Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 25: Stuff That Keeps Me From Napping

Today's topic I sort of covered yesterday, about stuff I do now that I wished adults wouldn't do when I was a kid.

I'm feeling really wiped out today.  I've been rehearsing a lot at night, and then being totally wired until 1:00 in the morning.  I think I'm kind of worried that we're not ready for this show, or maybe just that I'm not ready.  I am still messing up the dances, but now I am also messing up the songs.  About the only thing I can count on is my acting, so I'm really going all out in that area.

I've also been spending long hours reading plays.  Have I mentioned this?  I'm going to direct a short play for a festival and the trade-off is I have to read 300 of them to vet 24 for the program.  I'm trying to be really careful because from the five I'm ultimately allowed to choose, one will end up being the one I'm assigned.  I don't want to end up directing something I don't care about.  Therefore, I've already visited the theater five (!) times, with a sixth coming up tomorrow.  It's all very low-tech--we just sit there with a pencil and a plastic tub filled with plays stapled together.  I've gotten a bit better at just reading the first page and knowing whether it will work for me.  Here are some of my rules:

1.  No anthropomorphism.  If it says "Charles Darwin is having lunch with a jellyfish," I'm moving on.

2.  No world-weary military vets.

3.  No meetings between God and the Devil.  No angels, either.

4.  No preliminary stage directions longer than two sentences.  And no outlandish staging, such as "throughout the scene, mackerel are falling from the sky."

5.  No plays featuring teenagers or octogenarians (just because they're going to be hard for me to cast.)

6.  Meta is ALWAYS in.  The second the play mentions directors, actors, auditions, or references the play currently occurring, I'm all in.

I am also researching a trip to Maui--I think that's what they call "white girl problems."  But I am so neurotic I have to research and cross-reference every hotel, every neighborhood, ever itinerary, before I commit to anything.  Whereas David looked at my copious literature and notes and remarked, "I think I would like any of these with the beach and the trees and stuff."  Bless his blissed-out little heart.

I've also been "auditioning" for a job I don't think I'm going to get, but I'm giving it the old college try.  Only the job is not about acting, and in college I wasn't expected to lie through my teeth.  A pal of mine from Birdie is a producer for a local station and is looking for a promo writer.  I asked if I could apply and he said you have to know how to write.  I said, haughtily, "I have a Ph.D. in Literature!" and he responded just as haughtily, "Not THAT kind of writing!"  I love that.  Anyway, he said I could have a three-day trial--watch the news, then write a 1-3 sentence promo that would make people want to watch that story.  The first thing I learned is that the news is really hard up for things to talk about.  Most of the 30 minutes is weather and sports.  The rest is strangely amplified reports of things like the economy and local real estate.  Which is maybe why they need the promos.

Anyway, I thought my first attempts were completely awesome if maybe a bit exaggerated, but he had the chutzpah to call them boring!  He sent back "revised" versions and I had to restrain myself from writing back, "Oh, so you just want them to be outright LIES?"  Which I meant in a gently amused way--it seems sort of strident in writing.  Which is maybe why I didn't write it.  So last night I tried again (let me tell you how fun it is to watch the news and write stuff about it at 11:00 p.m. after you've been dancing for three hours) and didn't hold back on the hyperbole this time and today he said they were good!  I was so proud!  But he still offered the job to someone else who has, like, EXPERIENCE.  Whatever.  Harumph.  He was really sweet, though, and said if that guy doesn't take the job, he is going to try to promo me to the higher-ups in such a way that they'll consider me, lack of experience notwithstanding.

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