Twilight Zone-ish

I’ve been in the Twilight Zone over the past week. Lots of ups and downs. The biggest down was that my plan to go to Edinburgh was dashed. You really need to plan that further out than a couple of weeks before the Fringe Programme deadline. Or have lots of money to throw around for various expenses until you find proper backing. The biggest obstacle to my being able to do theatre is the fact that I do theatre. New plans for new things are in the works. Trying to get that together was stressful and exhausting.
There was a formation of Air Force helicopters that flew overhead on Weds while I was up in The Bronx. Either they were practicing for the game that night or for when the Pope comes through this weekend. I’ve been thinking about becoming a pilot over the last week. I don’t know. I guess I like the sounds of actor/playwright/aviator. My dad flew choppers in Vietnam and my grandfather on my mom’s side was a naval pilot during World War II. I came across an article about day jobs for artists and one of the most famous examples was Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden who is now a pilot. It’s true. He started flying the band to gigs all over the world and then got his commercial license.
I imagine it can be harrowing and peaceful up there. When I get down, I feel grounded. I try in my work to soar. It is rare but it happens. I thought having a job where you take flight would satisfy some deep needs in me. Then I heard starting salaries for regional pilots are around $20,000 a year. Getting a license can happen part time but it does take time. We’ll see.
This is the point when people begin asking what I am doing. The trick is to always ask first. It saves the awkwardness of describing the inward journey used to create something new. “What are you working on right now?” Seven words that are innocuous enough but can cut deeply. I am not sure why. What’s the big race? Who cares? I guess it only really feels bad when it’s being asked by someone with an agenda underneath it. Not all people have one but some certainly do. The people who don’t feel good about where they are in life. I try to disarm those people by complimenting them on their achievements and move the subject to something other than theatre.
I received my Dramatists Guild Union Card in the mail yesterday. I put it in my wallet behind my Metrocard but over my Actors’ Equity Card. I am becoming more interested in writing. Auditioning for me is usually a pain. Put me in front of an audience and I’m money, baby. Put me in a room with some stressed out casting director and I shank it more often than not. Maybe I don’t but I go off the exchange of energy. Maybe that’s a bad addiction. Like being addicted to laughter or applause. I spent a good part of the evening reformatting my old plays and adding the DG logo on the title pages. That was good fun.
A couple of them are 24-hour plays and are very short. In the ten-minute range. One of them makes me laugh out loud, even though I’m sure it makes no sense to anyone else. At the end of the day, I guess that’s worth something.