Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 30 - Books

I read a lot, but not in the way that other people would think of as reading a lot. In the past couple of years, I've been reading plays and books that I need to read to do research to be able to play certain characters and whatnot. I read articles on the interweb and things like that. I've not given myself time (nor taken the time) very much in the past couple of years to read books just for the joy of reading books.

Until today.

I took this morning to finish reading the last book in the Hunger Games series, and then I read all of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Which means a pretty full day of reading. And it has been glorious. To meet these characters and see them through to the end of their stories. To turn the pages (albethey electronic pages, but still) and get sucked into the stories. To need to know what is going to happen next, even if I already know (or can guess) what is going to happen next. I miss that. I need to make time for that more often.

It is kind of funny, too, I think that both books I read today are young adult fiction that have been/are being translated into films. The first, I had the characters from the film in my head while reading the book. The second, I didn't because I don't know the actors well enough to visualize them in the roles. I think I liked it better not having someone else's ideas of who these people are in my head when I read it, which means I need to get on reading some more of these books before they are turned into films.

In any case, I read a lot today and I loved it. So stop reading my blog post and go pick up a book. It's good for you.

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 29 - Holidays

I don't think it is going too far out on a limb to say that holidays are about the people you spend them with. The challenge as an introvert, though, is to find that balance between spending time with loved ones and spending time alone so you can face the next bit of time you have to spend with loved ones. 

I saw a lot of my loved ones today. I got a kiss from my niece, hugs from an aunt and uncle, and time at the movies with my friends.  And now I am hole-ing up in my apartment for about 24 hours before the next round of social activities begins. 

Look out, holiday season! I've got a plan this year and I'm ready for ya! Bring it on!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28 - Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, my (not entirely inclusive) list of things for which I am thankful includes:

My mom, for not only tolerating, but supporting, encouraging, and participating in my lunacy. 

My cat, for always being snuggly and putting up with getting over a hundred kisses a day. 

My dad and stepmother, for coming to see my show last week. I know some of the theaters where I perform are difficult for them to get to, but it means the world to me when they come out to support what I am doing with my life. 

My friends, for keeping me busy and reminding me that I have a place in this world and am loved. 

My family, including those who have chosen to marry into it, for showing me what families are supposed to be, and for loving each other dearly. 

My job, because it affords me the luxury of living the life I want to, including an opportunity to see my theatrical idol perform live. 

The directors who have given me the chance to work steadily for the past three years, and my fellow cast mates and crew members from whom I learned volumes about what kind of actor and what kind of person I want to be. 


My health, and the fact that my broken ankle from a year ago healed quickly and well. 

Me. My brain and the way it processes information. My body and all of the amazing things it can do. My sense of spacial awareness and the way it lets me function in the world. 

This time. We live in an amazing time full of awful things and wonderful things and it is an honor to have the chance to watch the world change around me. 

Red pandas. And bunnies. And wombats. And goats. And whales. And dolphins. And mice. And squirrels. And bears. And lions. And birds. And flowers. And trees. And all of the amazing, wonderful, brilliant, diverse forms of life that exist on this planet, giving it color and wonder and joy. Our planet is pretty freakin' cool and I feel lucky to live here. 

So yeah, I guess I am thankful for all the things. Maybe I am the "sunny disposition" sort after all. Crap.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November 27 - Snow

I'm weird about snow. I know this.

I think we all know by this point, too, that there is very little in the world that I hate more than I hate being cold. Violence and cruelty, maybe, but then being cold. Then ignorance. But I digress. Digest. Yes, it is lunchtime and I'm about to open my crisps.

Anyway. Cold. Snow. My weirdness.

Snow is pretty to look at, and I don't mind it when it comes at the appropriate time of year and I don't have to go out in it unless I choose to. I love a house decorated for the holidays with lights in the bushes that have been covered by snow so you get glowing, multi-colored snow. It makes everything look cozy and nice and brings up memories of hot apple cider consumed with loved ones by a fire. I even, occasionally, like to walk outside while it is snowing, imagining that the snowflakes in my hair make me look magical and not at all like I have really bad dandruff.

