Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Allie's Journey

For the next several months this will be dedicated to information pertinent to Allene M. Maddock. Her care has been assumed by Hospice as of 06Apr12.

Please feel free to call or write her. If you call be patient and take time to explain who you are. Currently she remembers, but you have to help her focus so she truly knows who she is talking to at the moment. We have to do this too, and I frequently say something like, "Yes this is Scott, your oldest."

Her phone is area code two-zero-six, and the number is 216 3816.

Her Address:
Allie Maddock
c/o Queen Ann Manor
100 Crockett Street
Seattle, Washington

Monday, April 30, 2007

Nothing New

Tobias is so typical of the republicans, declaring themselves to be on their self-anointed moral high and holy ground. They say to struggling third world nations you can't have aid from our country unless you proselytize and enforce our narrow puritanical ideologies. Bullying which can't quite be done so openly within our borders yet. Oops. The drone carrying out this bullying, Mr. Tobias admits he was a client of Ms Palfrey's business, but there was nothing seedy or out of line. Hmm, then why'd he resign before there was any time for pressure to be applied. Something is not quite consistent there.

I really didn't care about Wolfowitz. He's an animal, with no conscience and believes he's above the ethical standards he'd apply to anyone one else. Plus he's not very intelligent. His lack of ethics, integrity, and meaningful brain power are pretty effectively by the utter destruction of Iraq he architected. He promotes his nookie cookie? So what? Oh, by the way, he's married. Oops. I'd missed that. The media's been pretty quiet about that. That little tidbit makes me think it's K Starr time.

Of course the illiterati in chief, president bush, keeps saying Alberto has done nothing wrong because of the weakest denials ever recorded. Not even his supporters are buying that. He just can't seem to recall the circumstances surrounding any misdeeds which point back to him, therefore he is innocent?

Clinton was hounded for lying about an improper, but ultimately legal act. One can't say the same for the current crop. They aren't lying to cover up their personal lives. They're lying to cover up corruption which has cost thousands of American lives, over a hundred thousand Iraqi lives, and over a trillion dollars. I think the biggest cost is for the Iraqis, and I’ve actually argued with (christians and) conservatives who felt persecuted I would hold them responsible for (non-christian and) non-American suffering. I was beginning to think the republicans/neocons lacked any standard whatsoever. They were so low and filth-ridden it was not even possible for them to rise to even the basest standard imaginable. I was wrong. The have a standard. It is immutable and imbued in their every breath, each beat of each of their frigid and shriveled hearts coldly tolls for that standard. The double one.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Tuesday didn't get any better. No news from the doctor, no role for me in Richard III, then I got home late, tired, and had a letter waiting from the IRS. They say I owe them $1700 from 2005. Oh goody. I don't trust them a bit, and about all I can do is run it by H&R Block to see if it was an omission on my part or theirs. Probably mine. As I was finally getting to sleep I remembered I was going to file an update for that year anyway for my ETI tuition which will result in a refund more than my alleged underpayment. Somehow it is easier to sleep realizing that instead of paying, you're getting less money back. It's kind of a glass half full situation I suppose.

Not surprisingly sometime Wednesday I got the despairing feeling you get with the blues. Free-floating anxiety or whatever. It seems so obvious now. Most of my life when that feeling came along I escaped into books, and while that worked it was very slow. Very slow indeed. I believed people who were happy on a regular basis were shallow or delusional. Don't know where I could have learned that. It dissipates very slowly when you escape into books. It is mostly passive, despite the beautiful flights of fancy. Back in the last century, it was a momentous occasion when I felt upbeat or happy.

I'm still feeling off from the persistent sore throat, though the evening acid blocker seems to be helping. Or the reduction of caffeine, chocolate, and evening meal size. I've realized I need to start making sack dinners. Otherwise I get home after rehearsal or class and feel famished, so I eat before going to sleep. It's a nice way to rewind, but there's lots of other ways. I've started reading a bit again. Not the obsessive reading of the past, just a few pages. Maybe when you have a life it is easier to put down a book? I enjoy them as much or more. And I did go to class on Wednesday. I felt really awful on Sunday, and worried I might be contagious as well as woozy so I skipped class and napped. I saw Hot Fuzz that night (terrific fun), but only after I warned my friend I might be contagious. Beth gave me a ride so I didn't have to worry about driving while woozy. When I got that feeling of despair I knew any idea of skipping class on Wednesday was out of the question. I had confirmation from the doc I wasn't contagious so off I went.

