I thought I heard something, but...
There's nothing back here. Just a couple ladders and an extension cord. And complete silence.
So weird...it sounded like...no, that's ridiculous. How could I have thought that? Your mind plays tricks on you when you're by yourself. The imagination is like a runaway train.
Nope. I will put it out of my mind. Three hours before Jim is supposed to be back, and I refuse to be the little woman cowering in fear because of some noise I thought I heard.
I'll just sit patiently, and wait.
After much loud meowing, the man finally acquiesced, and allowed the cat out into the hall. She bounded out eagerly into the hallway...and stopped. She looked around. Looked to the end of the hallway, then around, then up at the ceiling, then back at the man, watching her expectantly from the open door.
Her gaze was reproachful, as if to say, "THIS is where you spend 8 hours a day? MAN are you LAME."
The cat turned tail and walked back into the apartment, and never meowed to be let out again.
WHO THE HELL IS YORICK?
Put on the shelf, taken off the shelf, they throw me up and down, toss me around and call me Yorick.
MY NAME IS STAN. Not even Stanley, just Stan. That's it. I used to sell insurance, in Butte, Montana. I had a wife and four kids. And one day I wound up here on the shelf, with all sorts of over-dramatic people calling me Yorick.
Hamlet, the play is called. It's Shakespeare. Oh, I definitely know who Shakespeare is. I had to read King Lear in college - what a SNORE. Never read Hamlet, though. I knew there was a skull in it, and now, I guess I am that skull. I'm not sure what it's about, I'm thinking it's about death, since there's that whole to be or not to be thing that comes from it, and of course, ME, the skull.
Obviously, I have a lot of time to ponder, here on this shelf. The lady behind me grows more beautiful by the day - she's mute, though, never says anything. I wish she'd speak. Then I could tell her my real name. I'd so love to hear someone call me Stan again, and from her styrofoam lips, it would be magic.
Skittles and Red Vines and Dots - oh my!
Sugar beans and sugar pits...candy nibs and chocolate bits! Jelly babies and sour patch kids; jolly ranchers under licorice lids.
Hi. It's very blue at dusk tonight.
More than last night?
Yes. Can't you tell?
No - I've got dark windows on.
I look innocent, don't I? Always a part of you. I follow you around everywhere, tethered as we are. So familiar to you that you barely even notice me.
I've seen everything you've ever done, you know. I have my opinions, but I keep them to myself.
Would you notice if I suddenly weren't here? Would you freak out?
There are things I'd like to do, you know. You think I'm merely a part of you that must always follow...but what if...what if I got away? What would you do? What would *I* do?
I ponder it often, especially when I see myself through your eyes...the delight of knowing how unnerved you would be if you suddenly saw me detach from you and...and what?
I could do anything. I could sleep with your boyfriend, for starters. Would he even be able to tell, in the dead of night? I could go out and rob a bank. Kill some folks. I wonder if we have the same fingerprint, and they'd trace it all to you?
I could apply for all those jobs you pass up because you think you're not quite qualified or haven't figured out how to write the perfect resume.
I could write letters to everyone you know. What would I say? Hmmmm...what can you imagine?
One day, I may find a way to detach.
You should probably be a little afraid.
The winter street speaks...
If you stand still enough to hear it.
The wan Seattle sun sets into
a frigid January night -
no one stays outside long.
Get off the bus, walk briskly those two blocks home.
Park the car, sprint to the door.
The dog gets a quick walk -
No lingering trip around the lake tonight.
But the winter street is out and about.
Icy lamps casting frozen diamonds in the grass
Telling tales of hidden treasure, if you listen hard enough.
Skeletal trees make brittle arches towards the sidewalk
And cars, like silent sentinels growing a moss of frost.
The winter street offers secrets
Inviting any who catch its whispers
To step into this quiet mystery of freezing dark.
So, I've decided to challenge myself to write more using photos as a catalyst. Every day this year, I will take a photograph of something that speaks to me - hopefully they will not all be of Vixen, since she speaks very loudly sometimes! - and write an accompanying narrative. It might be fiction - it might be fact. It might be haiku, or short play or recipe. I dunno - but let the floodgates of inspiration bust open! Today's is offering number one.
This ground looks innocent enough, I suppose. I never thought twice about it as I walked each day on my way home from the bus stop. I hoped I wouldn't get caught under there during an earthquake - who knows whether or not I-5 would buckle under the pressure?
The park and ride was just somewhere I walked to and fro at the beginning of the day and then again at the end. Sometimes I'd go by while walking to Bartell's or Whole Foods. I never thought I'd get stuck here forever and never be able to leave...
It happened so quickly I honestly couldn't have pinned the moment itself down. I was walking home from the bus - same as usual. I heard a loud noise and felt dizzy for a moment, but kept walking. I had almost cleared the bridge when I suddenly found myself back at the beginning of the bus stop again.
Except this time, there was the smoking ruin of an upside-down Lexus in front of me, and all sorts of people running over to the wreck. I ran towards it as well, being so close, yelling "Someone call 911!" I could see that someone was trapped underneath the wreckage, and I prayed a silent prayer she was still alive. I could see her shoes. That's odd, I thought, she has the same shoes as I do.
It was the next moment I realized something was horribly wrong, as a guy I recognized from my daily bus ride ran right through me. And I understood why the pinned woman's shoes were the same as mine.
I'm a shitty play-goer. There, I said it. Considering I've dedicated my life to the art and craft of the almighty theatre, it is a little embarrassing that I go and actually SEE theatre as little as I do (comparatively speaking). I use my financial situation as an excuse sometimes (which is not untrue - it is really hard for me to pay for anything costing upwards of $10), but of course, I have a ton of connections and can usually see things at a heavily discounted rate if not for free.
