I got to the theater last Friday in plenty of time to prep for the show. Interstate 90 was slightly icy but uncrowded and the traffic was going at the speed limit, with a couple people going about 90. I suppose they felt joy at seeing open roads and couldn't relax the accelerator pedal, but it had me thinking of Darwin.
So, as I am backing into a parking space there is a huge "Wham!" and the front of the truck drops at least a foot. I guessed the front left wheel had gone into something like a manhole, and I was wrong. I got out and saw the wheel had broken off, with only the tie rod holding it on. I couldn't help but think of what would have happened had the wheel failed on the floating bridge. The lucky timing of the unfortunate event put me in a good mood. Still, it was a bit of a shock and took more effort to prepare for the show.
Speaking of the show. It went quite well, especially Saturday and Sunday. I finally had time Saturday morning and afternoon to do some (Meisner) homework for the character and relationships, the first time since my last minute offer and acceptance for the role. As I was the main character it had a huge impact, and the post show mood for our cast and crew went from happily satisfied to jubilant exuberance. The hard part for me other than the extremely short rehearsal phase, was being a jerk. The director had to work with me to flatten my language and inflection, kind of the opposite of what I worked on all last year. Once we limited my character's (Frank) vocal range, then came intention and action, which is what I worked on Saturday. I tend to fade the end of my sentences, and I think Frank really got over that bad habit of mine too. He pissed off the other characters and audience just like he should have.
Again, this was a staged reading. Using the classical and naturalistic processes served me well, and I was delighted to see how it worked for me while doing a staged reading. I'm glad I did that homework instead of using the time to get off book. I toyed with that to let me connect better, but the other homework did more good. Since we were all on book it wouldn't have had as great an impact as the character homework did. Like always I would have liked doing better work, but I feel good about this show. Playing a totally different character than ever before, a staged reading, a four day rehearsal process -- all new challenges and I did okay -- I got some sincere and meaningful compliments. There is a small chance we'll be called upon to go up again for encore week. I'll do some more homework in case. I really like the piece and I'd sure like to work on it again as Louise develops it further.
So, with broken truck I was limited to the motorcycle this week. (The vw needs a new exhaust system and tags.) With the persistent ice and snow that was out. I rode the bus for the last two shows, and was fortunate enough to get rides home with friends. Then, I found a bus route for work which is direct. Cool, Monday -Thursday I read two and a half scripts, and found a number of dialogs I can turn into monologues. Three from Brilliant Traces alone, thanks Rachel! Yesterday on the bus trip the second bombshell appeared, so to speak, and it made my truck seem a tiny little issue.
It is tearing me up, and I'll say more later.
As dark as it is, personally there is a silver lining for me. It was not quite seven years ago I got out of my rut, and got involved in things, ultimately becoming a serious actor and artist as well. I have a support system now. People I can and have called and talked to and told exactly what is going on. I don't know how I stayed sane without a support group. Maybe I wasn't sane, I felt numb, so maybe I wasn't even alive. If one of the very few friends I had then needed support from me, I'd have offered it, but it would have been of questionable help. I feel things deeply now, and I'd still give support, and now it would be meaningful and it is more likely I'd be asked for support.
Things hurt right now, and I prefer the pain. I feel it now, it is part of the richness of life. Even this is better than depressed numbness. I found I could not live a flat featureless life at an acceptable level. I did level off peaks and valleys, but it was very low ride. The average now is much better, higher than the rounded peaks I'd find once or twice a year. I'm rambling because of the anger and sadness this situation has brought up, and it is true and a solace.
PS - I've some pictures of the truck, which I'll post once I find or get a new flash card reader. Misplaced my old one, and the one for the printer up in Canada. It is my old roommate Aaron's printer, which he's left behind, but forgot to leave the reader. Oh well, they be cheap now.
And here are a couple pictures. First, minutes after the wheel broke:
And now here it is in it's temporary resting place in front of my house the next day: