a slight tinge of sadness that there would no longer be somewhere that I could go to sort of escape my current life and retreat back 12 years into my former self.

Well, last night kind of took care of that, as I realized that, even if we continue to own 62 High St., such was no longer possible. It really was, though, up until about Christmas I'd say, a place where I could go and kind of pretend that doing nothing but using an eliptical bike machine, eating hummus, and watching reruns of Top Chef was an acceptable way to live my life.... that I had no future goals or aspirations, jobs, papers, or anyone in my life that needed me for any reason. A calming, incubator-like way to live one's life for four days, a maddening, cosmology-shaking way to live it for twenty-four (i.e. winter break). Nonetheless, I remember mostly the former, and so when I was feeling a little fed up with getting run half-run-over by minivan taxis, the sound of the T horn, the creepy guy in College Convenience who undresses me with his eyes when I buy vitamin water, and symphony patron after symphony patron, I decided that a trip back to Medfield would be the quickest fix toward my much-needed Vacationland.

My mother picked me up at 6:30 outside my apartment, but we didn't get back to suburbia until about an hour later. My mother was hungry, and when my mother was hungry she is not quite from this planet. So we stopped at Thai world and split some appetizers and curries, and by the time we got back to my house, it was too dark for the anticipated nature walk, and my father was getting ready for bed so no voice practicing. So, I was able to watch a few episodes of Top Chef with my mother which was fun, as was going to dinner with her, but these activities are not quite site-specific. Furthermore, my room looked like a community theatre props and costumes storage closet. The last people to stay in there were actually Sally and Kaitlyn from Chamber Singers. Their thank-you card, apparently forgotten by my parents, was left on the floor next to the trundlebed, and I took a moment to feel bad that Sally had to sleep with her head one inch away from a broken air-conditioning unit. There are these three baskets in the corner of my room that contain pretty much everything I ever did in high school, from jazz choir to one-act directing to English projects to Amnesty International. I have a funny little habit of picking a thing out of the basket randomly, as if it were a big sloppy deck of cards, and jokingly deciding that the nature of said object is what I should do with my life. Sort of akin to the "where should I go on vacation?" game which involves the spinning globe. (Last night it was the sheet music for "I could have danced all night". I prefer to think that the answer to my dilemma was thusly dancing all night, and not playing Eliza Doolittle).

Anyhoo, I then settled down into my oddly dressed twin bed and did what I did what I always do when I'm home for a time ... reread some of my old diaries. After all, why else would I write them if not to provide myself with sensational reading, a la Ms. Gwendolyn Fairfax. Lately, I've been pouring through them for things that strike me as common themes and things that might help me decide what I should attempt to devote my life to at this point. Last night's leafings were no help. The diaries are consistently broken down into about 4 subjects: 1) Boys 2) Whatever theatre-type thing I was doing at the time 3) My weight/various diet issues 4) General angst at my parents and other children. So, among other observations, I noted that when I am singing I "control my experience", but also that "4 years ago I was too young to understand the symbolism of the fiddler in fidder on the roof [apparently by 8th grade I had gotten the hang of that] and that I needed to find more people that understood the quote, "If Wokoma came back now, he'd be so pissed off" by Sherman Alexie. It's pretty much the same now.

I realized that it was useless to go searching for the things I most enjoyed in my past. I enjoyed and was privileged enough to do many things. But I was never pressed and I never pressed myself to try to figure out which of these things might translate into a career and which would stay better as a hobby. Watching Top Chef last night, I found it funny that so many Americans cook but watch professionals do it on TV, so many Americans also play football, but watch professionals do it on TV. How does one in high school or college know how what one is doing will translate into a career, unless one goes to a career-focused college like Emerson or Northeastern .... who knows. I didn't. So here I am, realizing that the decision is up to me now, and I'll only become more confused if I rifle through the annals of my innermost thought from 8th grade.

Most of all, I realized that my Life is no longer something I can Escape. Which I think, ultimately, is good. I own it, and it has enough bells and whistles, however mildly pathetic, to constitute as My Own. I am invested in it and would be sad to see it go, ultimately. I can Relax, but I can't escape My Life.


