I had a delicious panic attack on the train this morning. I get on and sit down and the anxiety begins. I was dripping with perspiration. It was awful. I tried breathing deeper and relaxing, closing my eyes… nothing worked. Eventually it passed – after 10 minutes though. I don’t know what the trigger was either. Then the train stopped because of a fire a few stops down and they turned the power in the car off. No panic attack. Nothing. I was late and missed my haircut appointment but no anxiety episode. Why can’t I have anxiety attacks over the important things?
I still can’t believe this shit is happening:
Since taking office, President George W. Bush and his top aides have refused to allow two states to expand family planning services for poor women, reimposed a ban on abortion counseling at health clinics abroad, released a report questioning the effectiveness of condoms and proposed eliminating contraceptive coverage for federal workers. Public health experts inside and outside the federal government are becoming increasingly concerned that the emerging approach is based more on ideology than science, and that the changes might reverse recent successes in reducing adolescent pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. “At each instance,” said Judith Lichtman, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, Mr. Bush “has chosen to act not in a moderate way but in an extreme way.” Last week, officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health tried in vain to block the release of a report that concluded there was “insufficient evidence” that condoms prevented most sexually transmitted infections. Health care providers warned that the report was dangerously misleading.
It just feels like they’re chipping a way bit by bit at any kind of sexual responsibility or freedom or choice. Glad I don’t have a womb.
I fired an actor tonight. He’d missed three rehearsals with little warning. One of the other actors saw him on the train and is like, ‘You going to rehearsal?’ and he’s like, ‘I don’t know. I guess.’ I’m sorry? Huh? Luckily there were two characters in the play whose casting never intersects so I turned to Bert and said, ‘ya wanna play Joe?’ He’s excited. The worst part is I had to fire the guy over voicemail because I couldn’t get a live call to him all weekend. That and his voicemail cut off so I had to leave two messages. It feels good to be no-nonsense about this. It just makes no sense to me why someone would agree to do a play they’re not interested in. You’re not being paid so why bother? Oh well. I thought I was very diplomatic. We open in a week and a half and I can’t dick around anymore. One of the actors asked me if I knew it was impossible for her to get to rehearsal at 7. I mean I got the clue since she’s always late. But come on, folks. Can we be adults and drop the passive-agressive shit? That’s what I get for casting someone in the 847 area code, I guess. Brigitte joked, ‘yeah – so you’re done with this casting people you haven’t worked with before shit, right?’ Heh.
Oh – I ran 9 miles this afternoon before rehearsal.
Found some toy dart guns at Target that will be good for my assault rifle needs. I forgot to blog that I bought a copy of Soldier of Fortune magazine just for kicks at the ghetto grocery last week. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet – but it was the magazine that was most opposite my personality. That and Black Hair magazine. This morning was very, very busy. I’m consciously slowing down now for the rest of the day. Got more Sinister postcards being printed at Kinko’s as I write this. Send them a huge print job from work too – I always forget that this is a big-ass company and there’s always someone to delegate shit to. Why should I stand at a copier or light candles and sprinkle holy water on our godforsaken ColorJet when Kinko’s can do it for me? C_____ said I can go to the coaching conference. ROCK ON! It’s three days of work I’ll be gone, hanging out and taking workshops. Love it. Very excited about this.
I think I’ve got everything done for the day – and it’s only 2:13 – though now I have a boring meeting with a vendor about a roll-out that I really don’t have very much to do with but for some reason I’m a part of.
Matt’s taking the role. Of course tonight one of the actors didn’t show up at all. No phone call. Nothing. What the fuck is that?
Went to Carol’s Pub (Live Entertainment, Hot Sandwiches) – a total dive bar (it’s got Old Style as their marquee). Tonight was karaoke night so we knew there’d be live entertainment but we have yet to see a sandwich – much less a hot one. Karen said she was going to go up to the bartender and say, ‘Can I see the Sandwich?’ As if there’s one sandwich they keep under glass with a little Bunn warmer underneath it so they can qualify to have Hot Sandwiches on their marquee – or what if they just had Hot Sandwich? That’d be funny. Sort of like the Shroud of Turin. Or not. I felt much better after tonight’s rehearsal. I feel like this can all come together. The actors finally realized that they get to run around with guns and be badasses so they were especially peppy tonight. And they’re finally starting to come out of their shells. Lots of laughing tonight – some parts of the play are just too ridiculous.
