Milwaukee

Wind may blow, and many miles…


Why, we're for Marty o'course!

Every major metropolitan city in the U.S. has a West Allis. Fortunately for those of us living in the Milwaukee area ours is actually called West Allis. You’ll know you’ve reached your own West Allis when you find yourself surrounded by blue collar Mexican restaurants that serve polish sausage and french fries, no-cover bars with $1.50 tappers, brick paired with warped vinyl siding, and the wrong amount of street parking whatever the occasion.

I visited ours this evening to bid farewell to a friend who’s chosen to shuffle off this West Allisian coil for the damper climes of Seattle. A group of us met him for drinks at Benno’s Genuine Bar & Grill, a 30-tap townie bar with friendly staff, ample seating, reasonable prices, and after a few hours a girl suddenly resting her head on the bar, weeping her eyes out, sitting all alone.

Sweet merciful Jesus what cloying diva hell has descended upon us?” I wondered. But not in quite so many words on account of the volume of the jukebox had me a little frazzled. It probably went something more like “#*@&%. Now what?” The causes of all the tears I’ve seen at bars have rarely elevated their validity above such a response. But then I figured folks don’t cry that hard when things don’t hurt. And even if a cause is unreasonable it doesn’t mean the pain’s not real, right? Right.

So I walked over to her. Sat down on the stool to her left. Leaned in to talk through the hair covering her face. God was she crying. Even over the thumping twang of the jukebox her sobs burbled up loud enough to name themselves.

“Hey honey. What’s’a matter? You doing okay?”

Unintelligible mumbling escaped the curtain of her hair, followed by a “…no…” and more sobbing, this time with a key change.

I put my left hand on her forearm, my right on her shoulder. Rub, rub, rub. “C’mere honey. It’s gonna be all right. What’s going on, huh? You want to talk about it? We don’t have to, but I’m here, you know, if you want to.”

A pause in the tears, a mumble of something akin to “I’unno,” then a return to weeping.

Causes may be unreasonable, but pain is still painful, and sadness has a keen way with conjuring friends from strangers.

“Can I at least get you a water or…” I hesitated. I don’t like to see people drinking when they’re upset. But I forged ahead anyway. “Or a drink? Can I get you a drink?”

If you wink and nod, and then make pinch-y fingers toward the glass, the bartender’ll make the drink weak. I can wink, nod, and make pinch-y fingers. One Sprite, please; on the rocks.

“Yeah. Yeah a drink,” she coughed out. Finally– she speaks! “But just shots,” she yelled to the floor. “I’m only doing shots tonight. I just want to black out. Tonight I just want to forget everything.”

What have I walked into what have I walked into what have I walked…

“Aw no, honey. Not tonight! You don’t want to forget tonight!” I cheered. “We’re gonna have a nice time you and me, and you’re gonna want to remember it! Let me get us some waters, huh?” No reply. I tried again. “So what is it then,” I asked. “Is it a guy?”

It was like my question cut all her strings.

Pain is painful.

And it all poured out.

“I just got a call,” she whispered. “Fifteen minutes ago. I just got a call.” A pause. “It’s my best friend J—-. He killed himself today.”

Her face was still down, her forehead resting in her hands on the bar. I closed my eyes and prayed something like “Oh… God.” I mean, what else do you say? I may’ve also asked for help in not saying something stupid, but I’m sure that part was also fairly short and elliptical.

“Honey,” I whispered at the curls shaking on the side of her head, “I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” I put my arm around her shoulders and squeezed. “Honey…”

“It was over a girl. His girlfriend. She broke up with him a few days ago and he couldn’t handle it.” Shuddering, sniffling, and then a hand drawn sloppily across smeared, wet eyes. There was not a line left on her person that remained defined.

She turned, giving me her face, tears, and story without a hint of her former reluctance. It started with a McDonald’s bill of $21.17. That was how much he spent on food the last time she saw him. She’s from out of town. Mumble-apolis. She last saw him seven months ago. He was in jail, then prison, for DUIs. He was finally out. They went out to a bar, then stopped at McDonald’s on the way back to her house. He got an Angus burger, a large Coke, a large Diet Coke (she has a large Diet Coke, no ice, every day), four McChickens with Mac sauce, a few other random items, and fries.

“$21.17!” she laughed. “Can you believe it?! He was so beautiful. So fucking beautiful. And he just ate and ate and ate. I finally went to bed and when I got up around 4 to go to the bathroom he was laying there asleep on the couch with half a McChicken hanging out of his mouth!” She roared like this was the funniest damned thing in the world, so I laughed too.

“$21.17?!” I sputtered. “That’s crazy!”

I know, right?!”

“He sounds pretty great.” I smiled. Rub, rub, rub.

“Yeah, he was.”

“So tell me about him, girl! What was he like?”

“He was my Best. Friend!” she gushed. “Like, okay: We went to a bar once and these haters were there and when I came out of the bathroom after we’d only been there like 15 minutes, they were like to him ‘Wait, you’re here with her?’ and he was all like ‘We’re leaving. Now.’ And I was like, whatever, you know, because I know I have a big ass so I don’t even listen to that noise so let ’em talk!” She laughed. “But he was all like ‘No. We’re leaving. Now.’ He was always so good to me like that. He called me beautiful. He was so beautiful. He was just 25.” Still laughing. Cackling, almost. “His girlfriend was beautiful too. Like, super beautiful and everything. But he was gorgeous. And then she left him. Dumped him on Facebook. Can you believe it? Facebook?”

I nodded. Facebook.

“And he told her a few days ago he was going to kill himself, you know?” Still laughing, somehow, but wildly now, and with tears. “And he told her, and she didn’t go over there. She didn’t even go! He told her and that [impressive but forgettable series of expletives] didn’t even go to see him and now he’s dead!” The wildness turned desperate.

“Oh honey…” Rub, rub, rub.

“It’s her fault. It’s all her fault. He was a good guy. He had a good family. Like, his parents are still together, you know? They had three daughters after him. They’re 9, 7, and 3. They’re so pretty. And now he’s gone, and it’s that [similarly impressive string]’s fault! I would give anything if they could have resuscitated him! Anything! But that would only be the best thing for me. Not for her. Not for her.”

A loop of curses, flashing blue. A cry of pain. Her face returned to its hideaway in her hands.

I don’t remember what I said then. It couldn’t have been very good. It couldn’t have been very much. I’ve never experienced something like that myself. And even if I had, so what? What is my pain to you? It’s a mist to your rain, a suggestion to your thundering reality. What would it matter that I had ever suffered then when here you are suffering now?

I curled my arm through hers and we sat there in silence for several minutes, her tears eventually flattening out to match the beer taps, the paper napkins, the wood paneled decor. I asked if she needed a ride, if I could take her anywhere, if she needed to just get out. No, she told me. She has a ride. Her boyfriend is here.

I’m sorry–did I hear that right? Your what is here and you’re crying alone? He hasn’t walked you out to the car? Held your hand? Taken you home to cry and talk this out?