Monday, March 31, 2008

Out like a lamb

**Please note, this is not me saying I AM A VEGETARIAN RIGHT NOW, as I am in no place to throw out food that was purchased for me ..... this is just me realizing something that I should have realized when I pretended to realize it. And me trying to live a more conscious lifestyle, is all. **

When I was 18, I became a vegetarian "for good" because I had gone to the Peace Abbey in Sherborne, MA, learned about Gandhi, and learned that chickens are cute and that pigs can play video games. "Oh boy," I thought, as a dug into my cling peaches and dry cinnamon toast at breakfast that morning. "This is going to be easy, fun, and fashionable. Plus, it'll save tons of animals to boot!"

Five years later, I was eating beef in an Ethiopian restaurant and paying off a much-anticipated "lamb date" on my credit card bill. Sure, that happens to most people, you might say. A loss of idealism or just giving into convience and a good, solidly textured meal. I had stopped being a vegetarian because one day I realized that I had literally zero emotional or political connection with it. Sure, chickens were cute and pigs could play video games, but what good was I doing, exactly? I was not interested in prosthelitizing or chaining myself to slaugherhouse machinery, and as far as I knew, the factory farming industry was as strong as ever, whether or not I ate that chicken strip. Disconnect. So there it went.

On Saturday it was cold, and I was glad to hear of my co-worker's plans to go to the Super 88 Asian Market on Commonwealth to buy a whole duck. Rock on, thought I. A ride home. We headed towards Allston/Brighton in her car along with our other co-worker, singing along to 90s music, talking about the evening's plans, and just generally letting off steam. We were having so much fun that I decided that, instead of getting dropped off at the top of Brighton Ave., a short 2 minute walk to my door, I would go with them to the Super 88, even though I was broke. I had never been there, after all.

As we walked into the store, customers with bags zoomed past us on their way to cook on Saturday night, and little kids ran around in the dank and carpeted foyer which joined the market with a noodle and bubble tea fast food court. Most folks were of the Asian persuasion; actually only about every 8th or 9th person was not. My duck-searching co-worker being in a hurry to begin preparations for her annual Turducken, we sped toward the back of the store, bypassing the items that, if I had come to the 88 on my own, would have interested me the most: noodles, sauce, nuts, Pocky, popsicles and pears.

As we reached the back of the store, the colorful posters, prices and advertisements gave way to the natural gray, cement walls of a Back Room open to the public. Lit like the art direction of Twin Peaks, the room had a totally different feel to it than the front of the store. It meant business. This was where you went to get your meat. No fucking frills.

Because we were having a little trouble locating a duck despite our rooting through the bin of whole chickens next to calf's liver, my co-worker went to ask for assistance, leaving me and co-worker 2, both lapsed vegetarians, alone. It wasn't really a question of whether we could help it ..... just by standing in the middle of the room our eyes fell on about 4 or 5 different cuts at the same time. The one that I think might stay with me forever is the cow stomach lining, white, light and porous like a coral reef, packaged up with saran wrap and sold for four dollars. Something I truly felt disprectful even looking at. Then there was the unrealistically large cow tongue, the size of a table leg, the sour-cream-like container of cow blood, the rough goat meat cut into circles for convenience. Kiddie pool sized bins of lobster, plastic containers that look like grandma's recycle bin filled with whole, dead fish.

Then, we made the mistake of following our co-worker toward the very back of the back of the store. There, we found a butcher counter, full of short ribs basically still attached to the cow's body, murky-colored liver and brain, tongues, and gray pig ears. Packaged cloven hooves that, although if sucked on probably contain nutrition, can't taste like much more than bone and dirt. I don't say this to sound dramatic, I say it for clarity: it smelled like death. I know what blood smells like, and it smells like that.

Because there were no people around to offend, my other co-worker and I basically wretched and made our way out of the way back. Finding refuge in the dairy aisle, we busied ourselves with inspecting the packaged salads, only to find that they, too, were filled with orange pickled duck feet, roe, and giblets.