In the past I'd have curled in on myself and escaped with a book, hoping for the blues to pass. I wasn't brilliant in class, quite the opposite, but it reconnected me to the world. For so long I had no concept or faith that there was anything you could do to heal yourself.

Lately I've had a bit of unhappy stress. Acknowledged the loss any relationship with my brother. Lost my relationship with my sister in law. What relationship I had with their kids seems to be gone. Despite claims I suspect their parents have seen to that, either by edict or manipulation. Knowing our family history I assume the latter. They desperately need someone besides themselves to blame since their parents aren't able to be supportive. If I can serve that role in absentia so be it. It is not an uncle's desired place, but that's okay. Their sanity is more important than my preconceived notions of being supportive. It doesn't make it easy, they are all important relationships to me.

Short term stresses are not getting cast in Shakespeare, being sick, and the IRS. I don't get cast all the time and I'm about over it. When I'm told I wasn't cast I get past it immediately, or in a day if it was a show I was really interested in. When they don't have decency or guts to let you know, it takes me about a week longer. I understand that is normal for places like New York, so if I ever went there I'd have to learn out how to deal with it better. Usually the disappointment is minor but piled on top of a rough spot it grows in significance. The IRS thing reminded me I actually have money coming.

It used to be so easy to obsess about things like that. Now I get busy with things to make me feel better. Work on my professional skills for either my day job or theatre. Start auditioning -- now there's a conundrum which I'll come back to. If there's time, clean up around my house. Write. I've been doing that here mostly, but that is about to change a bit. Part of what I'll come back to. The point is that feeling of despair is something I know can be addressed, and the more I do so the more ways I find to help me get out of the abyss.

This is mundane stuff for me now. I'm one of those disgusting people who's usually happy now. As I'm pulling myself up by my bootstraps it's good to remember how it used to be. Even that helps me get back to where I want to be.

So, I'll come back to the auditioning conundrum and writing like a said. Auditions can be nerve-wracking, especially when like me you need to do a lot of work on auditioning skills. I'm slowly getting to the point where I'm able to look forward to auditions and seeing myself build the skills. Overall it is becoming a positive thing. Still, I'm going to give it a break this Summer. Decided that Wednesday. I'm taking four months of nearly continuous minor illnesses as a cosmic hint. I really pushed myself last year and my entire being is craving recuperation. There are some things I need to get started on. My house. My writing. Equally important I think.

Again on Wednesday, I solved part of the problem in my mind. I've a large trailer, a park trailer. Part travel trailer, part mobile home. Uses residential hookups and more suited to constant habitation. I bought it for my Mom, and I just don't want to deal with it. Charity. Doh. I'll donate it, unless one of my friends with property wants it, and would let me live in it for a year or two sometime. It would make a dandy guest cottage as it uses residential type hookups. Either option seems more appealing than selling it. If I donate it I'd like to find an arts related entity that could use it. I was thinking of Katrina but don't know if transportation would make it too much trouble.

Writing. My writing blog has the start of a piece that unjammed me. I'll put more of my effort into that. I know I'll come back to acting, as I'm driven. There's a lesser drive for writing, but it is there all the same. I'll continue blogging, which I often use like now to raise my spirits. The three projects I have going now all carry the possibility of great emotional stress. So, I'll need to share some of that. The first piece is the one my other blog, the autobiographical piece. The journey from delight to despair to delight in my life. That middle part, the interesting bit, is the part that gets to me. The second is the thinly allegorical piece about the paid informer from the 50's. I actually ordered extra copies of books. His confessional autobiography printed in '55, I've four copies. One for reading and marking, one for my collection, and two for scrap-booking. Two copies of an account by his publisher of producing the book, one for reading marking up, one for scrap-booking. I need to understand and connect to a great part of his world before I take artistic license. My third project is a multi-generational piece of an addiction ravaged family. Driven by my experience, but not auto-biographical. Then there are three old projects I want to do more work on, two needing parts rewritten, and the other the second half.

Spending more time around the house getting things cleaned an repaired will not only make it a more pleasant place for me, but will make it easier to move if my wanderlust persists.

Right now it is 6:30pm on Friday, and very quiet around Expedia. Most people have left for the weekend. It's a little contrary on my part but I like it. If I've a little work to do it is a perfect time. If I want to blog same thing. And...