But I didn’t ask these things. I held my tongue. Angels must’ve been runnin’ them some mad interference.

“I think I’m ready to tell him I want to go home,” she mumbled, and rose from her stool. She found her boyfriend in the corner, was roundly ignored by him, shook off her tears, and donned armor of solid Brash. The last thing she said to me that night was a lyric from a hip-hop song on her way out the door. Something about being a bitch and having a big ass. Her group stumbled out into the cold and she was gone.

Oh honey… your mascara.

I wish I could fix it.

*******

“Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe.
Rain may fall, and wind may blow,
And many miles be still to go,
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“The best audience is intelligent, well-educated, and a little drunk.”


“The best audience is intelligent, well-educated, and a little drunk.”
Alvin Barkley

Opening weekend of Noises Off is officially over and now the worry can set in. Review worry, that is. If you are prepared for an entry devoted entirely to typical actor neuroses, read on. If not, may I recommend this page as a fun alternative? All right– on with the show…

The thing about reviews is that they’re written by one person. You’re getting one person’s opinion and even if it’s an educated opinion from a person who genuinely knows what they’re talking about and who you may’ve agreed with in previous theatre considerations, you can’t ignore the fact that it is still, ultimately and always, One Person’s Opinion of One Performance of the production in question. That said, the only time you really want to dismiss this Singluar Opinion is when it’s bad, or merely mediocre. Figures, right? So there’s:

You thought our production was only “all right”? *feh* Your review is only all right. How d’y’like that? Yeah? Yeah? Yeah, that’s right. Your review is only all right… Yeah.

vs.

You thought our performances were a riot and loved our work? Cleeeeearly you are above average in all respects and your review is Gospel!

And it happens that way every time. Without fail. Do you or don’t you trust the review? It all depends. All depends and never matters.

*hee hee hee*

*hee hee hee*

The other thing you’ve got to sit and chew on for a while ’til the review actually comes out is: What performance did the reviewer see? Was it Friday evening when the laughter flowed freely from a crowd eager to leave the work week behind them? Was it Saturday night when the audience applauded individual bits as well as act breaks? Was it Sunday afternoon when entrances were missed, lines were dropped, props were mishandled and– and so forth?

It’s maddening not knowing. It really is. And only slightly less maddening is the fact that the performance that was taped for the theatre’s records of this particular production was this afternoon’s performance in which everything that could go wrong did. I mean– that’s unfortunate, right?

And then there’s the focus of the review. Will it concentrate on those bits you feel are the show’s strongest selling points? Or will the reviewer become so hung up on a costume choice they didn’t agree with that a pair of socks or a necktie will end up getting more mention in the review than the acting or the directing? Will all but one actor get mentioned, leaving them feeling absurd and forgotten? Will the entire review take no more than a paragraph because the writer was so uninterested in your work that they couldn’t come up with anything more to say?!

Or will the review be a book report? You know the type: 90% synopsis, 5% “what, where, when, how much,” and 5% actual review. Because come on: What the heck is even the point in writing something like that?

Luckily the audience feedback has been truly exciting this weekend so the review that actually matters regardless of all the above conditions- the audience’s review- has been a very happy one to receive. It’d still be a drag to get a mention in the local whatever and have it be poor when I really think there’s some wonderfully funny work going on in this production, but the things audience members are saying so far are just– well gosh. Gosh gosh gosh. I mean it really is just such an uplifting and fulfilling feeling to put in so much hard work, so much time, so much creativity and energy and everything, and have it met with this kind of laughter and positivity. It’s fabulous. Makes you want to not do anything else with your life but this.

Hot Toddy

Two, please...

Except for the fact that “this” happens to be so exceptionally draining that all you want to do after the curtain call is whip off your shoes, strip down to baggy shorts and an enormous, ill-fitting tee, and down as much of a hot toddy as you possibly can between the kitchen and BED.

I don’t know how people can run this show for any longer than the four weekends we’re running it; it’s exhausting. All that up and down on one flight of stairs after another in suits and ties, corsets and heels— Egad! Even just our three remaining weekends have got me wondering how we’ll manage. Especially as roughed up as we are. Never in my life have I worked on a show that’s provided opportunities for quite so many injuries as this one has. I wish I had a picture of my latest addition. It’s rather a beauty, really. A 1″ wide by 3″ high scraped bruise on my right bicep. Watch for it this weekend if you stop out. Made it all by myself with a piece of arm and a bit of door frame.

There’s not a one of us that doesn’t have a scratch or a scrape somewhere, and some of the injuries sustained are definitely more major than others, but the average Wound Roster for each of us includes a body full of oddly shaped bruises of indeterminate origin; bright red scrapes from running aground of backstage corners; scuffs and splinters from brutal railings; and flaps of angry skin hanging precariously from knees, shins, fingers, feet, and elbows as reminders that doors and door frames, windows and window frames, buckets, mops, plates, mallets, and staircases are not items to be trusted nor trifled with. Ever.

It’s nearly midnight and I begin fulfilling my meager addition to the department-wide mandatory overtime at work tomorrow. Best head off to bed and save these worries for daylight. Nighty night, all, and may your neuroses not be as ridiculous as these.

************

ETA: The first review- the only review?- is in, and it’s a good one. Very solid, very positive. Keyed in on a few folks whose work I am so happy to see recognized in print. (Extra big hoorays for my buddy Matthew who is super awesomely funny in this show!! :D)

From “Noises Off Delves Behind the Scenes” from the Waukesha Freeman

Director Mark Salentine bravely took on this challenging play but was greatly aided by a very talented, competent cast, which made the difficult look relatively easy. Matt Patten, the consummate comic actor, led the way with his singular antics as Garry Lejuene. Randall Anderson was quite engaging as the insecure hemophiliac Frederick, and David Kaye as the stagehand who filled in for any missing person was quite funny with his deadpan style. I liked the way Cindy Zauner, always reliable in any role, played the dumb housekeeper Dotty Otley, too.

The other competent actors included Nathan Berish, who played Lloyd, the harried director; Ruth Arnell, always good at the dumb blonde roles; Jenny Kosek, who’s convincing as the overwhelmed stage manager; Belinda Blair, who tries to keep everyone happy and focused, an impossible task; and the well-meaning Robert A. Zimmerman as the unreliable burglar.

Kind of hoping there’s another review in the works so there’s an additional outside written opinion that paints the rest of us as perhaps a bit more than “competent.” Yikes! If anything else does come around I’ll post a link here, but until then… um… Yeah I got nothin’.

************

ETA: Review Numero Dos, From “Noises Off! at the Sunset Playhouse is great summer fluff” from Vital Source Magazine

This exuberant and fast paced farce requires the ablest of actor bodies for as it is intense physical comedy, along with synchronized timing to complete in rapid succession while appearing effortless. Each member of the cast successfully provides this, including the lanky Matthew J. Patten (Garry Lejeune), who falls down a flight of stairs and integrates a most appealing hand dialogue with coordinating dialect into his role. Ruth Arnell (Brooke Ashton) pertly gives her character, both the ‘on’ and ‘off’ stage persona, a delightful pout. The returning Sarah Laak Hughes (Belinda Blair) remains a charming addition while Nathan Berish (Lloyd Dallas) directs this entire on stage house of fun with proper British arrogance. The production indeed takes an entire team effort to perform this complicated play, and does so with a confidence that deserves applause.

