Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Come on, baby. Now throw me a right to the chin.

Rosalind (Christie) Hicks: Poirot does not look like you.
Peter Ustinov: He does now.

The tour of The Mysterious Affair at Styles opens tonight at the Alcazar at 8 PM. You should join us, it is free and open to the public. I should be excited. I feel ill. I do not recall feeling this horrible the date of an opening before. Running should have made me feel better, instead it made me sad and angry.

Distance: 4 miles
Route: To Parkside Blvd. and back.

I believe that, had the sidewalks been clear, I may have cheered up, but they weren't and I haven't. Angry is not the proper word. I am anxious, to be sure. I do not doubt the material. Christie's novel is top-notch and so is my adaptation. I am delighted, overwhelmed by the talent and energy of the company. Emily, Anne, Michael, James -- especially James, who is onstage virtually every single moment of the play. I am not sure he knew what he was getting himself into! But I am extremely proud of him.

Lisa has been wonderful to work with, she has transformed into an extremely talented director, not just clever and creative but reassuring, calming, she is so very in charge. Diana has been immensely helpful as production stage manager. And I cannot praise the designers enough, Esther has made us sumptuous as usual, Terry's set is very impressive and stately, and Richard's sound just stitches it all together. Everyone at Great Lakes has been positive and supportive, and I hope they will enjoy the production.

No, I am not nervous about the show, nor my place in it. I will be uh-mazing.

Just ... openings make me doubt. They make me sad. They make me fret. But these days, so does the wind.

Temperature: 32ยบ
Climate: miserable clumps of hard-pack snow
Weight: 173.5 lbs.
Breakfast: open-face fried egg, cheese, salami, toast thing
Hydration? yes
Stretches? yes

Speaking of James ... he's only 22, you know? That is half my age. I turned twenty-two twenty-two years ago. I was driving into work yesterday, and struck by a powerful realization. You only get one youth, you know. "This is our youth ..." Uh-huh, and what did you do with it? Maybe when you are a child, and begin to think of a real grown-up life, you make a picture for yourself of what you will do, and who you will be. And it's always fun and adventurous without any of the heartbreak and difficult things.

My senior year in high school we were supposed to create a glossy magazine article about ourselves, from some ten years into the future. This future me was an actor and a director -- but a successful one, a famous one. But I also included a failed first marriage. Who does that? Who sets themselves up like that?

1997 Playlist
Your Woman - White Town
Steven's Last Night In Town
Selfless, Cold & Composed
Song For The Dumped
- Ben Folds Five
Burning Ground - Van Morrison
Space Junk [Wang Chung '97] - Wang Chung
Tubthumping - Chumbawumba
Turn It On - Sleater-Kiney
My Hero (154 bpm) - Foo Fighters
Mon Amour Tokyo (153 bpm) - Pizzicato Five

Smack My Bitch Up - Prodigy

How did I actually end up spending my youth? And by I, I mean "we" because I did none of these things alone, and forgetting the heartbreak and difficult things for a moment, we made plays, threw parties, drank and smoked a lot, we danced, reserved private rooms in restaurants, we were written up in the newspaper, were interviewed on TV and radio, wrote stories that were printed in magazines, made assholes of ourselves at parties, offended the mayor, slept too much or not enough, met people, learned to dislike people, offended people, reunited with people, traveled to big cities, slept on couches and floors and in the wrong places, drew pictures and painted paintings and made many, may more plays.

In early 1997, Comet Hale-Bopp hung in the sky, harbinger of the Millennium, beneath which my play The Vampyres was opening at Dobama's Night Kitchen. We had a room upstairs at the Firehouse on Silsby. There was eating, drinking, and a lot of smoking. Money was freely spent. Who were those people? I think I could name all of them, I am sure I am Facebook friends with every single one, with one very obvious exception.

It was a youth. Perhaps bigger than most. We had no idea.

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