I thought I might have to leave, but it looked like our friend was almost done with her duck hunt, and so we cooled our heels by the turkey and chicken legs, packaged like the ones in my freezer, which we deemed, "safe". But then, as I looked toward the back of the store to check on my friend's progress, I realized that none of it was "safe". It was all the same. And the fact that we, as Americans, are able to go to Shaw's and purchase meat that looks prettier and brighter and more nicely-packaged than that is incredibly dangerous. We are able to and we LIKE to disassociate and disconnect the food on our plate from the undeniable act of violence that put it there, and that breeds aggression and desensitization from violence. I'm talking you and me -- relatively Priveleged intelligent Americans with no reason or need to perpetuate a cycle of violence that mostly prays on the poorer Americans who do the killing anyway.

Violence without consequence. This is an incredibly dangerous trait to breed in a society where domestic violence rates are high, handguns kill in an instant, and technological innovations make it harder and harder every day to govern our lives with any kind of moral compass.

So, I finally got it. It's not about the fact that a chicken is a cute and a pig can play video games. It's about consciousness. It's about connecting yourself and your deeds to the violence that you cause. It is being a consciensous objector to an industry that makes it very easy for people to disconnect entirely from acts of violence that are being commited for their own gain. Growth hormones, downed cows, McDonalds, veal calves, sexual abuse of animals on the kill floor. This is about objecting to an industry that, despite the jobs it has created, provides terrible working conditions for humans and way too many instances of egregious animal abuse, aside from the part where they, you know, kill them. I guess it makes me an idealist once again when I say that I'd rather unemploy Americans temporarily than let them continue working in an industry where killing for others is their only means to survival. And it makes me even more of an idealist to say that we can get there someday, if we want to and we work hard enough.

It's not even about compassion for animals, entirely. It's about compassion for ourselves and for the planet and a belief that, as evolved humans, we can use our more fully developed faculties to let our existence make a positive difference.

So, that all happened rather suddenly.

Last night, the playwright/performer of Pieces was asked by a Palestianian woman, in tears, if she would give up the idea of a Jewish-only state in the name of peace. I expected her to jump up and say, "Yes! Peace is what I want most of all!" But, she didn't. I have to say her hesitancy surprised me after knowing how strongly she craves peace. But of course she said it was the hardest question she'd been asked, she said, and it would be an incredible sacrifice. She said she would sit with the question. She was honest with the woman; she was honest with herself.

I don't have a homeland that is being torn apart by apartheid. I have a freezer full of chicken legs from 2 weeks ago. So I sat with my question for a little while. And then I stood up and said, "It's not going to be easy and it's not going to be fun and it's not going to be fasionable. Lots of people are going to make assumptions about me and lots of people aren't even oing to care. But I need to make as much change in this as I can make. I don't think I can give this thing my money any more, and I know I can't put it in my body."

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Is it possible to be place-sick? Whatever. I am.

30 Things I Have been Missing Lately, about the Berkshires:

1) The way a face looks outside at night. Smoke, laughter, stars.
2) The Tanglewood lawn, in ways other than talking about it on the phone
3) Eating food outside. Wooden tables.
4) Albert's. Nothing like it.
5) The glint of a lake.
6) Hot pavement and SoCo on Railroad St.
7) Anne's car with tons of musical theatre CDs everywhere
8) The Pittsfield Museum foreign films
9) Sitting around a table getting shit-faced with awesome creative people
10) Porch swings
11) The sound of the door snapping shut in Lavan (annoyed the fuck out of me while I was there)
13) Michael's Karaoke
14) The Countess and Rumpy's. The popcorn there.
15) Siam Lotus and "TAAAAAHHHH FOOODD!!"
16) Sunny freedom Sunday drives to NYC
17) Mountains
18) Baba Louie's barbequed chicken pizza
19) Pie Heaven from Stew
20) The shower next door to my room
21) The sombrero on the wall of the Unicorn box office
22) Tons of free cheese all the time/ARRANGING
23) Acoustic night at the Lion's Den (haha).
24) Scene-It
25) Kegs of Berkshire Brewery Pale Ale
26) Hearing the song "Beautiful Dreamer" from onstage in LVC while in the box
27) Beethoven House Music
28) Riding in golf carts all over Berkshire School
29) Rolling down hills with Patrick and Dan and then eating Loafs.
30) Pretty much everyone I met there, ever.