Yay! Pretty nice, huh? Yeah, I thought so too. :)

Death by Kohl’s


Kohl’s

Who got a 30% off coupon in the mail for Kohl’s Department Store’s President’s Day Sale? ME!

Who instantly regretted entering the Kohl’s Department Store off of X in Waukesha on Wednesday? Me. :(

From the moment I walked in the store until several minutes after I left, my ears were ringing from the LOUD high frequency buzzing/ whirring/ chirping sounds from their various security and tracking systems. Oh my God. Ridiculous. Every time I came near an entrance to the store itself, a fitting room, or a check-out register, the mosquito-in-my-ear-canal noise became so loud I literally had to walk around the store with my fingers pressing my ears closed.

It’s not the first time the buzz of Big Brother has pained my hearing near department store doors, but this time was downright intolerable! The weird thing is my hearing isn’t particularly spectacular. In fact it’s downright *meh.* I’ve got annoyed friends tired of repeating themselves for me who’d vouch for the overall mediocrity of my hearing, in fact, which makes the whole thing even stranger to me.  I also really have to wonder how it was that I was the only person who seemed to be affected by the CONSTANT ringing if aurally bionic I ain’t.

No, guys. It really was That. Bad.

And then I got two pairs of pants and a skirt for under $20. Woo.

The end.

Don’t Dress for Dinner

We’re only a week into the rehearsal process so far- just blocking and stuff up ’til now- but it’s already looking to be pretty darn funny and I’m very happy and thankful to be a part of it. And courtesy of the generosity of a few fellow cast members I now find myself in possession of an unusually large number of comp tickets for the show’s preview night in mid-March. I’m hanging on to a few for the fam. As for the rest of the comps: Any takers?

The following is a quick run down of what’s going on with the show, including a chance to listen in -but not watch because that kills the magic ;)- on a rehearsal, and a brief overview on how the auditions from my last video all panned out. The best part? I kept it under 5 minutes! Woo hoo! I prefer to keep it under 3, but 5? 5’ll do…

Sorry about that vertical blue line in the video, by the way. I don’t really have any way to see that things like that are present until I’ve got the footage uploaded to my computer and I’m ready to edit. *shrugs* I can live with it.

ETA: The show has undergone major changes. Please disregard the comments above and the contents of the video. Related tags have been removed from the video. Thanks!

Torch Song Trilogy

I feel kind of bad that all I’m writing about this amazing production (“Torch Song Trilogy” by Harvey Fierstein at Spiral Theatre in Milwaukee) is this teeny little snippet. I took notes during the nearly sold-out opening night performance and intended to write a full review of it but kept not getting to it, and now the show closes this Sunday so I feel even less inclined to really dive in. Bah. I’m a jerk- I know.

I will take at least a moment to say, though, that Mark Hagen in the lead role of Arnold is worth seeing the show for all by himself. Beautiful performance, real, funny, sweet, honest. The role could’ve been written for him. He’s got this great knack for easing into the levity of Fierstein’s one-liners in such a way that you don’t feel jolted from the emotion of the moment. And some of the moments? Phew! Very emotional.

Another actor bringing in a fantastic performance is Brian Richards. I’ve seen Brian in a few other shows and have had the pleasure of working with him once myself (also with Spiral) and have always enjoyed his performances, but he found something new and different in this part that I’ve never seen come out of him before and I have to say: I loved it. Particularly his first scene with Hagen. There was a confidence there that just– it worked.

The two of them are so enjoyable to watch- charming, romantic, heart breaking, human. Their relationship speaks to so many relationships and so many truths about dealing with people in and out of the bounds of *significant other-ness* I found myself giving my “I totally know what you mean” nod to every other line the two spoke to each other.

All in all: I can honestly say I believe this is director Mark Hooker’s strongest show to date. He packed it with powerhouse performances from an eclectic cast that gels the way a cast should, and because he’s got a soul he cut it down from its original four hour run time to a much more manageable two and a half(ish) hours. It’s at Plymouth Church in Milwaukee by UWM. Tickets are only $10. Go. You’ll dig it.

And whatever you do? Dig it fast! As of right now there are only two performances left… (Saturday 2/14 at 7:30 and Sunday 2/15 at 2:30)

*yaaaaawn*

It’s 1:25 am on a Friday night and I’m sorry if this revokes my youth cred but I have *got* to call it a night. Alfred’s in his kerchief, I’m in my cap. It’s time to settle these brains down, y’all. Nighty night…

All the world’s a stage…


… and unfortunately: Stages Pass! So hurry and get your tickets before these stages pass:

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tst-poster-2FEBRUARY

Spiral Theatre
Torch Song Trilogy, by Harvey Fierstein
Directed by Mark Hooker

Torch Song Trilogy is a very personal story that is both funny and poignant. Torch Song Trilogy chronicles a New Yorker’s search for love, respect and tradition in a world that seems not especially made for him. From Arnold’s hilarious steps toward domestic bliss with a reluctant school teacher, to his first truly promising love affair with a young fashion model, Arnold’s greatest challenge remains his complicated relationship with his mother. But armed with a keenly developed sense of humor and oftentimes piercing wit, Arnold continues to test the commonly accepted terms of endearment–and endurance–in a universally affecting story that confirms that happiness is well worth carrying a torch for.

Location: Spiral Theatre at Plymouth Church, 2717 E. Hampshire Blvd., Milwaukee, WI; (414) 248-6481 (Call for tickets or email info@spiraltheatre.com)
Dates/Times: February 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 at 7:30 pm and 8, 15 at 2:30 pm
Cast: Enid Barnes, CJ Darnieder, Jordan Gwiazdowski, Mark Hagen, Brian Richards, Kelly Simon
Facebook: Event Page

ETA 2/9/09: I want to write up the show before closing weekend sneaks up on me, but until I get a chance to do so and if you’re reading this post before then: This is absolutely a must-see. And if you’re familiar with the script, fear not! It’s been cut down so you won’t be there all night. ;) It really is fantastic and if you’re on the fence about heading out to see it this weekend, do yourself a favor and buy a ticket. You will thank me a hundred times. Feel free to thank me with presents and cash. ;)

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dmd-posterMARCH

Spiral Theatre
Die Mommie Die, by Charles Busch
Directed by: Mark Hooker

The year is 1967, and Angela Arden is a washed-up pop singer who’s married to movie producer Sol but is involved with an unemployed actor named Tony. When Sol turns up dead, all fingers point to Angela. Leading the charge is Angela’s daughter Edith, who’s eager to get even by killing her mother. Edith’s brother, however, is not so sure that mom is to blame.