The main reason I may blog less. I'm sick of paying hundreds of dollars a year for internet service, to get the questionable opportunity of working from home after hours. I was commenting on BD's blog about the fact that we are number 15 in the world for the percentage of people on broad band. The power of american capitalism. We should be number 1. But, keeping prices artificially high keeps profits up and the number of employees to provide support down. Screw that I said, and at that moment decided this would be my last week. I'm cancelling home service. I surf the news and such, which I can do a couple times at work and not lose anything. I want to control my computers, not serve them. If I want to connect I can drive the twenty minutes to work or walk/drive to a coffee shop with a wireless connection. Like cable tv, I don't think I'll miss it after a day or two. I can still do any coding I want to play with, and mostly I want to write and I can do that better without the distraction of breaking news. I'll have too keep a pad for words and facts I want to look up, which will be a new habit but it sounds fun. Now it sounds fun. I'll let you know how it works. I already like the idea of writing some blog stuff and bringing floppies to work. Nearly obsolete technology barely ten years old.

Oh, I laughed at me last night. I picked up some sliced chicken for a small meal before rehearsal. And a dark chocolate bar. It had marzipan. Nothing I'm avoiding, except a little sugar. No problem. I ate up, chased it with white grapefruit juice, another treat for me. I don't like the sweeter pink grapefruit juice -- too syrupy and bland. Then I started jabbering at David and caught myself. That marzipan didn't have a little sugar, it had a lot. I haven't had that much sugar at one time since I started the detox diet last August. A new experience. I was like a toddler loaded with sugar running around the dining room table at full tilt. I don't remember noticing a sugar rush when I was a kid, we didn't talk about them, and a kid is just a kid. You're 'being', not 'analyzing'. I had a giant sugar rush and after analyzing, I tried to recapture that little kid experience. After all, it's an actors job. I crashed hard an hour later. Luckily the crash happened after my first scene, so I had a couple hours to get close to an even keel again. Note to self, don't ever do that for any other show.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Staked Out

Good feelings and knocking on wood stand aside. I didn't hear back on Richard III. I'm disappointed. Of course there is the glimmer of hope which refuses to go away when you don't get a nice thanks, but no thanks from people you enjoyed working with. I'm surprised and disappointed I wasn't notified -- it is a matter of basic courtesy. I guess that is why I have the near neurotic glimmer of hope. I've always thought of these folks as a good bunch. No news is worse than bad news in this case. Well, the callback ran a lot later than advertised so maybe the decision is too. Therein lies my hope or delusion. Time will tell which.

I feel weird when I audition for companies I've supported with donations. I'm not an annual donor for most companies, as I only have 6 matches a year and like to support more than that. So, to remove that conflict from my mind I decide before an audition if it is a company I'll donate to that year. The only thing which would override a decision to support would be cavalier treatment, as how the cast and crew is treated is more important in my mind than how the donors are treated. One is a more realistic barometer of character.

My friend over at bdsworld posted a link to an essay by Naomi Wolf, Fascist America, in 10 easy steps. I'm pretty cynical politically, and this has me wondering if I've been to complacent and naive.

I went to the doctor, the ear, nose, throat guy. The Ent. I was hoping he'd move slow like Treebeard. No real resolution there either. Maybe acid reflux so he recommended trying an acid blocker in the evening. Even though I've not had that or even felt heartburn since I changed my eating habits last August, I'm hopeful. The woman drawing blood at the lab slipped and pushed the needle way too far. It hurt like the blazes. I've had painful sticks before but this one was more akin to stepping on a nail than any previous shots.

Terrific way to start the day. No news from the director. No news from the doctor. The sensory experience of having a stake driven into the inside of the elbow. Okay, so it would have to be a small stake. It still wasn't fun. Maybe I'll get even with a steak for dinner.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Impatiently Waiting

Thanks for the nice comments! I'm getting more enthralled with the idea of our offices in Montreal, Toronto, New York, London, Ireland... They are much smaller and on some have database programmers, and I've been trying on the idea.

I'm back to waiting to hear back on my callback. I'm feeling a little backed up. We're supposed to know today. I'd sure love the chance to do Shakespeare again this Summer. Last year it was part of the curriculum, and this year it's still a hope. I'm hopeful from the callback last Tuesday, though not sanguine.

I've had a sore throat for over a month. Not the raspy raw kind, but the achy, like a strained muscle feeling, though I think it is nothing of the sort. Not that I have any clue. I thought it was simply allergies, and I still haven't ruled it out. It got especially bad this weekend from Saturday to Sunday evening, when even breathing seemed to hurt a little.

I don't know which is making me more anxious. I'm not crawling out of my skin, but feel slightly on edge. Is it the wait to find out about casting? Worries that my chewing tobacco habit from '80-'99 could be coming back to haunt me? To be honest I think they are both silly things to worry about. I'll be cast or not. My throat will be something simple or not. I don't usually fret about things like that when I can reduce them to items which are out of my hands for the moment. Why now? Maybe with the upheavals in my life and their concomitant opportunities raising the stress in my life it takes much less to make me feel edgy at the moment.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Here And Then

My GreenStage callback last night was pretty fun. If only I could make the initial audition as fun. I don't like to say it went well, as that implies the auditor thought so too. Also, from being on the other side of the process, I know a good audition only gives the director a choice. It doesn't give you a role.

I read for Edward IV, Brakenbury, and Stanley. In that order. I like them all, perhaps Stanley the best, or maybe Edward IV. Is it a good sign when they keep giving you more scenes to read? I went in expecting one, then stayed around for another, and again for a third. I was also handed a monologue for Richard, imagine my 'discontent' when that changed. Clarence too. Could it mean they were having trouble casting roles and were hoping to find something I could work with? Or, could it mean they liked my work but were struggling to find a suitable role for me. You could drive yourself crazy trying to figure that out. I think I'll let the director go crazy and keep looking for auditions until I hear back.

It really was fun. I'd get the sides and start reading. Instant analysis of a sort, noting the meter, meaning, and devices like punctuation, alliteration or breaks in the meter. Last year's work came flooding back. There wasn't time for in depth or comprehensive work, but enough to feel the life of the text. The chance to do so in the second to scenes where I had a partner made it all the more fun. When I was handed Richard's opening monologue when I first arrived, only to have it changed after a few minutes, those few short minutes brought out more than I'd ever gotten from watching that monologue before. Shakespeare truly takes care of the actor if you can figure out how to listen. Everyone that I met there, I'd like to work with. My fingers are crossed until Friday or Monday when we'll be notified...

As I edge towards post number 500 I reflect. When I started this blog in June 2004, I was finishing up my first dedicated training program, a one year Meisner Progression. It gave me naturalistic tools I'm still assimilating. Two years later, last year, I was finishing up a professional conservancy program. I'm still assimilating much of that too. Working with Shakespeare competently enough to be considered seriously is a huge step for me. I'm certainly not satisfied, but the times when you can feel your growth are little treasures. Rare and priceless.

While I'm moving forward as an artist, the rest of the world moves forward too. Friendships and relationships evolve and devolve. The blogosphere folks I met when I first started are all either retired or very infrequent. (Should I move on too?) My family situation has moved from a bit dysfunctional to mostly non-functional. My old friends are still around, and some new ones. It occurs to me I'm acting with a company I've never worked with before, and if I'm cast as a result of last night's callback I'll be with yet another new group. My old friends are still around but those relationships are changing. Different jobs, significant others, moving. All the things which make life... well life. Maybe that is why I'm feeling a bit of wanderlust. With one or two exceptions the relationships I had when I started this blog have moved into very different dynamics, all of which seem to be loosening ties. And in the back of my being something I've not felt a desire for in many years. A longing to be close to another. Not at the forefront by any means, but the desire to grow is may be moving beyond simply getting my own house in order. So to speak.

Another year or two from now I may not be in this area. This state. This country. This continent. I may be here but in very different circumstances. I feel the momentum building. So to speak.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Come On Down

So, I don't have strep, but something is wonky. Maybe another virus clearing up. Or maybe I had strep and the symptoms outlasted the infection? I'd better not get another bug for a long time.

I have a callback with Greenstage for Richard III. Of course it turns out I have rehearsal that night too. I sure hope I can work something out. I like Greenstage, Shakespeare, and of course Richard III... And I need lots of sleep right now. This isn't designed to make it any easier. Sometimes whatever grand design there is seems obscure.

It's frustrating, but not a hard choice. Not really a choice at all when it comes down to it. I'd love the opportunity to work for Greenstage. If push comes to shove, Arsenic And Old Lace comes first. Not because I love the play, or that it is special to me because it was the first play I ever saw with my Dad when I was seven, or because it is a great group to work with. Nope, it is a straightforward ethical question. I'll ask, but not fuss or worry about it if I can't work out something. It's happened before. It's all part of being an actor. Rejection. Missed opportunities. And why? So you can go out on the boards and bring something special to the audience, which in turn fills and comforts your soul.

PS - Noon Friday: My rehearsal schedule was moved around due to other conflicts so I'll be available for the callback. I'll still have to work for that, but I'm tickled all the same. If I get cast I'll have to find a new brass ring. For now, I'm having my cake and eating it too. I'm home from work sick, the gray lining on my silver cloud. I managed to sleep in quite late, in preparation for the nap I'm about to start. Three devices in one paragraph. I'm not lucid yet.