Today at work, the BSO did "Discover the Berkshires" downstairs in another part of the building. When Theresa and Michael returned, I asked if BTF was there. They said yes, and I kind of hesitated because I wasn't sure if I could even emotionally handle the whole thing, but my desire to see the lovely Ryan Chittaphong right downstairs in my place of work kind of cancelled that out. So down I went, and there he was, surrounded by the posters and logos I was used to looking at non-stop, looking spiffy and representing the festival. So funny to think I met him as Jeremy's roommate, the development intern with whom Stew used to play badminton. It was awesome to see him, and we chatted a little bit about what's up at BTF, and he suggested I call Pete to inquire after the status of ADing and such things. So, I just did that in order to leave a message right now, and not catch him off guard if he wasn't ready to deal with my wheedlings. I feel a sense of closure now, because I doubt he will reply and exclaim, "OMG, I totally forgot. Here's a job!" But maybe, something .... I don't know.

It's tougher to deal with than I imagined; the potentiality of being seperated from this place in which I spent the last two summers, unquestionably the best two summers of my life. I feel the way about the Berkshires that most people feel about their hometowns, summer camps or about somewhere iconic like New York City or San Francisco. I know that most of my fondness for them has to do with what I did while I was there, and yes in my opinion, there is no better place to be creative in the summer months than out there, BUT .... I also crave its degree of non-chain-driven authenticity, its subtle but amazing little bits of nature hanging right over the main road ... even the bizarre, back road bit of Pittsfield with its funny little pawn shops and soft serve shacks. Knowing things about it. It being small enough to sort of hold in my hand. Coming back to things, things changing, things staying the same, clear nights and being inspired.

They say a place like that has charm, and I guess it has charmed me, quite literally.

What to do ....

Friday, March 7, 2008

Creepy: A Synonym for Patron

This here is real American drama, kids:

Adrienne: Symphony Charge, how may I help you?
Patron (in creepy androgenous voice): Do you have 22 dawlaw tickets?
Adrienne: For which date?
Patron: I don't KEEE-UUHHH.
Adrienne: Uh ... no. We have 29 dollar tickets though ....
Patron: That's the lowest you have?
Adrienne: Yes, that's not partially obstructed.
Patron: What about pahtially obstructed?
Adrienne (increasingly creeped out): 14 dollars.
Patron: OK well I had to give up my credit cahd and I wanna take a woman, so I'm gonna uh .... I'm gonna go that route.
Adrienne: .... OK!
Patron (creepily, as if on Are You Afraid of the Dark): So I'll be seeing you .....

(hangs up).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Flurry of a Good Day

Today's weather alone deserves at least at attempt at documentation. Four seconds ago was probably the first time that this New Englander has ever experienced what I am now calling Snunder: a terrifying combination of snow and thunder. Four minutes ago, on my walk back from the gym and particulary on my walk TO the gym, we might as well have been in the damn Florida Keys (except without all the flabby old people and nail salons). It's like the weather is trying to get all of its pissyness out in one fell swoop before settling down for what is sure to be another swelteringly tropical summer. Oh New England, you variety pack of Doom.

Despite the inconsisentency in the weather, today has been consistently good. It started this morning with brunch with some of my choir girls who I haven't seen since December 22. After sleeping til 10, I got dressed and scurried on down to catch the 66 bus, prepared to wait alone in the half-rain/half-snow combo we had going on, but instead I found one said choir girl, Laura and her boyfriend Rishi, and so had some company. They live across the street in the 13s of Comm Ave., and Laura is a former voice major/fellow pants roler as well. We really need to hang out more. We headed down to Z Square where other choir girl Jenny, the Brit, had made a reservation for five. Soon joined by Miriam, who it turns out had suffered a similar "kicked-out" fate to mine, we proceeded to catch up, discuss internet dating, travel, music and politics over omelettes. Z Square is good and shockingly cheap for such a "posh atmo".