Location: Spiral Theatre at Plymouth Church, 2717 E. Hampshire Blvd., Milwaukee, WI; (414) 248-6481 (Call for tickets or email info@spiraltheatre.com)
Dates/Times:
March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 at 7:30 pm
Cast:
Will Elwood, Jordan Gwiazdowski, Mark Hooker, Gloria Loeding, Nathaniel Press, Sandra Stark, Jenna Wetzel
Facebook: Event Page (Coming Soon!)

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mark-hookerA note from Spiral Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Hooker:

“Don’t miss Spiral Theatre’s LAST SEASON in Milwaukee.  Spiral’s producer and my partner Dave Berg are relocating to the Twin Cities. Dave had a job offer that he could not refuse. We’re sad to leave but excited for Dave’s new opportunity. We are amending our season slightly to accommodate our sudden and unexpected departure.”‘

Milwaukee will miss you two and the fun times and great art you’ve been a part of here. Best of luck to you both in all your future endeavors in Minneapolis!

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dont-dressMARCH

Waukesha Civic Theatre
Don’t Dress for Dinner, by Marc Camoletti
Directed by: Mark E. Schuster

Be prepared for an evening of riotous confusion as this breathtaking farce races through a romantic week end gone awry. The setting is a New York farm house. The plot is a carefully planned weekend with a chic mistress. Bernard has remembered to arrange every detail; a cordon bleu chef; wife sent to visit her mother; and best friend invited as a cover. Foolproof plan? Don’t count on it.

Location: 264 West Main Street, Waukesha, WI 53186; (262) 547-4911 (Call for tickets or email boxoffice@waukeshacivictheatre.org)
Dates/Times: March 13 and 14 (8pm), 15 (2pm); 20 (8pm), 21 (4 & 8pm), 22 (7pm); 27 (8pm), 28 (2 & 8pm), 29 (2pm)
Cast: Ruth Arnell, Donna Daniels, Scott Fudali, Mark Neufang, Matthew J. Patten, Chelsey Peterson
Facebook: Event Page

Tres Audiciónes


After a weird ’07/’08 theatre slump, in which for the life of me I couldn’t find as much as usual in the local circuit I wanted to audition for, I currently have three auditions coming up in January alone. Sweeeet! Let’s hope that proves to be a trend for the rest of 2009, eh?

And before anybody starts whinin’ or gripin’ or finger waggin’: I had a blast with the shows I did in ’07/’08. I’m not knockin’ ’em. There was just this weird chunk of time in late ’07 and mid ’08 where there weren’t as many options that were enticing to me personally as there generally are around here.

Below is a li’l vloggy vid about the stuff I’ve got coming up. Below *that* is a testament to my inability to present anything in a non-redundant fashion. (Basically I just fleshed out the video with what I actually wanted to say but which I couldn’t capture on video without it getting all  rambly and obnoxious.)

Actually: It *did* get rambly and obnoxious. Go figure. I cut it down from 14 minutes  of thinking out loud, so for those of you who’d feel bad pressing play on the video, but then not finishing it when you saw how freaking LONG it was (but would sit through it anyway just to be nice): You’re welcome.

The Part Where I Repeat What I Just Said In the Video, But More Wordier Like

The first show I’m auditioning for is a farce at a theatre I’ve worked with a few times before and have really enjoyed. I’m excited because if it works out it’ll be tons of fun to work on and loads of laughs to perform in, and that’s an enormous part of why I do theatre in the first place: To have a good time. If it ain’t fun, I ain’t interested. (Not that it has to be a comedy, or that there can’t be hard work, or anything like that. I *heart* dramas and hard work! It’s just got to be worth the time and the money I put into it, and some shows/theatres just aren’t worth the sacrifice.)

w-r-resized

Backstage for "The Philadelphia Story"

You can keep your divas and your politics and your drama to yourself, thankyouverymuch. Me? I’m looking to have me a swell old time. And a farce at a great place with wonderful people? What’s sweller than that? Oh man– and jumping from a period comedy in fall to a farce in winter? How fun would that be?!

I only know of one other actor who is also for sure auditioning for this one, but he’s very kickass and funny and all that good stuff, so if I could get into it alongside him and one other fellow I’m also crossing my fingers about, then DAYUM! That’d be an awesome time. :D

The next show I’m auditioning for is a black comedy at a theatre I’ve never worked with before, but with a director I *have* worked with before, so we’ll see how many butterflies I bring with me to that one. It’s a long shot among long shots for me, but I welcome the opportunity with open arms and a big ol’ grin. ‘Cause see– that’s the thing about auditioning for parts that are long shots: That audition may be the closest you ever get to performing in any of those roles, right? So you may as well enjoy every moment of it as much as you can, right? Right.

b-m-c-g-resized

Half of the "Wait Until Dark" cast... and C.J. ...

The final audition I have coming up is the Milwaukee General Audition near the end of the month. That one’s a bit tricker in that you can’t book a time slot for it until January 19th at 9 am, all the slots are taken by 10 am, and the audition is only about a week later. This translates to having to have headshots printed before you even know if you’ll even need them, monologues prepared which you may not end up using, (though having headshots and monologues at the ready is not a bad thing by any means), and if you’re fortunate enough to be employed *quashes waves of jealousy* then you have to ask off for that entire day long before even the call-in day on 19th, when in the end you may end up being free for work that day after all if no spots are left by the time they get to you.

That MGA… *tsk tsk tsk* She’s a tricksy mistress, no?

The pluses about the MGAs are that you’re allowed to attend for up to two years in a row, there are representatives present from 15-25 theatres, agencies, etc. (16 this year), and even if you don’t get any calls out of it you’re still being seen, and that’s worth a lot.

Just try not to get too bummed out when you find out someone with zero inclination toward acting and no availability that season gets a time slot, and you who act for a living weren’t able to get one. Ha ha, sucka…

I wonder if I could act for a living. Would it alter my perspective on performance to a point that I wouldn’t be able to relax in it as much? Hm. Maybe it would make me enjoy it even more. Hm again.

Question about headshots: I only have 3 or 4 copies left of my headshot, and I need a total of at least 16 by late January for the MGAs. I’m broke as Lindsay Lohan’s moral compass, so going out and getting a bunch of prints made- no matter how good the deal!- is probably out of the question for me at this current time. But I also can’t just pop photo paper into my parents’ printer and expect anything reasonably useable to come out. (Plus they’d be 8 1/2″ x 11″ instead of 8″ x 10″ that way, a definite no-go, and I don’t know if I trust myself with scissors enough to trim them.) Suggestions for affordable alternatives?

Virginia

ermine-2I had a dream last night where I was outside in the snow and this gorgeous, pure white ferret came running up to me wanting to play. She looked like a standard albino except that her eyes were black and her hair felt more like thick rabbit fur. She was crawling all over me, she came when I called her (her name was Virginia), and she was just the friendliest most charming little mustelid you’ve ever met.

