This morning I found out a dear friend of mine passed away in the wee hours of the morning from a brain tumor. She'd been sick for awhile...I'd know she was sick, but not how sick. I'd inquired a little and she downplayed it, made it seem like she was fine and was on an upswing. So, I forgot about it. Life, you know, busy with this project and that project, blah, blah, blah.
I can't know how she felt, so I can't really be angry for not being in the know - I could've investigated further, I could've pressed. I've never been in that position, so I don't know how I'd react. But I do wish I'd known more, so I could've at least told her what her friendship and sometime mentorship meant to me.
I took an Audition Intensive class with her in the summer of 2001 for three weeks, with a bunch of my good girlfriends. The class was totally practical and made me think of auditions in a different way than I had before - broke them down in such a way that I had something to do for every moment of the audition. It is a skill I have since passed down to my own students while I was in graduate school.
In Fall of 2001, one of my friends in the audition class wrote a short play and decided to produce it - she enlisted me and 2 other friends from the class to perform it later in February of 2002 in the Freehold Studio Series - and our teacher mentored the project. And after that, the five of us started hanging out together having tea on Wednesday afternoons before we all went scurrying off to our various rehearsals and projects. Thus we started calling ourselves the "Wednesday Tea Ladies".
We talked about theatre and acting. We talked about projects we could do together, and read some scripts that might work for us. I will always lament that we never got to do the "poker chicks" play together. It would've been awesome. We kvetched about enlightenment growing pains, about our jobs, our breakups. Stuff you talk about with your girlfriends.
Gradually, we all got busy with one thing and another, and drifted apart. I went to the east coast for graduate school - another of us moved to LA - one had a baby, one adopted a baby and the other moved back to Ireland. The last time I talked to my teacher/friend in person was sometime in July 2005, the Friday before I left for the east coast. There were a few emails sent after that, but I was busy with grad school and she was busy teaching and with her new baby.
She and her family moved back to NYC very shortly after I moved back to Seattle, and we never touched base, though we communicated from time to time on Facebook. But I never knew how sick she really was until this morning, when I woke up to several text messages on my phone, the first telling me she had really taken a turn for the worst, and the last telling me she had already passed away.
This has been a long day - I spent much of the morning crying. I have much more to say, but The Cat is demanding attention, so Part Two will have to be tomorrow.
So, the day is nearly over, and now I have less than 28 minutes to get my fifteen minutes of writing in before day's end. What I'm really hearing right now is my bed, singing the sweet siren song promise of well-deserved slumber, but I promised a month, and dammit, I'm going to do this for a whole damn month.
I seem to be struggling with a lack of basic time for myself. Part of it is self-imposed: after all, I didn't have to say "YES" to acting in The Young Man From Atlanta or eSe Amor. I could've turned one of them down. Starting this during this crazy-busy time may not have been the best move. As of Friday, I've been at either one rehearsal or the other, sometimes running from one TO the other every night. Until the 19th of Feb, I'm either at work, onstage, or sleeping. My cat is going to have a thing or two to say about this...she's not quite as understanding about it as my significant other. And after the 19th, it eases up a little for a little while, but then I've accepted roles in three different short pieces in the Double (XX) Fest...while also RUNNING the damn thing.
Isn't there some chick in a musical who "Cain't Say No"? That may be me. A friend in grad school remarked once the reason people offer me work all the time is because I say yes to it. While I tried to ignore the somewhat backhanded compliment (gee, I hope that's not the ONLY reason...) I started to wonder. Maybe it's okay to say no sometimes. I'm able to do this in other areas of my life - why not the artistic part? It wouldn't kill me to turn stuff down every once in awhile...might even be good for me. Part of this habit developed over many years of single life when it felt better to be rehearsing than home doing nothing and watching tv...but now, the idea of sitting home watching tv for a night sounds HEAVENLY...and doing it enough that I get bored of it and sit down to write a play, a poem, story or essay may be what I need to do.
I keep saying I'm going to be more discriminating about the parts I say yes to, but truthfully, there's a reason why I choose everything. I wanted to do Young Man to work with that director, even though the part is tiny. As for the eSe project, I pretty much say yes to everything they send my way because I love working with them, and they have picked some awesome projects and there are awesome projects coming down the pipe I want to be involved in...plus there's the whole feeling at home with that Latina part of myself that I will address in a future musing. As for the 3 Double (XX) pieces? One piece really spoke to me in a way none of the others did and a friend of mine is directing it; the other, I want to work with that playwright again, and still the other, I want to work with the director again. All are actually good reasons to say yes...none of them are "because I didn't want to sit home alone and feel sorry for myself" which, if I am honest with myself, has, on occasion, been true in the past.
So, what to do? Life is just not long enough for all the things I need to get done. BUT, I did manage to write for fifteen minutes tonight, with 10 minutes lef
Haven't written anything significant in the past year or so except PR for the theatre. And I'm SICK OF IT!!! I'm a writer. I've got lots of ideas and lots of things to say. Maybe I don't have the time to craft them into a play or poem right now, but come on, I can spare fifteen minutes per day outta my life to write SOMETHING.
So, I've decided, today, to force myself to at the VERY LEAST, write at least one blog entry per day for the next month.
I don't know what the hell I'm going to write about. Stream of consciousness? The meal I had for dinner? A poem? Musings about rehearsal? Who knows. But I NEEEEEED to write SOMETHING.
Before my head bursts, because I don't want to clean BRAIN off the flimsy cardboard walls of this frathouse masquerading thinly as an apartment building.
To brainstorm some essayesque topics:
My Crazy Boss
Gaslighting and its impact on ME
How Facebook Has Improved My Life (no joke)
FOOOOOOD and Why i Love it
My Life as a Cradle Robber
Using Art to Channel Insanity
Vixen The Rambunctious
I dunno. But I'm trying. Whether I even have an audience is not important - just that I DO something, before press releases, blurbs and ad copy about shows I'm not all that enthusiastic about become all I write. Maybe I'll try my hand at a restaurant review.
If anyone reads this, which I'm not really expecting, but if anyone is, TOPICS, more than anything, would be great. I just gotta do thi
Day to day thoughts, rants and mental detritus.