Monday, November 30, 2009

Night and Day

One weekend down! Last night the house was distinctly un-full. And even less full after the intermission when (I was told) at least four couples "stormed out" because they were incensed about the play's racism. (There's a scene in which a KKK member makes a public service announcement for a party themed "The Whitest Christmas Ever.") While I couldn't seem to come up with the word "satire" (Calvin helped me out) I was more than a little surprised by this reaction. I mean, the whole thing is so over the top--no one is safe. And one must remember that something like 17 characters--mostly women--were originally played entirely by two guys.

In any case, I had fun. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with both my characters and have been trying out different physical shtick. That's big for me, because I'm kind of a "heady" actor. Any chance to get my body more involved is good practice. Oh, and speaking of which, my former director, John, was there Saturday night, and gave me a dubious compliment: "I really enjoy watching you. You're definitely getting better." I was all, "Why...thank you. That's really...sweet." Way to deflate the moment.

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I open my eyes, feeling like I just closed them. But it's been two hours. I can hear the neighbor's porch door open and shut. It's nearly noon. I can't remember the last time I've been asleep in this particular segment of the day. I was up at 8:00 to get Jarrah ready for school but by 9:30 felt my head lolling like a seed-laden sunflower and lay back down. I was certain I wouldn't fall asleep. I was wrong.

I stand under the shower and forget what I'm supposed to do now. Soap, okay. Shampoo. Can't. Open. It. My hands no longer seem equipped to perform manual tasks.

I'm in the car. I can't believe how bright the day is. Is it always this bright? It hurts my eyes like I'm hungover. But I'm not. I'm not sure why, but I'm driving to Balboa Park. Really want a rice bowl at the Japanese Tea Garden. In fact, I feel certain I couldn't eat anything else. I sing with the radio, and my voice comes out like a croak.

Balboa Park is empty today, and that feels especially lovely since I know on Friday it will be a sea of insanity with December Nights, an annual two-night festival of food and music. I park behind the Organ Pavilion and see boxes stacked six feet high on the steps, labeled "Display #4" and "Tree #10." A group of people are arranging lights and a tree on the stage. This makes me happy, though I'll be missing the finished product since I have a show both nights. The clock begins to chime.

I stand in line at the Tea Garden. Everyone who looks at me smiles, which makes me thankful. I pick up a container of Yam Yam Choco Snack, a Japanese candy that is sheer genius. It's a little cone with straw-like cookie sticks on one side and a tub of Nutella-like chocolate spread on the other. When I have my food, I head to a table on the patio, half in sun. As soon as I sit down, the sound of the piped-in Japanese flute gives me the feeling that I can just close my eyes and someone might massage my temples. Instead, I open my Kindle and order the New York Times.

The food is sweet, hot, crunchy, smooth. I drink 32 oz. of water with barely a breath. I'm dehydrated from three nights of backstage life where I don't dare drink anything because there's no bathroom. (Even if there was, pulling down my pants wrecks my careful padding.) I read and feel the heat on my shoulders. When I look into the distance, I see dozens of trees and plants, all of them green as July, and hundreds of tinsel strands winking in the sunlight. I open the Yam Yam and get chocolate on my fingers. I guess I have to lick it off.

The flute plays and the bells play a little song. It's November 30th in San Diego, and this is what it's like.

3 comments:

Robyn said...

If I had been drinking something when I heard RR say, "The Whitest Christmas Ever" I would have snorted it all over the front row. Those people have no sense of humor!

The Wades said...

That John guy! Geez.

Did you know that because of you and one of your posts, I bought my sister a Kindle? She loves it. Thanks for the recommendation. I keep debating one for myself.

Your time alone sounds lovely. What a grown up you are. I know, silly of me, but you seem so worldly. I got myself some Chick Fil A to go yesterday--does that count? ;)

Sam said...

@Robyn: Thanks, dear!

@Michelle: Yup, that's me: worldly. How did you know exactly the word I use to describe myself? :)

Mmmm, Chick Fil A. Glad to hear about the Kindle. You should totally get one--they rock!