I was with my Mimi at some point shortly after that and we were walking into a house that I believe belonged to people related to us. The house was in total disarray, no one appeared to be inside, and the back door was wide open. When Mimi went to look out the back door to see if our family members were outside, Virginia jumped out of my arms and started running away into one of the nearby bedrooms. I ran in after her and scooped her up before she could get lost in a pile of clothes under the bed. I stood there holding her and laughing, talking that silly talk you use with babies and small animals, when I noticed she now had patches of dark gray in the fur on her belly, had completely lost control of her bowels, and was bleeding.

I started crying and running through the house trying to find Mimi to ask her what I should do while this delicate thing in my hands wriggled and chittered at me. I didn’t know what might’ve happened to her before she’d found me and I’d only had her for a few minutes so I didn’t know if she was ill or had a history of being abused or anything.  Images and conversations began flooding through my brain about her previous owners and I knew they had treated her terribly and had tested different chemicals and drugs and things on her. Not for science, not for medicine. For ignorance; for spite.

In these visions I saw her poor little belly filled with metal and germs. It was sad. It was awful. This poor, soft, defenseless, friendly little thing, bleeding in my hands, was totally unsaveable. God it was just awful.

I woke up before she could die.

And now that I’m depressed over the death of an animal that doesn’t exist, and you’re wondering how we ever became friends in the first place, how ’bout a quick subject change so we can still part on decent terms?

Schmesolutions

New Year’s resolutions. Got any? List ’em in the comments below. I don’t know as I plan on getting into all that hoo-hah myself, but we’ll see…

Songs from the Depths of Queen Beer Girl von Shadenfreude the 525th


12/8/08

Do you ever feel simultaneously great and like total crap about… um… stuff. Hmmmm. Blogs are awfully public places, non? Perhaps we shall not discuss precisely what it is we are feeling simultaneously great and like total crap about just now, oui?

Class, your word for the day is “schadenfreude.” It is a noun meaning “satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.” Please leave a comment using “schadenfreude” in a sentence…

Just finished a bowl of reheated spaghetti with a glass of 1% milk (Walmart was out of Skim that late in the day). My body chilled, my belly filled, I *think* I’m finally ready to write about all the goings on of my past week which I keep promising to tell certain people about but then keep neglecting to write about because I’m lazy.

And kind of a goofus…

And the stories aren’t really that interesting…

But I tell them anyway. Why? BECAUSE IT’S MY F-ING BLOG AND I MAKE THE RULES HERE! THAT’S WHY!!

Chapter the First: Monday, 12/1

beer-girl-costumeI had an audition last Monday afternoon at a Talent Agency* that signed me up a couple weeks ago.  The audition was for a promotional video to be used in-house by a Beer Company*. My instructions? Show up any time between 9 and 4, be memorized, and look flirty.

Rock on?

So due to computer issues outside their control they can’t get me the script until the night before the audition, I end up showing up closer to 2 pm, my memorization’s out the window because they’ve added a few re-writes I was too dense to incorporate smoothly, and I look… well… You might chat me up at the church picnic, but I’m gonna have to start showing a little leg if I’m going to get you to buy a beer from me.

So it goes.

The read felt like it went pretty well, though, considering it was my first time ever in my life doing something so simple yet UTTERLY NERVE WRACKING. I was one of 8 “be memorized and look flirty”s called by this agency, so it’s nice to know I’m not totally lost in a numbers game, but at the same time: 1) I have no idea how many other agencies read people for it, and 2) I do know that one of the other girls who read for it from mine has totally got this one in the bag because I worked with her at another agency gig the next day and she was talented and adorable and way too cool for anyone to be bummed about her getting the part instead.

I don’t know when we’ll find out for sure how it all played out- it shoots in early January- but I’m already writing this one off as a wash. I mean, it felt fine, but man those would just be some kinda crazy odds I’d have to beat for it to work out, and I’ve never much been favored by lesser likelihoods. (Except those likelihoods dealing with things like breaking out the day before college graduation. I was all over that.)

While I was at the agency for Monday’s aud they found they needed an additional person to work an event that Wednesday night. Talk about great timing, man. If I hadn’t been there I have no doubt it wouldn’t have gone to me. (Especially after seeing who all else it did go to.) They said it was for a Hunting/Conservation* organization’s annual banquet and “Can you show up at 5 to sell raffle tickets?” You’d better believe I can! But I’ll save that for Chapter the Third…

Chapter the Second: Tuesday, 12/2

B-Roll?

B-Roll?

Tuesday morning, 8 am, I’m out in Glen-something or Green-something. Some -field or -dale. I don’t remember. Point is: I was there. At 8 in the morning. I’m not anywhere at 8 in the morning that’s not my bed these days, so this job? This job was painful. Add to this the fact that I was on Skype until past 2 am the night before while frantically scrambling through my closet looking for Big Girl Clothes to bring to the next day’s shoot.

That’s right. A shoot.

It sounds so cool when you don’t know what it’s really like. And actually– I got to eat a delicious bagel, they treated us to lunch at Noodles where I got to eat my favorite noodle dish (their Pad Thai is EXCELLENT!), and I got to see my friend Libby, so I guess it was kinda cool. :)

The day’s efforts were devoted to filming B roll footage for a Pharmacy’s* version of a televised blog on health related topics. They brought in two other girls, a guy, and me, and we basically spent our day driving around to be filmed having thrilling conversations about our current health insurance plans, talking about what groceries we just picked up, and driving under the influence of distracting elements like cell phones, lipstick, and the aforementioned delicious bagel.

We were the Queens of the B-Roll that day, my friends. The Queen B’s. (BTW: The image accompanying “Chapter the Second” is the top result from Image Googling “b roll.” No kidding.)

And then we all went home.

Chapter the Third: Wednesday, 12/3

browning-citori-525-feather1Drove through crazy amounts of falling and fallen snow to get to a cool German themed restaurant in the middle of nowhere (read: Mequon) to sell raffle tickets for, drum roll please: GUNS GUNS GUNS.

Yup. A huge part of the Hunting/Conservation group’s annual banquet is devoted to fund raising through raffle prizes and auctions and I got to be a part of it, looking every bit the sexy librarian– which would be great if we’d been asked to look like that. As it stands we were actually asked to come looking “glam,” but the only “glam” thing I own is a tin of extravagantly priced pure maple syrup and somehow I didn’t think it’d be appropriate to come just wearing that. It was just too cold.

Got there right at 5 (gave myself an hour for a 25 minute drive and still barely made it with that danged snow :P) and was promptly greeted by a Hottie in a tight-fitting, off the shoulder, sparkly gold dress.

Uh-oh.

Out of the corner of my eye I see Hottie #2 in a tight-fitting black dress with a leopard print top, Hottie #3 in a slim white sweater dress over boots, and Hottie #4 in a tight-fitting green dress with open toed pumps.

Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Uh-oh.

