Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
Last Tuesday was my official, not-as-part-of-class, debut as a performer on a Chicago stage. I and five others presented, at the Bailiwick Theater, a thirty-minute interpretation of Thornton Wilder’s one-act play “The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden.” We performed solidly, the script itself received mixed reviews,  and then it was just…done. One performance and then we scatter to the winds. Two more plays went up that night, including Tennessee Williams’ obscure “the Chalky White Substance”  and William Saroyan’s “Hello Out There.” We promise to keep in touch, and I do hope we manage to do so. My director has expressed an interest in finding out more about the Project, all of my castmates are invited to my show next month; it might work out all right. I hope it does. I already wrote that.
Wednesday, I met two new possible Projectiles, and made tentative plans to work with a director friend on the upcoming Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins Festival–which is evidently 72 hours straight of theatrical productions . This whole thing seems to be dependent on whether or not the organizer ever gets back to me about said Festival. I’m really gung-ho about this happening for three reasons–one, I’ve long wanted to work with this director, who not only seems a great guy, but a competent director; two, more produced plays is always a good thing; and three, I may be able to pre-cast Donna, thereby giving her her first work on a Chicago stage and justifying her choice in dating a deadbeat playwright.
Ah, there it is. The deadbeat playwright. Last week I felt extraordinarily guilty that anybody had the misfortune to decide to love me during this “progress” stage of my career. When I made plans to starve and struggle and beg people to look at me as somebody who could contribute to the world of art, I never expected that I’d have somebody come along with me–and while it’s easy for me to accept my struggle, it’s not so easy for Donna, who I’d like to treat better if only I had the cash to do so. And I don’t. That’s what it comes down to. Last week, I paid a few hundred dollars to bills and groceries, and paid half of a five-hundred-dollar bill to get new contacts and eyeglasses, and I only make seven hundred a week, and rent is due next week, and apparently I owe Amoco about two hundred and Nordstrom another installment of seventy. I am glad that I paid the one hundred eighty to take classes from Greg Allen, but I wish I had the money, too. It’s going to be a few weeks before I’m back above water, which, again, means I have more than two grand in the account. Nest eggs and that rot.
I decided at the beginning of this update that if I ever decided to start a band, it would be called, or its first album would be called, Man Bleeds Money. This name displaces my previous clever band name, which would have been One Hand Clapping, just so some idiot could get up onstage and ask the audience to Give It Up for the Sound of One Hand Clapping.
(And then the drummer would give us a rimshot, before we launched into the first non-existent song from our repertoire.)
I finished scanning the Jumbles on Friday. This week, I finish typing in the answer key. My fingers hurt.
Saw “Lilo and Stitch.” Entertaining, not terrible, but not nearly as excellent as “Beauty and the Beast” or as side-splitting as “The Emperor’s New Groove.” Ultimately, the Message becomes a bit much. “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind. Nobody gets forgotten.” Yes, it’s a good message, but I’d thought Disney had found a way to hide the medicine better.
Speaking of messages, Danielle–I finally found out who to attribute the quote at the end of “American History X” to. The quote is from Abraham Lincoln (which fits in with why Danny wrote that the principal would have liked him).
“All around the world, every boy and every girl need the loving. Cold-hearted or warm, every single person born needs the loving. Way out there in space, think we’ll find that alien race, needs the loving. And just to end the list, everything that could exist, needs the loving.”
– Andy Partridge
I find I’m finding a lot of solace in the perfect, intelligent pop of XTC.
 But then again, Wilder’s dead, and by “mixed reviews” I mean that I heard one positive review of the script and one negative one. It’s not a large mixture, but it’s a mixture.
 This was hardly what one would expect from Williams, on several levels. First of all, it was set in a future several hundred years after a thermonuclear war, and it dealt with two men, one of whom “protected” the other from the savagery of the wandering survivors, and then betrayed him to the mysterious martial law outside. The thing that’s been sticking with me about the play, however, was what I imagine Williams wanted to stick. The titular substance is, as described, something in the air, that sticks to people and slowly drives them mad, and nobody knows where it came from…but the “protector” hypothesizes that the chalky white substance are in fact the powdered bones of the God who must have died when the first nuclear explosions went off. Spooky stuff. This may, ultimately, be my favorite Williams play.
 As opposed to the 24 Hour Festival. This is the format I originally thought the other show would take.
Current music: XTC, “Oranges and Lemons”