Archives for posts with tag: theatre

Hi folks. It’s been an interesting time out here in lala land.

Thanks to those of you who wrote me over the past month, the words of encouragement were a great boon when I was grasping to pull myself up from the downest of down places I’ve been since 2008.

Have I talked at all about 2008? No? I’ll leave it be then. Let’s just say it was the worst time of my adult life, as in post-college-living-for-real life.  And yet, I easily/painfully learned more that year than in the previous ten combined. I am grateful for it. I am not yet grateful for this year so far – although I’ve well-chronicled my troubles with gratitude.

These past few months have rivaled that year, to be sure. I wish I could say hey, thanks guys, you were totally right and my last post about being in over my head was just my fear talking and nothing more – everything turned out fine and dandy. Which, I guess on one level, it did if only because the show happened and is generally fine, but not without doing me some heavy emotional damage. That musical basically broke me. Broke my spirit. Broke my confidence. Broke my health. Somehow it even broke my queerness – which was the weirdest thing. I wasn’t gay enough for the stupid gay musical.  I kept/keep waiting for the time when the satisfaction of seeing it through to completion would wash over me, when I could step back and heave a well-deserved sigh of relief and say, “Wow. I’m glad I did that.”

Not gonna happen. I wish I had these three months back. Hell, I wish I had these three years I’ve been attached to this project back. I’ve never been so beaten by something with no return to show for it. Even my wise, wise lady, ever the voice of reason and diplomacy in my turbulent life, can’t figure out what I was supposed to learn from this one. Don’t do projects you don’t feel passionately about? I guess, maybe. Although that’s already a tenet I live by fairly successfully.

I think – I have just the barest glimmer – that maybe this lesson has something to do with my tendency to make decisions seeking glory instead of truth. Apparently I have just violently informed myself that I’m (cough) too old for that shit.

The best thing is that I never have to do it again. So I’m going to try and sleep it off – my exhaustion has reached new-found depths. And I do realize the extreme first-world nature of this crisis – boo hoo, I directed a musical and it didn’t go well, yikes. I have food and love and shelter and abundance. I just seem to have misplaced my spirit – I’m sure I left it lying around here somewhere.

It’s times like these I wish I had a good gay buddy to hang out with. Someone who would buy me a beer (or four) and take me accessories shopping and compliment my hair. Because damn if my hair doesn’t do well in a crisis.

I’m in over my head with this one. I’m directing this new musical, this project that I’ve been working on for three years – half-heartedly, I admit, for at least the last year.

And somehow the self-fulfilling prophecy, the prophecy that I’m not good enough, not creative enough, not strong enough to do this is playing out as planned.

We’re a month into rehearsals. We just got a stage manager this week – something unheard of in the world of professional performing – the stage manager is usually the first hire, before even the actors. And this stage manager’s brilliant assessment of the way things are going: “The cast totally doesn’t respect you.”

Thanks, thanks for your support. As if I didn’t know that.

I keep waiting for the time in my life when I get to do the things I KNOW how to do already. The time when I’m not constantly racing to keep up with what’s going on. I mean, sure, learning is always awesome. I love it, I love reading, I love classes, I love improvement. I’m kind of an improvement junkie, my gf says.

But this kind of running, this kind of expectation from others that I can handle it all, that I’ll “just figure it out”, that I know already what I’m doing is exhausting. It’s unsustainable.

Yesterday was my partner and my 1st anniversary of our domestic partnership. I forgot entirely. I ended the night sitting alone on the front porch, eating fast food and crying, because my cast doesn’t respect me. My lady brought me tulips. She’s a good one. She knows I’m in over my head, and she’s the only one who doesn’t say “Oh, you’re just saying that” when I state my fears aloud. Because she knows I’m right. I’m nothing if not observant, and I can call people’s energy and emotions from 50 feet.

I keep waiting for this endless free-fall to be over, so the oblivion of the crash can overtake me. Three weeks.

 

My lady and I went to the theatre this past week  – actually, we went to the theatre about 10 times since I’m working in the Hollywood Fringe Festival and there are 250 shows happening… – but this particular instance was part of our week long 8-year-anniversary happenings. We saw the tour of ‘War Horse’ (the play that inspired the movie) which was incredible. Truly astounding. The life-size horse puppets were some of the most awesome stagecraft I’ve ever seen, and even folks who don’t enjoy theatre would love how epic this show is.

But I digress – because this was a fancier outing for us, we both fancied ourselves up to go out, and I took the opportunity to wear a brand new tie I picked up recently that has been patiently awaiting an outing. I paired it (as usual) with a black shirt and black vest and black jacket, because the tie is a few brilliant stripes of lime and emerald green and white and the gay man in me likes to have a pop of color.

green is my favorite color.

I don’t know if it was the relatively older crowd at the show, or the predominance of families attending, or just that I haven’t been out in “high society” in while, but I garnered more looks and stares than usual, and within about twenty minutes of waiting in the will-call line, I felt thoroughly shy about my attire.  There is something about hearing little kids think you’re a dude, and then hearing their parents telling them that no, you’re not a man, and then the kids always ask “well why is she dressed like a boy?” that I never get comfortable with.

If kids ask me directly, I say it’s because I like the clothes whether or not they’re for boys or girls. Unless it’s a question coming from a pre-teen boy, that usually satisfies. If kids ask me if I’m a boy or girl, I usually ask them to guess, and then I ask them the question right back. This usually elicits giggles and ends the conversation well.

But it’s that weird hushed parental tone that I hate. It reminds me of some dark memories of my parents’ friends commenting on my “tomboy” look as a little kid. It cuts right to my core and brings up all my insecurity, and it all overflows onto my tie. Because without the tie, you can just be a woman in a blazer. Innocuous and possibly fashion-challenged, but not threatening. With the tie, you’re butch. (Well, unless you’re wearing like a cocktail tuxedo jacket and stilettos, or something…. I should say, with the tie and the short hair and the cocky stance and the gf on your arm, you’re butch.)

Some ties, however, wouldn’t get that much attention. My favorite purple plaid skinny tie never makes me feel weird. Somehow it goes under the radar a little more. But I love this new tie. I love how bright it is. I love how when I tie the Full Windsor the stripes on the knot are perfectly perpendicular to each other.

It’s just another one of my ties. I don’t know why it makes me shy. (This is on the verge of becoming a weird/bad Dar Williams song.)  These triggers are so random, I guess, and this one snuck up on me.  And now I’m about to go don yet another tie, the dark gray one with tiny orange circles, that I wear as part of my costume for the Fringe, which will not make me insecure because I can always pretend that I’m “playing a character”. Still working on playing myself.

 

 

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