Suddenly my black skirt, long sleeved purple top, and black vest felt woefully Mission Barrel. That is– until a bunch of jovial dudes from their 20s to their 70s started snapping up raffle tickets at a hundred bucks a pop from me and Hottie #4. Boy if that doesn’t make you feel charming as hell I don’t know what will. Especially when you get to do it for four and a half hours while wearing super cute shoes, with a break in the middle for a duck dinner with a side of the sweetest, craziest cranberry dish I’ve ever tasted.

And then we all went home.

*I’m not sure if I can publish some of these company names, and I’m not sure if I should publish the others, so for the time being I’m playing any and all identity cards close to the vest…

12/9/08

In Other News…

songs-from-the-depths-of-hell-coverI’m typing all of this up at my desk with Alfred by my side and suddenly feeling quite sad. Almost abandoned.

It’s a gross feeling. An empty feeling. I don’t like it, and I don’t want it.

And it strikes me now that I don’t have any clue how people who suffer great and genuine losses are able to channel their emotions into poetry, dance, plays, films, paintings… How do you do that? When even just the sting of the unknown is impossible to parse, how do you open real heartache to reveal a sonnet, a song, a story?

I find it remarkable. Utterly remarkable.

And I find I’d perhaps better stick to just blogging about what kind of milk I’m buying and what my stuffed walrus is or is not up to. If you can’t write about something, write about nothing. Write? Right.

And In Yet Other News…

I’m starting a new blog entry in about 20 minutes because this is about to get terribly long and awkwardly disjointed.

Ruth’s Eye Movement: A Dream


There were a few months in college when my first class wasn’t until 1 pm, so I used almost every single morning to write down the previous night’s dreams. During that time I was able to dream very vividly, and to remember the dreams quite clearly, so I was able to pour  into Word page after page of plots points, characters, and Technicolor story arcs.

It was awesome.

It’s been a long time since I’ve remembered my vivid dreams as frequently as during that semester, and when I remember them now I’m usually lacking the time or the energy to write them down.

Except for last night’s dream. Unfortunately I only remember the last portion of it, but I’m glad to have at least retained something, because this one– this one I needed to record.

***************

I was me, I was my own age (26), it was now, and I was here in Waukesha.

zac-efronI was dating this “cute” boy of about 19. Not cute in any way that makes any difference to me, but cute in the way 19 year old boys try to be cute these days. Tan, muscles that look out of place with such baby faces, long, side-swept brown hair over the eyebrows. The kind of guy who’d never turn my head in waking life. The kind of guy who’d only register on my radar if he jumped out in front of me in the crosswalk, and only then because I’d think what a shame it was that some mother just lost such a soft looking child.

Teenage Boyfriend would regularly come over to visit me, his cute but pudgy 19 year old buddy ever in tow to play Back-up Idolizer in the event no one else could be found to fawn over Teenage Boyfriend’s eyebrows and vitality. He’d sit on the couch next to me and make a show of draping his arm broadly around my shoulder, but then never look at me. Never speak to me. Just while away the hours gabbing and showing off his conquest to the chubby friend who so adored him. He’d brag to his friends that he had a 26 year old girlfriend as though that was some great feat, and I’d endure his being 19 and mentally absent around me because he was cute for a young’un, and it was nice to have the company.

One day- the day of the dream- he asked me to give him a lift to go see this girl he knew. He kept insisting it wasn’t a date, even after he showed up at my place in his best shirt and oceans of cologne. He told me how great this girl was, and how pretty. How much alike they were, how much fun she was. He told me he was taking her out for dinner, and how they had somehow gotten hold of some alcohol and were going to get drunk together later that night. He kept telling me nothing was going to happen, and then winking and nudging me while saying that if something did happen how could I blame him because “both of them are so hot.”

Wink.

Wink.

I agreed to give him a lift. I even encouraged him to ask this girl out if she seemed interested in him. I was a 20-something cougar and he was just a joke to me by this point. A mere presence. An embarrassment. A body warming a seat on a couch I don’t really own in a living room that stopped being mine as soon as I awoke. He told me no, no– it’s not like that. It’s not a date, I’m not trying to get her to go out with me. I just nodded, joked that no one could resist him, and walked out to the car. Attractive men live on the reassurance that they are irresistible, and for better or worse I live on the reassurance that I fill a need.

ford-15-passenger-van“The car” I drove him in turned out to be one of those large, white, passenger vans they use at schools and day-care centers, with several long rows of seats, all equipped with shoulder strap seat belts that came down from the ceiling. When we got in to drive to this girl’s house I discovered Chubby Friend was already in the van to tag along. As was my mother. My real mother. My waking life mother. She was smiling and cheerful; happy to see me and to have my company as we drove the tangled streets of Waukesha. I don’t recall feeling shy that she saw my laugh of a kiddie boyfriend. I just remember being glad she was there so I wouldn’t feel so alone in spite of all this other company.

I drove us past the park by the library, up the street past the apartments where Kate and Janet, Rachel and Arielle, and Sean and Tish used to live.  Teenage Boyfriend rattled on about how cute the girl was that we were about to go see. Chubby Friend listened intently. Mom smiled graciously. I came to full stops and used my turn signals.

In one of those shifts you only find in dreams, we were suddenly out of the van and walking to the girl’s house. And the streets were no longer the streets of Waukesha. We were someplace else. A small city. No litter in the gutters, no dirt on the sidewalks. Everything was clean and quiet. Every alley was wide. Every building was the color of a coffee shop I couldn’t afford in a neighborhood I’d never visit. And the sun was almost set.

Teenage Boyfriend was getting nervous. He said he remembered how to get to the girl’s house– a few more blocks down, and then a few blocks to the left– but that he couldn’t remember what her house looked like. He started getting anxious about the falling darkness, too, as the scent of his cologne began to wear off. I turned to him on my right and suddenly– dream shift– he was a girl. A short, small-framed, dark haired, olive skinned girl of about 17.

And just like that we were in danger and on the run. I took her by the hand and we darted quickly down an alley. A car curled around a corner to our left, its headlights shining on us. We made a mad dash for the alley across a street we’d come to and ran as fast as we could. Two blocks down, one to the left. We hadn’t gone far enough to get to the home of the girl we were seeking, but we were at least still heading in the right direction.

The dark haired girl whose hand I was holding was suddenly back to being Teenage Boyfriend again when we were back on track. When we knew where we were going. As long as everything was going according to plan he was himself. But the moment things were in chaos, the moment we lost our way, he shifted back to this small, frightened girl younger than himself and latched on to me for help. This didn’t bother me. I’d rather baby-sit youths than date them.

Mom and Chubby Friend found us catching our breath on a sidewalk and, reunited, we resumed our trek to the home of some nameless, attractive young girl so much more appropriate in every way for my boyfriend, but who he still insisted he was just going to go visit. I began to grow annoyed with him for thinking I was as big a fool as I’d have to be to accept his protestations as being remotely likely. I said nothing. I didn’t care. I didn’t want him. He was a child. But it was like I suddenly wanted him to want me, at least a little, at least for show, at least for now, because I wanted him to be worth all this trouble.

