Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Weight: 153 lbs.
Weather: 15 degrees
Run-time: You don't want to know.

Blogging live from Ali's apartment, where we just completed a run-through. She says I have crossed a milestone (is that right? crossed a milestone? or passed one?) in that I appear to have convinced myself that I can perform the show without stopping - my lines may not be perfect, but I know what comes next.

Momentum is an issue, as is rhythm, stamina - humor. I move a lot, not graceful, oh no, no dancing (well, there is a little dancing, but not graceful dancing) and you know, I have to speak. It's a marathon with words. Oh my yes.

In The Short Answer scene (1988) I am having a miserable Christmas break at home with my parents following a near-nervous breakdown. I begin running, but I had never run in the winter and I needed a kit. In reality I put on layers of cotton (which is, as they say, the enemy) like longjohns and multiple layers of socks and sweats. Onstage, I cobble together a kit, making it up on the spot. There's a sweatshirt, there's a hat. Socks make excellent gloves.

I have seen writers use silent moments of getting dressed before. My wife started a play with one, Angst:84, where a girl arrives at high school before everyone to quickly change from her at-home clothes into the Goth gear she wears at school.

But it was today that I realized that I lifted this from was inspired by the first solo play I ever directed, Sarah's Eighth Wonder of the World where a terrorized middle school gear dresses for school like she is preparing for an assault. Improvising, building, thinking, creating. Out of fear, and a strong sense of self-preservation. And because she doesn't know what else to do.

I have to plunge into the blizzard now. Can't say how long it will take me to drive home, I hope things are less fraught following rush hour, it took Ali's husband two hours to get home.

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