To be honest, I'm not that interested in seeing most stuff as I usually come away disappointed and find whatever I saw lacking. I much more of a snob about what I see than I am about what I participate in, as I've definitely participated in my share of turkeys.
Don't get me wrong: I've seen some AMAZING, life-changing theatre too...and if it were ALL like that, I wouldn't bother writing this; I'd probably be at the theatre. In fact, I'd probably be in rehearsal right now and that would probably be my day job because there would be lines around the corner for every play, and there would be many more actors getting paid WELL. But that is sadly not the case. I've really only seen a handful of plays that have changed my life:
1.) My Children! My Africa! written & directed by Athol Fugard at the La Jolla Playhouse, 1990
2.) The Sea Gull by Anton Chekhov, directed by Mike Nichols in Central Park at the Public Theatre, 2001
3.) Berlin to Broadway - A Kurt Weill Revue at The Bathhouse Theatre in Seattle, 1995
4.) The Tempest by Shakespeare, directed by Robin Lynn Smith at Freehold in Seattle, 2003
5.) Hiroshima Maiden by Dan Hurlin at University of Maryland, 2005
Yep - these are they. Not that everything else I've seen has been horrible...I've seen plenty of "good" stuff, but I can also see "good" on TV or at the movie theatre for less money. "Good" doesn't rock my world or make me think that much. I usually come away with "Wow, that was really a great performance by X actor, but the story was a little thin" or "That staging was really innovative and intriguing, even though I couldn't see some of it because the lighting was awful" or "Amazing story - too bad the director didn't know what he was doing"... etc. Often there is a really great seed of an idea that the company tries to do something with that just falls flat in one way or another.
These things are often really difficult to see from the inside of a production - you are working hard and you feel good about your performance...it is making you feel something, and as an actor, director or designer, it is making you feel something and transforming you...but it ends up not translating entirely to the audience for one reason or another.
With all that in mind, it is especially interesting to also work on the publicity side of things, in terms of encouraging people to come see something. I feel a little dishonest sometimes, like I'm not practicing what I preach. I come from different angles with each show I publicize, since not everything appeals to everyone and of course you want everyone to come, but it's especially important to hit your target audience for that particular show.
For example, working on Oedipus El Rey right now for eSe Teatro, there is the obvious population of affluent, theartre-going Latinos here in Seattle, and also ACT theatre's regular audiences. Those are kind of a given - but keeping the show itself in mind, what else? People who love Greek adaptations and classical theatre. High school and college groups? Do we tour it to the prisons as a public service? Social and other care workers that might benefit from the show's thematic material? At-risk youth?
Also, when trying to get people to come see something, you can't just say "It's great, come see it!" because that always begs the question "WHY? What makes it great?" So I try to take the path of inclusiveness, rather than what I call the "green beans" approach (Eat your green beans; they're good for you - come see art, it's good for you). I try to give them the answer to the "why" before they ask it, by posting blog entries solicited from actors/director/designers, etc about the rehearsal/creation process. By trying to come up with interesting partnerships with local businesses that might yield an audience member a special benefit when coming to the show (free cookie? Flower on Mother's day for all moms...heh heh...this would be interesting for Oedipus...). By trying to create an experience for the audience member that extends far past the attendance at a production through asking questions of them on internet sites, getting them to engage in the entire process through fundraising efforts, etc.
This is all very well and good, and kind of fun and creative for me, but does it actually resonate with audiences? Has it ever actually resonated with ME as an audience member? Good food for thought as I embark on this journey yet again. If anyone actually reads this, I would definitely appreciate your feedback on the situation as a whole!
There is a bus driver on the route 16 who has twice now very passive-aggressively tried to pick a fight with me.
Initially, I was just standing there, minding my own business, waiting for *MY* bus (the 316), but now, it's personal.
The issue: I don't want to ride his bus, so when it comes, I turn my head. Then one day last week, he stopped, opened up the bus door and said, in a very annoyed manner - but SMILING - as if I was a total moron, "You know, you can just STEP BACK if you don't want this bus."
I didn't initially say anything, but after he pulled away, I thought about it. I'm not a bus-riding novice. I've ridden King Cty Metro for over 20 years...nowhere are there any rules that say "step back if the bus arriving is not the one you want". Never have I been called out for not doing this, until now. If he had said it nicely, I would even comply. But I've ridden his bus before - I've seen him be extremely passive-aggressive with other riders when they annoyed him (there's a LOT of passive-aggressive behaviour in Seattle).
So, for the next few days, I would just turn my head away when I saw the 16 coming (but just couldn't bring myself to do what the bus driver said...yeah, out of SPITE). This went on without incident.
Then, this past Monday, I did the same, assuming it was acceptable, but he stopped and opened the door. The woman waiting with me for the 316 asked me "Did you want the 16?" I was about to reply, when the driver (same one) said, "You see? SHE can't even tell if you want to get on." I was about to reply to THIS, when he laughed and said "It's okay." Then proceeded to tell the woman, "I've told her and told her, but she still doesn't get it." Then he looked at me again, laughed, and said "It's okay". Then he pulled away.
WHAT THE FUCK??? You are probably trying to publicly shame me, but as an actor, I don't embarrass that easily. So, if it makes you feel better about yourself to stop your route, thus making all your ACTUAL RIDERS a little later to their destinations for the sole purpose of calling me out - KNOCK YOURSELF OUT! It isn't going to get you what you want, and at this point I would not set foot on your bus even if it were raining, midnight and I were being harrassed by thugs. So, hope you feel proud of bringi
Day to day thoughts, rants and mental detritus.