Getting Bugged

I still feel pretty yucky. Oh joy, just what you want to read about. Last year I was slammed with ETI (full-time professional conservatory training for acting) and a full time job. Basically 80 hours a week. I only had minor health issues, and this year I've been getting every cold, bug, or flu from anyone within 100 miles. I'm working the fourth(?) rehearsal process since graduating last July, and I've been dealing with some bug or another for each one. Crap.

I believe one of the skills we gained last year was a better ability to analyze our own work and make adjustments to whatever process we're using to improve. Overall I'd guess that is the most critical tool. For me it is. Without that all the other tools would have no foundation or grounding. I'd like to not feel compromised by the need to recover from some damn bug. Now it's a sore throat, and while I've not checked I'd guess I'm running a fever. My officemate is out, and I just found out he is out with a sore throat, and he and his family are running fevers.

Life's not bad though. I feel frustrated with my current rehearsal process and may even skip my chiropractor appointment and/or Al-Anon tonight to simply get extra sleep. Last night I had my first "Personal Clown" class. I can't tell you much about it yet, but I'm looking forward to the class for lots of reasons. Getting back into some dedicated physical work is always good for me. I have a significantly different physicality now, and that is something to explore. Second, I've wanted to take this class for years, because of the work I've seen others do and now with a light rehearsal schedule I have the opportunity. Third, with some of the writing I'm doing accessing some of those deep places is important, and the physical work helps me both get to those places, and deal with the emotions and ghosts that rip me up in the process. Fourth, and related is the solo type piece I've mentioned. I feel a need to find ways to communicate apparently contradictory things at the same time. Words, action, and physicality gives you three modes. The second, and especially the third are especially supported by this kind of work.

Anyway, the class was great yesterday, despite the fact I've been feeling really off. It is interesting to do this kind of word again. The weight change in turn changes the way I move and increases my range of movement. The conservatory work last year has changed my class experience. I've been knocking myself for seeming to be sickly during rehearsals. It is odd, because overall my health is much better and more robust than any time in the last ten or more years. I have noticed my work is better. My standards and expectations are much higher too. So doing the work in class last night I noticed it was much easier to drop into the work, let go of ideas and play/work.

Damn. I think I may leave work early for the doctor. I just found out my officemate and his family have strep...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Words Count
(Ya' dumb morons...)

The latest 'leak' from the Oval Office is deliciously dysfunctional for so many reasons. Nobody wants the job of War Czar. You'd think of all the qualified, experienced, career (thus political) general officers the white house begged, they could find at least one who would take the chance to oversee the tough but improving and winnable war they started. Kind of embarrassing really. They tried to keep it quiet, don't want anyone to think that the real experts see the task as something more than tough, and less than winnable. That is the spin. It is my theory they leaked the story about seeking a "War Czar."

Have we forgotten overseeing wars is the Secretary of Defense's job. After all, it used to be called the Secretary of War. Pretty big statement on how the administration feels about Secretary Gates, eh? Remember when Gates was first appointed he expressed a desire to shut down the torture cells, er concentration camp... Oh sorry, I shouldn't be leading the reader that way. He wanted to shut down the Gitmo holding pens for the uncharged, unnamed, unrepresented human beings rounded up through questionable methods. The white house slapped him right down.

Then after serving for several months Secretary Gates reiterated his desire to close the Gitmo camps. Has anyone else noticed this coincidence? The white house is deliberately undermining the Secretary of Defense. He's not quite the rabid lap dog rummy was, and doesn't buy all of their agenda. This must be a premeditated assault on the Secretary of Defense for not toeing the party line. It doesn't matter if they find a new scapegoat or not. They will have castrated Secretary Gates whether or not they actually find some loser to be War Czar. If they aren't called on it, it is a win-win situation for taking down yet another man with a spine. They can't fire him right now. They are seeing the flap at the Justice Department over improper firings, and can't afford another blatant slash and burn trail coming back to them.

To top it off they are insulting the entire American electorate once again. "Homeland Security" is a bad enough label, intentionally conjuring up pictures of goose stepping in the name of Der Faterland in the 30's and 40's or in the name of The Soviet in the 40's to the 90's. These aren't accidental names, the coincidence is too much too swallow.

Now we have the white house pining for a "War Czar". The provenance for any word or concept drives it's usage, and just because we don't like the idea of our leaders using role models we consider disgusting does not negate the probability. These kind of terms make it harder to deny what has become a bit too obvious to all by the most obtusely dense.