After saying goodbye to those cool folks, I popped into Curious George to visit Margaret, who toils there in exchange for free books and of course, money. Starving, she begged me to provide her with a bagel from across the street, which I did, and would have done anyway, but today I also procured an illustrated Midsummer's book for Eli at a handsome discount! Considering his most recent artwork featured Bottom and Titania falling in love, he should enjoy this. I, for some reason have decided that Eli's Valentine's Day gift needs to make up for all the other holidays I've missed with him this year. Hopefully the authorities won't read too much into this.

Although I wish that the story could continue with "And then I went into Urban Outfitters and found a pair of awesome charcoal boot-cut jeans for 8 dollars," it does not. I did, however, encounter a friend from the very, very, distant past while at the 66 bus stop in the square. While there, a girl approached me and asked, "This is a weird question. Did you ever do UnCommon Theatre stuff when you were younger?" And I said, "WHY YES!" And she said, "I think we were in Peter Pan together!" And it turns out that we were indeed, and we were actually friends and fellow "Injins". :) How great! So we chatted at the bus stop, and on the way home, about UnCommon, about theatre and opera in Boston, about the G & S society at MIT and about law school, grad school, and other stuff too! We did exchange numbers, and even though it's possible I'll never see her again, I might. And it was a fun bus ride, and always bizarre to reconnect like that, even though I feel like I might as well have been a different person back then.

Tonight I'm off to see "Shakespeare's Actresses in America", written and performed by Rebecca Maggor with Erin, and then maybe to Margaret's to watch Pride & Prejudice, the mini-series. I think I'm finally ready for it. Bring on the fop!

Hopefully this week will be as nice, and I don't know ... that's all for now. :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ahem, MememememMMMEEEEE.

Opening Credits: ME, singing Brahms' "Rote Abendvolken" from Zigeunderleider. So, the opening credits consist of me singing about some gypsy walking up and down a road obsessing. Perfect!!
Growing Up Montage: "Speravit, anima mea" sung by the Chamber Singers. This is not the best recording we ever did of this piece and it's a little tentative sounding, so that really works for the whoel growing up thing. Also, it's about hoping for things but mostly it's a tonal trainwreck.
High School: "Best Imitation of Myself" by Ben Folds. Tis true that in HS I was but a shell of who I am today.
College: "I Fought the Law and the Law Won" by BUDDY HOLLY (originally and thusly recorded). Well, I used a lot of Buddy Holly in shows to good effect. I also once was stopped in the street up by The Ganter (Nate, you may recall this), and got us all off the hook by stating that I was from Massachusetts.
Waking Up and Morning Routine: "Stepping out with my baby" by Tony Bennett. "Can't go wrong cuz I'm in right?" Well, at least I'm in the right pair of pants.
Driving: "Trouble", Coldplay. Yep. Piano, whining, regrets. Sounds like a late night suburban drive.
At Work: "21 Questions" by his majesty Fiddy Cent!! How perfect. Everyone has 21 damn questions when they call me.
Falling in Love: Hahahaha. "All lampo del armi" from Handel's Guilio Cesare. it's only Julius Cesare's bad-ass battle cry. Did I mention he's usually played by a woman??
Breaking Up: "Everything in its right place" Radiohead. Thom Yorke says this is a love song. "Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon."
Getting Back Together: "I See Monsters" by Ryan Adams. Hm, this is a tough one. I guess I coudl relate it back to neuroses, or the "monsters" one sees when one isn't with the person one wants to be with.
Dinner with Family: ME, singing Pres des remparts. This is a tricksy little aria where Carmen gets Don Jose to untie her with the promise of sex. I'd probably have to trick them into dinner, anyway.
Wedding: "My Friends" from Sweeney Todd. Hahahhaa, yep, at this point I'm more likely to marry either my friends or sharp inanimate objects. ;)
Life's Good: "God Put a Smile on Your Face" Coldplay. Did he really?
Mental Breakdown: 'Learn Your Lessons Well" from Godspell. Creepily perky and yelling at me. Sounds about right."
Flashback: "Billie Jean" by MJ. Well, aside from the obvious reasons .... it was written in like '86 ... I think it has the perfect blend of paranoid and rose-colored nostalgia
Birth of a Child: "Henrietta" by the Fratellis. Is the child's name Henrietta??
Final Battle: "Fare thee well, attractive stranger" from Iolanthe. ;)
Death Scene: "The Ascent of Stan". Ben Folds. Well, at least I'm going up, not down.
Funeral Song: "Like Spinning Plates" Radiohead. Hopefully the live version. I think I really could listen to that for all eternity, so I'm good with that.
End Credits: "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd". Like many good stories, it'll end where it began. :)

Monday, January 7, 2008


This morning, it was nice to wake up to an e-mail from Sam Helfrich, a cell phone voice-mail from Linda O'Brien (production manager at Opera Boston), and a home-phone voice mail from Amy Kitchin, Audience Services Director at Boston Lyric Opera, a company which, despite my completely dogged degree of persistence in my quest to work for them, has never called me on the phone before now. I didn't even pick up the phone when I saw the label "Boston Lyric Opera" because I was so sure it was a telemarketer.

For about a month now, January has loomed in my mind in this sort of stone-carved, Monty-Pythonian way. Last night, I stared at the ceiling for about twenty minutes, trying to exhale all the nervousness out of my body while still retaining the nerve.

I am probably going to gain five pounds this month, and most definitely lose some hair, and I'll probably cry at one or two or three commercials. But things are happening!! And when it rains, apparently it pours.

I should really buy an umbrella for non-metaphorical rain, too. ;)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"The theatre, the theatre ... what has happened to the theatre? Especially where dancing is concerned."

Erin and I randomly watched the DVD of my production of Pirates whilst swiffering floors the other day. Sure, there were huge glaring problems, tempo inconsistencies and one or two costumes which might have been better suited to hang from the acoustical shell, but the backs of the audiences heads consistently bobbed with laughter -- and the good kind at that. So, this brought me to notice one thing which inspired in my quest to find a consistent vision for "Ernest" ......

When faced with a script like "Pirates", I saw it as one of my primary obligations to make sure that my audience of intelligent and sophistocated people had FUN at the theatre.

I had been struggling so much with whether to update Wilde. I don't know why I was thinking so hard about it, because really, when I look at just the *text*, I don't know what would be more fun than sticking to its original setting. Yeah, updating it might help tell the story a little bit for a few modern viewers, but I don't think this play will be terribly well-served by anything that makes its behavior more dignified or normal.

So that settles that.

When I did I start considering having Fun in the theatre the least important thing I could do on a stage? It might not be the *most* important, but I like to think it promotes at least a little bit of good in society, at least in helping to facilitate a small, if skeptical, belief in magic and faith in people.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I don't think there's anything wrong with New Year's Resolutions really, cliched as they are, we all need a little check-in time with ourselves. Here are a few of mine:

1) Conquer my fear of directing my own show in the Real World while staying true to myself and producing something I can be proud of.
2) Quontinue in my Quest for Qulosure, until such a thing happens or such a time arrives which makes me feel I have it.
3) Don't stop going to the gym, especially in January.
4) Eat breakfast! The purchase of veggie sausage patties from Trader Joe's ought to help facilitate this. Spend less money at Starbuck's and Dunkin' Donuts.
5) Give my time or money to something political, and make an informed choice for all votes.
6) Reach out to my brother-from-another-mother-but-also-kind-of-from-the-same-mother, Richard, who lives across the street.
7) Get back in touch with Kristen. I miss her ...
8) Learn how to meditate or do some yoga.
9) Stop Putting Things Off
10) Keep the above nine. ;)

What're yours?

Thank you, San Francisco Chronicle, for making me feel a little less alone.