We reached a street we thought could be the girl’s. Teenage Boyfriend told me he was unsure if this was it or not. I looked ahead and there on the right was a white bridge that looked like it had been made from pieces torn from the wings of the Milwaukee Art Museum. It was beautiful all lit up against the sky, which was now completely dark. It was beautiful and white and sturdy. It was beautiful and clean.

main-drapeDo you remember crossing this to get to the girl’s house before, I asked young Boyfriend. But before he could respond, an enormous Main Drape the brownish color of strawberry preserves dropped swiftly and silently into place on our right between us and the bridge, hiding it, and the street it was on, from view. The only direction we could go was to the left. We turned.

To our left was a house-lined street you cannot find anywhere but in a Stephen King novel set in a carnival and made into a movie directed by Guillermo del Toro. I felt like I’d walked into one of James Roland‘s nightmares without the “James Roland Guide To Waking Oneself Up.” Each house on either side of the street wasn’t so much an actual house as it was a N’Awleans mausoleum, a booth, or a tent. Yes- I could see that now. They were ragged backstage circus tents back from their final tour of the universe. And in an instant the street itself wasn’t even a street anymore. It was a waterway.

Stringy men on floating platforms poled their way up and down this sudden canal, as stars winked on high above our heads. Strings of bare bulbs buzzed as heat fell onto the tents, each decorated like the temporary encampment of some displaced Vodun priestess. Collages of religious figures, chains of beads and mud, canvas wilting in the heat, rocking chairs immobile on front stoops extending cautiously over watery lawns out to the waterway ahead; it was like death. Like so much rotten, floating death.

I knew we had to walk down this street to find the girl’s house. No longer to bring my boyfriend to her, however, but to save her. To rescue her from this place. I’d share my couch with her, my kitchen, my bed, my locks on the front door. She could even have my boyfriend; anything to get her out of this place.

voodootombI looked down the sidewalk comprised entirely of rickety front stoops and began planning how to cross them. Each one was made of odds and ends tied together and floating on the murky water of this hellish bayou, and none was more than 3′ square. Some stoops looked like sections of fencing attached to the base of the tent’s front entrance via bits of cord and wire. Some were more like single fan blades, or the arm of some unlucky chair that had fallen into the water and been spit back up after whatever lurked beneath the surface realized chairs are not as good for eating as people are. As we are. As we would be if we took even a single misstep while making our way across this floating walk.

I turned back to my group to warn them to be cautious before we began jumping from one floating, disconnected stoop to the next, when I noticed my mother was no longer behind me. I turned back around to face the walkway in front of me and there she was, already blazing a trail atop the floating “bridge.” She was picking out her steps slowly and carefully, her arms out for balance, her head down, her eyes scanning the wet boards around her for which ones looked least likely to tip her into the water and deliver her up to the dangers beneath its surface.

She hadn’t gotten far, maybe 10 feet from us, when she reached a section of the path where every piece floating around her looked too narrow for even a single foot, or too disconnected from the other stoops, or too wet and slippery to bear her up if she lept onto it over the great distance between it and the step before.

I opened my mouth to cry out to her to tell her to stop, that she didn’t need to go on ahead, that we’d find some other way. But it was too late. Her foot slipped on a wet, rocking piece of insignificant wood, and the water between the stoops of two of the tents swallowed her up with so insignificant a splash the water could have been made of damp bread.

There was no motion beneath the surface, no bubbles, no splashing. I frantically scanned the walkway for the best path to reach the point where she’d gone down, but could find no way to get to her without getting into the water myself.

I spotted one of the rafts lazily patrolling the canal like a crypt keeper in a town where there are none left but the dead. I called out to the sun worn man atop it and begged him to take his tiny craft to where my mother had gone under and rescue her. His taut, tan face wrinkled into a grin as he rasped something to the effect of “No.”

I jumped. From one slick board to the next I jumped. I screamed. I cried. I didn’t look to the canal to my right, nor to the tents to my left. I just looked down. Down at the rickety path bobbing below me as ripples of the bayou washed over it and over my sliding feet.

I got to where my mother had gone under. So much time had passed with no movement from that place, with no hand coming up above the surface, with not a single bubble of air. Perhaps 10 seconds? Perhaps 20? It felt like days.

I didn’t want to reach my hand into the water. I didn’t want to be dragged under. I was in a nightmare. I was in hell. I was in this town doing something I didn’t want to do for someone who didn’t even care about me, and in the process I was losing one of the people I love the most in the world. And on top of it all, here I was on the verge of losing myself to save her when I didn’t even know if she was there anymore to be saved.

But I couldn’t leave without trying to bring her back. I couldn’t run away not knowing if she was alive and if I could have saved her. It was like being stranded indefinitely in that moment in a horror movie where everyone in the theatre is screaming for the protagonist to just go, just run, just leave the others behind to be killed so at least one of you will live to tell the tale and warn others. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t leave. Not my mother. And whatever I did I would have to do it alone while Teenage Boyfriend and Chubby Friend cowered together on the last bit of real sidewalk at the entrance to this horrible place, immobilized by their fear.

I dropped to my knees on the stoop beneath me; the boards comprising it began to break apart. I thrust my hand into the water in front of me and waved it around, half hoping to feel something, half fearing it. What if I did feel my mother and it was just her body? What if I didn’t feel her at all?

What if I felt something else?

I felt nothing. I got nowhere.

I dunked my head into the water in front of me and to my surprise I could see. Not much, and not well, but I could see. It was like the water had light of its own. Dim light. Dirty light. My field of vision was awash with brown and muck and floating debris. Bits of leaves and broken boards floated past me. Gnarled branches nearly struck me as more and more things I couldn’t identify swam in front of me in a current that didn’t seem to exist at the surface.

I picked my head back up out of the water and caught sight of another man on a raft. I called to him. No response. I had a vision of my mother. I thrust my head back under the water along with enough of one of my arms that I was likely to tip into the water myself any second.

And then I did.

There were no bubbles. And though I kicked and thrashed at dangers I could not see and could not guarantee existed, I knew somehow that my movements were not disturbing the surface above where I went down.

And then I saw her.

Her glasses were still on her face, which had turned pale. Her eyes were open and glassy, her mouth wide. Something mechanical looking, something about the size and appearance of a tarantula’s leg, peeked out from inside her mouth where it gripped the left corner of her lip.

I suddenly didn’t know if I wanted us to live anymore or not. Perhaps it would be better if we both died so this would be all over than for me to get us out and revive her so she had to remember this horror for the rest of her life.

kraken450I reached for her and pulled her to myself. I tried swimming to the surface but it was rougher going up than down as the water thickened like refrigerated grease. I pushed her head above the surface, and then my own. I called to the boys to come grab her, to get her out of the water. I felt like something was coming toward us, something worse than thick water, debris, and mechanical creatures with bodies I couldn’t even imagine.