Let's get back to my playing with what to call the atrocity of the Gitmo detention camp. Maybe we should be consistent and use the precedent set by the story leaked to undermine the Secretary of Defense. How would a czar deal with a perceived threat? You got it. Let's give the detention center a descriptive and accurate title. Gulag.

It's all in their words.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How Much Room?

Arggg. Another wretched audition.

I had the weirdest case of nerves, which in turn amplified the normal butterflies. I've had this persistent sore throat for several weeks, which I attribute to a slight scalding and allergies. Whatever it was I felt ill last night long after the audition was over, and pretty cruddy this morning. I put two and two together. I had two chocolate bars I'd eaten over the last few days while I was driving. I remembered I had the same feeling Sunday afternoon and evening after I drove to and from Beth's. More so yesterday after I drove to the audition. They weren't organic, which has me wondering if it as an allergic reaction to something. I've never had a real food allergy, or at least not a systemic one. It better be some additive and not chocolate. I'll just give up chocolate for several days. Damn. I hope the organic stuff is okay. I'll wait until Saturday to try. Maybe Friday...

On the up side the audition was a world better than the last. How many galaxies of worlds will I need to go through? Feeling sick is no excuse. Unless you're at death's door you don't miss a performance, so it is just something you deal with. And some illnesses can actually bring out things you'd missed, though only a crazy person would try to get a productive illness. It doesn't seem to be true for auditions anyway.

I changed more within the monologues. Not nearly enough, but a definite move forward. Much less feeling like I was a grade school reciting in a cavernous gym for a PTA function. It is that kind of nasty echoey room, which brings out those feelings. I auditioned for the same company, Greenstage, for The Skin Of Our Teeth in the same room in December. It didn't bother me nearly so much now that I expected it. It wasn't so bad in the Shakespeare audition I did a couple weeks ago either. Why do so many rehearsal/audition spaces have the same acoustics as a steel pipe?

Added wrinkle. The monologues I picked were both ones I used in class last year. I hadn't worked them as audition pieces before, but they are like old friends. I was forgetting words. And I knew it a line or two ahead of time. I used a different Iago monologue that last time, one I know as well or better.
Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgment cannot cure. ...

In my cutting this was the end, and I couldn't remember the word jealousy. I sometimes inadvertently skip "At least" but I've never forgotten "jealousy". Not even when I haven't run the lines for months. I could see the train wreck coming. Part of my mind is racing and thinking, "What the fuck is that mofo'ing word!?"

Did they see my anger (appropriate) as I was trying to remember the approaching wordless word? Or did they see me flailing (not appropriate)? At least I didn't make unintentional weird pauses. My frustration and anger built until I got there, and I spat out the word "frenzy". It worked, almost. There were multiple places like that. Hey I didn't fold and run out of the room crying. No matter how much I wanted to. Butchering Shakespeare in front of people who have been living with him at least twenty years longer is not a happy time.

Maybe it wasn't quite the travesty I thought. They elicited a little chat from me as I was leaving. I do like to chat. Or maybe it was pity. Well, I had no rehearsal conflicts, put down my portable set/prop design and fabrication experience, and I know several people in the company. If that gets me a callback or role, I'm okay with that. Last time I was surprised to see Ken at the audition, but he's directing so I was pretty sure I'd see him this time. It's different when you know the auditor, even casually. Maybe I will get a callback. They saw me just a few months ago, and while my audition may not have seen better from the auditors table they at least know I'm a perniciously persistent pest now.

On the way out I chatted with the stage manager, Steve, whom I know from several productions with Next Step and Exchange Theatre. I avoided the temptation to gripe how I'd crashed and burned and just caught up a bit while I decompressed for the drive home. And speaking of drives home, if I'm out of rehearsal early enough tonight I think I'll watch a spot of the bard tonight. I have about fifteen dvd's and videos to choose from. Tragedy or comedy? Aaron, Iago, Richard III? Bottom, Caliban, Falstaff? All this thought, and with my luck we'll work the scenes in reverse order and it won't matter if I decide.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Easter is a time I am reminded of the grand scale of human potential. Hope on the one hand, our despairing failure to improve the human condition on the other. We are driven by love and compassion, fear and greed; caring and community, isolation and callousness. We stone queers, abortionists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, thieves, addicts, prostitutes, etc. All in the name of Jesus, who refused to even stone a whore, and instead embraced her into his life. Money and it's trappings conquers all in our society. SUV's, throw away electronics, slavery off-shored, using the rest of the world alternately as our personal goldmine and garbage heap.