Trying to find someone to replace one of the actors for the final weekend of the show. This actor took this other gig full-well knowing that he probably couldn’t make it to my show in time. That just really frosts my ass. So I’m being ultra passive-agressive and sending someone else in to play him for those two performances. I sent the script to Alan but he’s too tied up with impending husbandhood – he thought the script was really disturbing though. I dunno – I guess it’s sorta freakish – I mean the shit that comes out of my brain is so bent anyway that I don’t think it’s nearly fucked up as it could be until the final few scenes. Offered the role to Jen Joplin and she said she’d do it if I can’t find someone else – so I’ve now tossed it to Matt. Hopefully he’ll bite. I hope.
Today I did a little exercise during lunch. I made a list of all of the projects I have a hand in or support. Over 15 different systems and processes. Half of those I’m the back-up admin for. This is bullshit. I was all over the place today. Worked on at least a different task every hour – I talk to other people in my department, “Is it just me or does it feel like everything is spinning out of control?” It really is starting to get nutty. Boxing was good this morning – Jerome started teaching some left-handed stuff and I’m trying to keep all the foot work straight in my head. Probably doesn’t help that when he’s saying ‘left-right-left’ I’m thinking chass? or ‘pivot-turn-and-get-outta-there’ turns into pas de bourr?e. Ah, the worlds of dance and boxing collide. Still feel like a big wuss because my punches aren’t landing on the flat of my fist but on the knuckles. Patience. Beginner mind, right?
I was musing on the last time I had a female body in my arms… thinking about her body… sumptuous breasts presenting themselves to my mouth as her back arched and her full hips began to writhe… it’s been a while.
Tomorrow is Sinister smackdown. Half of the actors aren’t going as far with their characterizations as I would like. It’s funny because if you ask any actor – how’d you like to get to play four different diverse characters in one play – most would be foaming at the mouth to show off their versatility. I haven’t had to pull anyone back yet. It’s like some of them are concerned with appearing ‘cool’. And cool is something none of my characters are. Nice people are boring. Un-involved people are boring. Plays are about cunts and bastards. Talking to Brigitte today and mentioned how much Lingo’s feedback on the script meant to me and she said that Lingo said that she thinks Sinister is the best thing yet and that it really shows me continuing to evolve as a writer. I’m so dissolved in the production process right now that I forget I’m adding another work to my oeuvre – and Sinister feels like a step back into regular writing and play making. I gotta do an actor pep-talk and get them all to awaken their inner bad-asses.
Analysis of parallels between Fight Club and Calvin and Hobbes: is Jack really an older Calvin? Important quote to say to yourself as you imagine who your inner badass would be if awakened: “I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, I’m smart, capable, and most importantly, I’m free in all the ways you wish you could be.” Say that to the mirror tomorrow morning.
This past week passed July 23rd – I always try to mark the 23rd day of every month from my birthday – I did a quarterly report of Andy Enterprises in my journal. I made a three month plan for the coming quarter. I’m, as usual, trying to do too many things at one time. I keep mouthing off how I’m going to take it easy in September – who am I fooling? I got at least three websites to roll-out along with four other projects.
I’m hoping my boss will pay for me to go to the international conference of the International Coaches Federation for personal coaches – it’s just a few blocks up from work in three weeks – I want to go and party and take workshops. I’ve re-reading my texts from my training with CTI two years ago – personal coaching just seems like such a wonderfully relentless and productive occupation. I think what sucks about my current state is that I’m really good at all the technical computery stuff – I just don’t like doing it. Like my sister – we were bad-ass academics with math and science – we just don’t like doing it. I think we’re both puzzle-solvers when it comes down to it. I like being given a project and leave me alone and let me tinker. I realized this week why one of my co-workers talks so loud: hearing aid. I’ll never forget doing a play with so many old people that you could actually hear the audience breathing between your lines – that and I come out for scene three and I hear myself echoing in all the hearing aids in the audience followed by a high-pitched ‘yeeeeeeeeeee-eeeeeeeeeee-kcsh!’ as they get feedback. I have a new peeve: people breathing with their mouths open in public places – or really just in close proximity to me. When I can tell if the wino had Smirnoff or Skyy – you’re too fucking close!
