Current Conditions

Tires sizzle on the wet avenue 6 floors below. I was down but now I’m up. Took day medicine instead of night medicine. An A (or maybe a D) train grumbles and chugs smoothly along. No garbage or recycling pick up in the last couple of hours. When I walked up to the building at 10, a man was laying on the sidewalk. A fire truck and an ambulance was emptied of crew to see how he was doing. Two young women giggled and ran back into the bar next door, embarrassed by their concern mutated from their gawking.

I’ve sneezed more than 40 times since I’ve been home. Took the day medicine and lay on the floor to release my back from sitting all day. The day flew by with nothing of note happening. Time was like 2 socks stuffed in my ears. Had the first of 3 rehearsals for a staged reading. Wasn’t all there. Went from a musty room to a dusty theater on 43rd. Tried not to sneeze or honk my nose. Tried not to be disgusting with the oozing from my right nostril.

“What do think about this play or this character or what’s happening or any thoughts at all?”

I feel like the toy deep sea diver in the round helmet at the bottom of the fish tank. “Mmmm. Stuff. Something. More things. Add. Ha. Ha. Clever. Clever.” Wish I could remove my eyes and let them soak in the ocular equivalent of Palmolive.

Some day a young person will ask what the world was like back when and I will show him or her all the episodes of South Park and wish them luck after trying really hard to explain all the references.

My empty stomach grumbles and I know there is cereal on top of the fridge and almond milk inside it but what will I do in a few hours when I wake up? My mouse finger demands attention. “Look what you’ve done to me,” it hisses. “I’m hideous.”

A truck beeps and churns back on the other side of the street. Didn’t see that coming. All bottles. Must’ve slept through the guy with the 2 grocery carts pulling cans from the separated bags. Thunk thunk chunk chunk chunk tink tink chunk tink is his tune.

I can’t grow a full beard. I’ll never grow one. I wonder if that means I won’t be fully present in this life. I always thought I was a crossroads person who was living several lives at once but maybe I’m really going through this one incomplete.

Wishing I could hear some snaps after I complete a sentence. Screw it. I’ll snap for myself. There. That’s better.

Just remembered there’s Stella Artois here. 2 sips. Thinking I might as well head into work if I’m going to be up like this. Noon is gonna suck. What does Artois mean? No, don’t tell me. I’d rather give it my own meaning.

A flurry of cars and another subway train. This one was local. Here comes an express. Another sneeze? Maybe. Maybe. No. Wait. Maybe. No. Shit. Come on. No. This is disappointing.

The leaves haven’t changed yet. And there’s the sneeze. I will look like ass tomorrow. People don’t say things are like ass much anymore. But a lot of things are.

Going to see my parents for the first time in 3 years in a few days. Then I’m going to meet Aimee’s parents for the first time. I’m an adult for crying out loud this shouldn’t bother me.

When I get back, I have so much stuff to do. Starting a class, a reading, a clown haunted house, 2 grant applications, 3 plays to be published online. This is good because I feel I haven’t chiseled anything into the universe in a bit. Then I need to hunker down and write some big things. Maybe they will be terrible, terrible things but I will write them anyway.

Okay. I’ll try this sleep thing again.

Promoting We Will Go

Started the day watching McCain be recalcitrant. If he goes out the door because of a scandal and Huckabee gets the nomination it will be a very weird time. McCain’s wife looked pissed but that might just be from the plastic surgery. Then I went to an audition for Connecticut Lottery. It’s the third state lottery commercial I’ve auditioned for since last summer. It’s a meta-lottery for me. Chances of winning 1:40+.

Found a putter for my George W. Bush monologue. I went to a sports shop first and they were $109-$179. The one I got was $5.41 with tax at the Salvation Army on 8th St. It even has an American Flag sticker on it. Small but present. People looked at me a little funny as I walked with it to the Kraine Theater. In the papers today they said people have less time to play golf. I must’ve looked like a real gold-bricker.

Went on a 4-hour postcard “walking tour” of the East Village with Dan who created Thanks for the Scabies, Jerkface. He is only 21 and is still in school at the University of Kentucky but has already performed in 8 different fringes around. He was an all around nice guy. Go see his show.

It’s good to get to the bottom of your stack of postcards and flyers for a show. I don’t know if it’s worse to do that in 28 degree weather or in 105 degrees. I was certainly less dehydrated by the end of this afternoon but I did sneak in a nice nap. It can feel weird asking people to let you put out your cards. I hate going in places where the postcard area is wrecked and no one’s taken care of it. How is anyone going to find anything? I understand it at dive bars but at New York Theatre Workshop and the Ontological Theatres, it should be better kept. I do try my best to be a good citizen with cards and not knock others out of the way or fight for real estate. The thing I hate most is busking during the actual festival. To see people turn down your cards to your face is awful. Even worse is having them look at it, grill you about it, and then hand it back.

I’ve been doing more online work tonight to raise the show’s presence. I dug on the net and found emails for local universities to send blasts to their students. At this point, my number of sales is holding steady but I think my number of critics coming is going up. Tomorrow I will email people from my personal list and remind media outlets.

Bricken’s friend, Maryanne Ventrice, came to the run in the mini theatre at Roy Arias last night to take some pictures. Maryvel Bergen, my cool lighting designer, and Chris Foster, costume designer and now board op (thank God), were there too. The room is beyond tiny and it is full of crap. You feel like you are playing in someone’s rec room and the junk has been pushed to the sides and covered in curtains. I included a few of my favorites here and added the Uncle Sam, which will be added in the show now. On an odd note: Maryanne sent the link to her Flicker page (she is freakin’ amazing) and on my gmail I get these ads in relation to what is in the email. I don’t know why but one is for a colon cleanser product so I clicked on it. Oh, good Lord, the had all these testimonials with pictures of satisfied customers, and the disgusting shag ropes made of horse anuses and death they scoop up on metal hooks from the toilet to show what was inside them. So gross.

I think I’m going to do that after the run is over. Cleansing, massage, dermabrasion, and teeth whitening. I won’t recognize myself.

Monday Monday

Had my second rehearsal for Core Theatre Co’s new series of short works based on the seasons called SPRING. We’ll be reading them on April 16th at 7pm at Center Stage, which is at 48 W. 21st St. on the 4th floor (pay what you will). It’s the old LABrynth Theatre Co. space. Vampire Cowboys are ending a run there this week. My piece is called THE THREE-MONTH FREAK OUT. Tim Flynn and Lisa Bruno are reading it and they do a bang-up job of getting the broken psychology of this pair of people trying to decide whether they should be together.

It was funny at the first rehearsal when I said to Lisa, “It’s like when it’s easier sometimes to let the other person break up with you.” She responded with a “YES!” before she had a chance to think about it. I’ve never done that but I’ve certainly had it done to me. I don’t know why some people would rather let something good fall apart than face it and deal with it. I guess it’s less messy.

It’s been good writing short plays for other people. I’ve been learning my own sense of dramatic structure. Revealing action and character through dialogue rather than monologue, which is what I am more used to doing with solo performance. It’s also nice to sit in the back of the house and take in an audience’s reaction to what you wrote rather than having to keep pumping through the performance. I’ve learned a lot about being clear for the actors. I think if the actors can get what I am writing in the first cold read of a piece then I’ve done my job well enough that the audience will be hooked and go for a ride rather than struggle their way through it. I like making my audiences think, feel, and make connections so they stay alive through a performance but I don’t want them to have to labor. I also like hearing an audience laugh. Usually that lets me know they understand what’s going on.