Yet there is hope. The movie V for Vendetta states it nicely on the grand scale. "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people." This should be an absolute, and applicable to any group which exerts power. Be it government, corporation, church, temple, or Camp Fire Girls. Our current privatized government spends every hour of every day trying to subvert that, keeping the population paralyzed in terror. They are still a little afraid of us, no matter how much secrecy and perverted patriotism in which they self-enshroud, they fear the electorate may wake up. As a result we are seeing the American Hubris play out around us, even through our blithe irritation at trivial matters like shoddy products (made by our off-shored slaves). The debate should not be whether we are living in a state of hubris. The question is will the American people go down with the corrupt rulers and corporations we serve? It is a loaded, leading question. Appropriately so. We should not be serving them. They should be serving us. Only a moron or coward would refuse to acknowledge this.

I'm writing quickly, because I've a full day planned. I've already walked to the barrista for my caffeine treat, just finished that and a nice hot breakfast. Hoping for a long enough break in the weather to mow the lawn. Oh, and I've already worked a couple monologues for tomorrow's audition, and need to do a lot more. There lies the hope. I'm moving forward, still not sure where but I feel the changes spiritually, intellectually, physically, emotionally. Now, I've always thought the deathbed confession was pure bullshit. Actions speak louder than words. Yet, we communicate through words. They are the tools, and the underlying actions are what matter. I feel I'm building my vocabulary of action, to say something meaningful. I don't know if it will have meaning for one single person in the world. That is a daunting thought. "You can't love anyone until you can love yourself." That corollary is a component of the concept I'm trying to communicate.

Yesterday I spent three or four hours writing. Didn't have something planned just started writing. About eleven pages, something with the feeling of an impending train wreck. It left me emotionally drained and tired, and wanting to study the artistic pursuit I'd made up for one of the characters. I may submit it for a one act contest my folks pointed me to. In another 3-4 hours I think I'll have something workable, a harsh slice of life piece which could serve as a start for a full length script.

Now, it is time to see if I can get the mower started and cut the front lawn. Black clouds were moving in. The weather will drive part of my day. I will come back to the writing on that script, and whether it is a 30-60 minute editing session or another couple hours is up to the weather gods. I leave at three for dinner at Beth's, and in between other activities I need to keep exploring the monologues to keep my slow audition improvement moving.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Now, Wasn't That Nice

Whoops, I was typing along yesterday and left a last name. Fixed that. It was one of those casual friends who you think of by their entire name to place them in the scheme of your universe.

I woke up just fine today, no free floating anger. Just tossing a good part of the night -- too much coffee, too late. I meant to get decaf, and should have poured it out. I actually enjoyed and got a good deal out of the Al-Anon meeting last night, and for the first time look forward to the next one. If you ever find yourself in a situation where such a meeting is appropriate go even if you don't feel like you want or need it. It would have helped me deal with my mother and uncles 25 years ago if I'd gone. I'm dealing with that as much as the current addict. I've referred to my mother and uncles as life force vampires for a long time. It is an apt description for any addict. As they destroy their lives, is there a drive to suck the juice out of other people for themselves?

I'm going to the opera tonight. I always look forward to that, and this is the Seattle Opera Young Artist's production of Verdi's Falstaff. Rehearsal for Arsenic And Old Lace tomorrow, then seeing Inherit The Wind in Renton. Finally, Easter dinner with Beth and Peg (her mom) on Sunday afternoon. It's shaping up to be a pretty darn good weekend.

The anger I woke up with Thursday as a result of an intense show which resonated with my personal situation was helpful. It brought to a head something which was bothering me deeply, and I had to either bury it deeper or deal with it. I chose the latter, and feel 100% better. It was a good solid show, and would have affected me in any case. Very strong, but not a spectacular show. It was life changing for me though. I've been to shows which were life-changing because they were so damn good, spectacularly so. R. Buckminster Fuller at the Intiman, Journey's End by Exchange Theatre, and King John by Upstart Crow. There are others I remember because they were damn good and I had some connection to, like Rachel's Medea, Proof at the Bathhouse, and The Accrington Pals by Exchange Theatre. Knowing that a good solid and truthful show can have the same affect because of one's life situation is powerful. It is also a motivation to give your all to any show.

Today's been a good day. I spoke for an hour, a meeting for stakeholders in a project. It's called a dev initiative, a project that is conceived and driven by a programmer. This is for a massive data clean up process, which will be automated dropping old data automatically while keeping some around longer. This is to support people who use the system as a critical aspect of their job, while keeping the space requirements in check and enhancing performance. Otherwise the other folks who own this critical system will revoke their access making their job much harder.