I wanted to publicly thank Tartblog for her comments on my blog – it’s funny that you never know who’s reading this stuff… thanks Tart!
Lingo came to rehearsal for The Wine Seller (we’re rehearsing both plays in the same community center) and she’d read Sinister and loved it. She said she couldn’t put it down. That, for me, is a very good opinion because she had absolutely no idea what it was about or what to expect – plus she’s been in or seen all of my plays before so she knows what I’ve written before. It was a nice little perk for the evening. One actor out sick – I have yet to have the entire cast present at one rehearsal… argh! Getting some acting work done – still trying to be gentle with ’em and let them find some stuff before I start a little more influential guidance. Very glad I cast Sarah, she’s a great anchor for the cast and we share much common ground. I made post cards for the plays today at Kinko’s. Work sucked. And I’ve got four hours of meetings tomorrow and that totally sucks balls. Big time.
Today was one of those wonderful solitary days. Got in from clubbing at 4am and then slept to 8:30am and got up, worked out, went shopping (I’m on a quest for plain-front khaki shorts), went to the theatre bookstore and on the way back took my self to see Jurassic Park III. Why must we endure that moustache on William H. Macy? The movie was pretty straightforward – not much plot – just run from the dinosaurs. And again – the only kid in it has to have the standard issue kid-in-a-movie-with-a-1960s bowlcut. If I was stranded on an island of dinosaurs I’d be shaved head, loincloth and all Lord of the Flies in the first day. Of course the dinosaur animation was astounding. The pteranodon sequence was the best part of the whole flick. I only paid $5 to see the movie so I feel like that was worth it totally. And now I’m home and the four hours of sleep I had today is starting to point me towards slumber.
“In theory few men are as free as a playwright. He can bring the whole world on to his stage. But in fact he is strangely timid. He looks at the whole of life, and like all of us he only sees a tiny fragment; a fragment, one aspect of which catches his fancy. Unfortunately he rarely searches to relate his detail to any larger structure – it is as though he accepts without question his intuition as complete, his reality as all of reality. It is as though his belief in his subjectivity as his instrument and his strength precludes him from any dialectic between what he sees and what he apprehends. So there is either the author who explores his inner experience in depth and darkness, or else the author who shuns these areas, exploring the outside world – each one thinks his world is complete. If Shakespeare had never existed we would quite understandably theorise that the two can never combine. The Elizabethan Theatre did exist, though – and awkwardly enough we have this example constantly hanging over our heads.” – Peter Brook, the Buddha of Western theatre (courtesy of Greensprout)
Went to see Naked and Shameless in concert at Lyon’s Den. I had a good time – the Gap/J. Crew crowd didn’t seem to get it though – plus, Matt was coming from opening night of a play so he was already in a really ornery mood – but that’s what makes Buck ‘Fuckin’ Naked so much fun. They sing this song whose only lyrics are ‘Let’s get fucked up. Let’s do some stuff. Let’s get fucked up.’ I love it. I felt a little out of place because I was dressed for clubbing in olive khakis and a black muscle-shirt. I was the only guy there showing shoulder – ah well. Did I mention how goddamn hot it is in this city? Had to leave one of the clubs early because I was just over-heating. I’d drunk a tall bottle of water on the way to the bar and it was determined to all sweat out before the night was over. Felt sort of gross. Met Richard for a drink at Sidetrack, it seemed to be geriatric Fridays for some strange reason. A lot of male pattern baldness in da house. Then went to Roscoe’s and saw N******, A___, Dan and Michael. Stayed there probably an hour and taxi-ed home. Going to Ikea with Brigitte this morning/afternoon, dinner with Jim @ 6. This is the kind of weather where you just want to take a cool shower every three hours – makes me think of Body Heat or Streetcar Named Desire. Designed an album cover for my trance CD – if I ever finish it – if I ever really start it. It’s gonna be called Visionary Muffin-Pan. That is how Beth once described me – that I have all of these different visions that bake up in different compartments, themes and media. I love Beth. Wish she’d stop this ‘I love my family’ foolishness and move back up here to party with us.