*twitch… twitch…*

Two things which are currently ticking me off:

Oh oh oh wait! The ferrets just did cute, wriggly, ferret stuff! :D Slightly less ticked off now, but I’m sure I’ll work my way back up there as I write; no worries!

1) My (fading, happily) memory of the Danny Gokey look-alike in the silver sedan by the Goodwill in Waukesha this afternoon.

So I’m at a stop light, right? And it’s just me and this other car in front of me and we’re in the left turn lane, right? So the left turn arrow comes on and I can see the guy in front of me is just kinda lookin’ around, taking in the sights, whatever. It’s a gorgeous fall day so I totally understand. Lost in his Autumnal reverie he doesn’t realize the light has now been green for three seconds. (I counted.)

So I give ‘im a little “Beep!” on my horn. A “Beep!” so short and high pitched it sounds like I’ve traded in my Toyota for a Tonka. The kind of “Beep!” people give when the light has turned green, several seconds have passed, and the person at the front of the line hasn’t moved. I didn’t invent this particular beep, folks. It’s been around since before my time.

So I beep, dude looks up at the light, and makes the turn. I follow suit.

We’re driving along and he gets into the right lane while I stay in the left, and he starts to slow down. We’re both still a few miles over the speed limit though, so I figure he’s just a speed-limit-conscious driver.

We’re nearing my turn to get to my apartment so I put on my turn signal and slow way down as I enter the left turn lane. At this point punk ass Danny Gokey wannabe LAYS ON HIS HORN AND PULLS IN BEHIND ME, TAILING ME- HORN STILL BLARING- UNTIL I MAKE MY TURN, AT WHICH TIME HE SWERVES OUT TO MY RIGHT, COMES ALMOST TO A STOP TO MATCH MY SPEED, AND GIVES ME A GRIN AND A TWINKLE-FINGERS WAVE BEFORE SPEEDING AWAY.

What. An. Aaaaaass.

I don’t know why that got to me as much as it did. I kind of hope he’s like that all the time so he has more opportunities for it to come back to bite him.


2) Directors.

The following didn’t happen to me. It’s just my delayed reaction to a conversation I had with a friend a long time ago about something that happened to them with a director I’ve never worked with. It only ticks me off when I think about it. And right now I’m thinking about it. Except I’m thinking about it with a lot of run-on-sentences and excessive back and forth between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, so um– sorry for any confusion. :S


"Pompous Bastard" by Tanner Morrow (Click to see his other stuff; very cool)

If you act… well… and a lot… and a director pats your head with platitudes suggesting you ‘keep auditioning’ and not let it ‘get you down’ when they don’t cast you in a part you didn’t want but which they continually insisted upon you, it is both annoying and insulting.

Didn’t they listen when you said (repeatedly) you weren’t interested in the part? Didn’t they figure maybe you know better than they do about what you like enough to make it worth the commute, the rehearsal time, and giving up a month of weekends? (Particularly if it’s a part you’re not getting paid for: you’d sure better at least enjoy it.)

And– they have your resume! They can see you’ve been acting for years. So maybe by now you’re used to the “sometimes you’re cast, sometimes you’re not” dynamic. Right? Maybe by now you’re adult enough to not throw in the towel after their rejection, even if they don’t encourage you to ‘buck up little soldier’ as though you were some pouting middle schooler. I mean– just guessing here.

*pffft* Based on how many people are like this I sure do!

Don’t directors  realize how pompous it sounds when (in the absence of the right kind of relationship) they try to coach actors in things like the golden morality of ‘branching out’ in the roles we’re willing to play? Surely the fact we’ve been doing this for years gives us some insight into what parts we are and are not interested in, no? Or into what kind of parts are worth branching out for?

And I’m not talking about actors who just don’t know what they’re capable of, or what they enjoy. I’m talking about experienced actors who can say with total certainty “I am in no way, shape, or form interested in playing this particular part,” and about the kind of directors who can’t accept a “No.”