I think I have come up with a working solution that will make things much better for all concerned. Not only was I explaining the change in process as will be enforced by changed permissions and the automation I'll program, I was selling the change. I had fun though. In conclusion after questions were answered I said, "This is basically a friendly way of instituting what could feel like draconian requirements. Like Teddy said, 'Speak softly, but carry a big stick.'" The light-hearted chuckling response told me I accomplished my goals. I explained the new process. I got buy off. I have, for now anyway, enlisted the stakeholders as partners in the project. A tricky balance, as I want to have two way communications on this, so they are empowered both to affect change and get clarification in response to concerns.

Now I'm eating some reheated fried rice. One of my comfort foods. In a few minutes I'll be heading out for some errands including a stop at LensCrafters. I destroyed my last pair of glasses pretty quickly, and I called them a couple hours ago. They had one more pair of the clearance frames I got a couple months ago, and now I can read the super titles at the opera without having the lens fall out. Yup, it's an auspicious start to the weekend.

Happy Easter my friends.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Maundy on Thursday, Tuesday on Wednesday

I woke up before 6am, angry.

Normally I'd be miffed for waking up so early. But this was different. I thought of the massive mess and evil our government has dropped on us at the bidding of the 'marketplace'. Then of how the republicans are making their dream of nominating hilary for the democratic ticket has gone so far. Not that she wouldn't be an improvement over the war criminal in chief, but I'd rather have a leader than a poll sitter. I tried to lighten my mood with a little humor. Why do the republicans attack her so venomously? She stood by her man despite his world famous philandering, a family values woman to put them all to shame. Oh, that's what irritates them...

Then I realized I could make it to my old Kiwanis Club meeting, but then I thought about why I lost interest, and a minor part of it was Jeff's active discouraging people from going to the shows I invited them too. You Can't Take It With You was too much of a drive. The Nazi Nearest You was simply another tedious holocaust movie. He'd never seen it or listened to a summary, as it was a new work, just loudly attacking my project in perjorative absolutes from a position of utter ignorance. (I bet he's a republican.) Then doing the same thing about The Cherry Orchard because it was just another depressing Chekhov tragedy. More proud loud ignorance for Chekhov and the play for no apparent reason except to elevate his image of himself. Why the Hell did I relive all of that, it didn't bother that much at the time, which was a long, long time ago.

Then I thought about Easter coming up, and my disgust with the christian community's embracing of fear, exclusion, and persecution. Even my one time accepting creed has jumped on the bandwagon to stone queers in the public square, and wondered if they'll see the irony at all as they go to the Maundy Thursday services tonight.

Still these are old issues, and the ire for Kiwanis and Methodist felt ridiculous and petty, as they were, plus they are simply not important issues to me. That is what caused me to stop my spinning, attaching free-floating rage to every thought. I saw a powerful show last night, and it affected me. Tuesday. This was produced by Annex Theatre, about a man suffering from Korsakoff's Syndrome.

I spent the evening experiencing the destruction of a man and all his relationships by addiction (alcohol) as revealed through the process of trying to recover his memory. I thought of my situation with my relative/friend. Will I ever see him again? I think saying it's fifty-fifty may be too optimistic. I made it very plain at the intervention I will not enable any longer, and those are the consequences. I'm okay with that, I don't want to go down that dark water line again, but I have to acknowledge it makes me very angry. I guess I still care about him, otherwise I wouldn't get so angry about the situation. It still hurts knowing that he doesn't care a rat's ass about me. I want to let him off the hook by saying it's because of the coke and opioids. That's enabling for him and destructive for me. Disease or not at some level it is a still a choice. I believe I need to write him off for now. I don't want to. I've put off accepting it. However I try to avoid it, for my own well-being I need to let go. It's a hard choice I've had to make too many times in my life with my family, for the same reasons. I hate it every single time. It heals me, so I know I have to do it. I realized I used up my trust in January. I knew it at the time, and kept hoping for a happy ending. That may still happen. Right now it is anything but a happy ending.

Al-Anon tonight. It's the same meeting I've been to several times. I missed it last week as I got caught in social interaction. I suppose that was more important at the time, but this week the meeting looms with a lot of importance for me. They drive me crazy. There's the people that discuss their enabling behavior without seeing it. People who talk much too long about the latest incident by adding every bit of historical context as though nobody else knows what they are going through. I wonder if that isn't part of the power of the meetings. You see the different stages and methods people use to cope, and realize you're all flawed together. The fray that binds.