But they didn’t come. They dropped to their knees on the sidewalk and cried. They screamed. They held each other and pointed towards us. They called to the river men and begged someone to help us, but their cries went as unnoticed as mine had.

I began losing her beneath the water again. My face dipped and I saw something black, shapeless, and violent with ugliness move toward us with a painful slowness from far below. Something evil. Something the size of a house. I reached my chin up and out towards the night air one last time, and then she was gone from my grasp.

***************

And then I woke up.

I don’t really know if I’m glad that I was able to remember that to write it all down or not, to tell you the truth. I don’t have many nightmares, nor have I ever, really. But would it have been better to have forgotten this?

Because there’s something in it for me, and you love me. . .


As some of you know I did a couple of shows with Spiral Theatre in Milwaukee this year, (“Butterflies Are Free” and “Wait Until Dark.” Check out Spiral’s “Press” page to read more…), and I’m a big fan of the producers there, so it should come as no surprise that I’ve got a big ol’ soft spot in my heart for the company. It treats its people well, and it treats its audiences well, so you really don’t have to spend much time there to develop a similar soft spot of your own. It’s a great theatre: company, design, production. It uses great people: directors, actors, SMs, designers. And it does great shows: You Should Be So Lucky, Wait Until Dark, Doubt, Angels in America, True West, etc.

And their ticket prices? Well their ticket prices just got a little greater… ;)

Spiral is staging some really solid shows next year (I know some of the directorial placements and casting choices already and can safely say it’s gonna be pretty rockin’) so if you plan on going it will definitely pay to plunk your cash down ahead of time and get season tickets.

And don’t you start giving me any guff about how “season tickets are too expensive even though they save you money in the long run.” I’m just not having it. Not this time. Not when these season tickets are only $30.

That’s right.

Season Tickets. Four Shows. $30.

*cue: Hallelujah Chorus*

And if you value our friendship it will definitely pay to get those season tickets through me. (I will find out if you didn’t and I will hunt you down, so help me…)

But enough threats. Here’s the full scoop, straight from the Spiral producers themselves, on how their season just got a little more affordable:

*****************************************

SPIRAL THEATRE 2009 SEASON PASS
SAVE 25% – FOUR SHOWS – $30.00
TORCH SONG TRILOGY
by Harvey Fierstein
February 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15

DIE MOMMIE DIE
by Charles Busch
May 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

CLOSET LAND
by Radha Bharadwaj
July 16, 17, 18, 19, 20
SHANGHAI MOON
by Charles Busch
September 17, 18, 19, 20, 21
Location:
make check payable to:
Spiral Theatre
at Plymouth Church
2717 East Hampshire Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53212
or
purchase tickets online at
Phone: (414) 248-6481

*****************************************

See how awesome and easy and cheap??

And when you buy ’em, be sure to tell ’em Ruth sent ya’. Or I’ll find out, hunt you down, etc. etc.

Sunset Playhouse: Mid-season Musical Auditions


Looking for some good comedic singers/actors for next week’s auditions.  Please pass on the message!

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

A hilarious musical revue by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts
January 16-18, 22-25, 29-February 1, 2009

This musical comedy pays tribute to those who have loved and lost, who have fallen on their faces at the portal of romance, and those who have dared to ask, “Say, what are you doing Saturday night?” Act I explores the journey from dating and waiting to love and marriage, while Act II reveals the agonies and triumphs of in-laws and newborns, family car trips and pick-up techniques of the geriatric set.

SUNSET PLAYHOUSE announces auditions for their mid-season musical, I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE. Auditions will take place Monday, November 3, from 7-10 pm and the following Monday, November 10, from 7-10 pm at the Playhouse, 800 Elm Grove Road. Callbacks will be held on Tuesday, November 11. Roles are available for two men and two women looking in their 30s-40s. Bring 32 bars of sheet music in your key; an accompanist will be provided. Be ready for some movement and be prepared for readings from the script. The show will be directed by Mark Salentine, with musical direction by Donna Kummer. Rehearsals begin December 15-January 15, usually 7-10 PM, Monday through Friday, with some weekend times. Show dates are January 16, 2008, through February 1, 2009, Thursdays through Sundays. For more information call (262) 782-4431, ext. 302, or visit www.sunsetplayhouse.com.

(The original audition notice was not in the media, so please forward this message to other interested parties.)

**********************

I’ve seen this show done before and it really is pretty funny. :) And Mark and Donna are great to work with! So if you live in the Milwaukee area and are looking for something to audition for where you get to do a li’l singin’ and dancin’, you should totally check out this audition.

UWM Freshman Orientation ’08


My sister’s freshman orientation was Tuesday. Bekah is officially on board the “I am never attending another freshman orientation, even if it’s for my own kids” train. Yay Bek!


So while Bekah was off touring the campus and doing all that… stuff… my mom and I had some *grand adventures* (read: played Sudoku and napped on a bench in the Union) of our own. Actually- we were able to go out and enjoy a nice, longish walk through the neighborhood, which was fun. Hot, though. Man…

So good for you for attending all of the sessions, my Rose. Sorry your mom and sister had to counter you with a li’l hooky. For whatever it’s worth, I have no doubt we were just as bored, if not more so, than you were.

See? Doesn’t that just make it all better?!

Juneteenth


We’re debating what to do about rehearsal on Thursday because it’s Juneteenth and some of us have to drive through the “festival” areas to get to the church where we practice so there’s no way we’ll be able to start on time, but if we start too late then it’s not worth going at all that day.

Last year I had to drive down Locust to get to an evening audition at that same church and ended up being super late because I didn’t know about Juneteenth and I ended up getting stuck by all the people in the streets who couldn’t cross them faster than .83 mph, or who refused to use the sidewalks, or who were too busy intimidating drivers who wanted to continue driving towards their intended destinations to be able to find time to, you know, get out of the middle of the street…

And bear in mind that these roads weren’t closed off. There was no “festival” set up where I was. No events- formal or informal. Not really anything happening except people sitting in windows and on front stoops and in yards and on sidewalks and in parks and on curbs and milling around in the streets… I know there were things going on someplace else, but where I was there was nothing but people just kinda… hanging out.

And blocking traffic.

And yelling at you when you wanted to take your turn at a stop sign when you had the right of way.

Up to that point it was just annoying. But then–

I watched people in the streets pounding on cars that were trying to get through the crowds, and somehow just kept going like there was nothing to be afraid of. But you know what? There was. There were plenty of things to be afraid of. I was just too blindly optimistic to think there might be cops in riot gear a couple of streets over, or that people would actually break in my windows and pull me out of my car and start beating me in the street in celebration of a declaration read in Texas a hundred and fifty years ago.

What?!

Is that how we’re supposed to celebration the emancipation of the slaves? Is that what people lived and died for? Are the freedoms and rights people have been sacrificing themselves for snce the inception of this nation something to celebrate by making a mockery of justice by ignoring laws and committing violent crimes against innocent bystanders?

Happy Juneteenth, everybody…