You will not woo me with “top billing.” You will not entice me with reassurances about how it’s “The Lead.” Do you think I don’t know these things already? And do you honestly believe all that matters to every actor is having the most lines?? It doesn’t matter if I’d totally rock at a role if playing it would make me regret getting involved in the first place. Are souls really so cheap?

And maybe the director is right; maybe the nay-saying actor would be ideal for the role in question. But once an actor has to beg or insist about it, then casting becomes more about the director’s ego than about getting the right person into the role.

Actors! Stop playing parts you hate out of some misguided sense that it is a sign of artistic maturity! (Enormous, totally respectable exception: Paying gigs for working actors. Y’all dudes are kinda stuck taking whatever comes up in that regard, but it’s an admirable kind of stuck. I applaud your commitment and your flexibility.)

“The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.” James Baldwin


Wesley in his favorite sleeping position

Hm. Guess I’m more philosophically peeved about that second one than I’d realized…

Okay, that was it. Those were my two lousy, stinkin’ things. And I’m already feeling much better.

Isn’t writing therapy great?? We should all have blogs.

Blogs, broccoli and granola in our bellies, and ferrets fast asleep upside down in giant, homey cages in our living rooms while the final episode of Xena plays on our TVs.

Wesley just woke up to scratch. Okay: Full un-ticked. ;)



  1. B. Ra. Vo.

    I couldn’t have written it better myself (regarding Peeve #2. I’d be more than happy to take out Peeve #1 for you should his twinkle-fingers ever cross paths with me, however).

    Seeing as how I am quite possibly the individual whose experience you referenced in the intro to this topic, I can personally vouch for the intense, infuriating frustration of enduring condescension from a clueless, arty neophyte who also happens to be ten years MY JUNIOR. I just don’t have the patience to relate the patronizing, pretentious indignities I very calmly accepted from her, but I do feel I owe all budding directors this very valuable bit of advice: A couple of workshops at The Rep DOES NOT MAKE YOU A TALENTED, ACCOMPLISHED DIRECTOR. (Granted, directing 80 shows doesn’t necessarily make you a talented, accomplished director, but I digress) YES, I have read the script; NO, I don’t change my mind to suit a director’s casting whim (ESPECIALLY for a NON-PAYING COMMUNITY THEATRE SHOW with the turn-out of a Lindsay Lohan concert); it’s NOT that I feel I can’t handle the colorless role you “need” me for; I WILL express confusion that you can see a fit, young actor in the role of a red-faced, sweaty middle-aged man moreso than that of a 30-something playboy; and what was I “going for” in that scene? What was my “intent?” What was I trying to “accomplish?”

    Well, I was trying to read the correct words in sequential order, as per most cold readings. How’d I do?

    What made the experience all the more insulting and humiliating was that just days before I had attended a theatre awards ceremony and come out of it with a pretty impressive showing.

    But it’s always nice when a rookie encourages one to “keep on trying.”

    Excuse my cough.


    Well done as always, behnnie.

    ~ TCI

  2. Road rage comes in many diffent colors, but all are annoying. Makes me feel violated when someone behaves that way towads me, or gives me a “Hawaiian good luck sign.” So be it.

  3. I was just thinking about what I would do if confronted with the actual Danny Gokey. I mean, we hung out a lot as kids. He came over for a very memorable sleep-over in the fifth grade, we were both pall-bearers at Ryan Baker’s funeral, and we just, in general, hung out a bunch before he left to go to another school.

    So I’m pretty sure he’d actually talk to me for more than a brief handshake. He pretty much represents everything I dislike about modern American christianity, and I’d rather just avoid a chat with him where I’d spend the whole time wanting to question his decision to exploit his wife’s death for his personal gain and promote a religion I don’t particularly care for. Something tells me he wouldn’t appreciate that. At all.

    Instead, I’d pretend I didn’t see him, and walk the other way. It’s good that he’s probably surrounded by an entourage and should be easily spotted (and avoided) before he’d spot me.

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