The important bit to take away from that paragraph, though is "appropriate time of year." In my mind, just about any time after Halloween (October 31) and before Christmas (December 25) is the perfect time for snow. As soon as Christmas is over, though, the ground had best be bone dry or I'm going to have words with Mother Nature. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe it's that the cozy warm fireplace memories tend to go along with the holidays as opposed to happening on a random Tuesday night in January. Snow in January and February just makes me feel like Mother Nature is being pissy, even though I know it is still technically winter then (in the northern hemisphere, at least). Snow in March or April is a mockery, and snow in May or June is just mean. But snow in November and December is perfectly fine.

That said, I don't mind the snow that fell yesterday, and I won't be bothered if it snows again this weekend. But be prepared for me to get annoyed when snow happens in January, as it likely will in Chicago. I'll tolerate it for the holidays, but much like a Christmas tree left up too long, it will be unwelcome in March.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26 - Comfort

There are a lot of foods I didn't eat until later in life, just because I didn't have access to them. Some of these foods are now my favorite comfort foods. And at this exact moment, as I am baking cumin cinnamon apple chips in my oven, and my entire apartment smells like the warm spices of late fall/early winter, I am so thankful that I live in a house that always has cumin on hand. Because seriously, is there a better smell than this? I don't think so. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25 - Injuries

So the show that closed yesterday was actually a more physical show than one might think by looking at the script. We had a couple of actual fight sequences, and a few smaller physical moments that needed some choreographing. We got to work with an excellent fight choreographer who preached safety above all else (as all good fight choreographers do). Despite this, I find myself in pain today and it took me a little while to figure out why. And here's why.

1) My head hurts. My character had amnesia and would hear things and would smack herself in the head to try to get rid of these random auditory hallucinations. There's a line in the script where her husband says, "Don't hit yourself in the head, honey," so it's one of those things that kind of has to happen. Meaning, for the past couple of weeks, I've been hitting myself in the head a lot. This is likely why my head hurts and the blame for it falls completely on me for getting too into my character.

2) My shins hurt. My character jumps rope at one point in the show and is supposed to mess up at one point. The easiest way for me to mess up without making it look like I'm trying to mess up was to try to do a double jump (i.e. have the rope go under my feet twice during the same single jump in the air) and fail. Which means I ended up fwacking my shins and feet with a very fast-moving jump rope every night. I have jump rope shaped bruises on my shins.

3) My right shin in particular hurts. During one particular struggle with my "son" and "ex-husband" in the show, I honestly just wasn't paying attention to where I was and how much momentum I had yesterday and ended up bashing my shin into the handle of the broiler drawer on the stove on stage. It's not only a lovely shade of purple-brown today, but a little bit bumpy, too. Like when I got kicked in the shin by an overzealous Charleston dancer, only not quite so big.

So I'm a bit of a mess today, and with the snow coming in sideways, it really feels like the sort of day I should have stayed home with a book and some hot tea. And maybe some Advil and an ice pack.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24 - Closing

There are always mixed emotions when a show closes. The little annoyances will now come to and end. But these people who you've shared your life and some really intimate moments with over the past couple of months are going to go back to their lives while you go back to yours. And I think we all secretly know that as much as we want to stay in touch, the next shows we do will eat all of our time and we'll just drift apart. I'm not a fan of that process, but it is a very real part of the theater world. 

So to the cast and crew of the show we closed today, thank you for a couple of wonderful months. I had a blast working with you and getting to know you. I hope our paths cross again, but even if they don't for whatever reason, it has truly been a pleasure working with you and I'll never forget this show. 

Thank you! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 23 - Happy Anniversary

Hello, Doctor,

You probably don't remember this, but the first time I met you, you were a skinny, rat-looking man standing in a doorway with a bride, looking at the creation of the Earth from rocks and dust and gas in the universe. How could I not fall in love with you?

We've been on many adventures, you and I. I am always in the role of observer, but I have treasured every moment we have spent together. And today, on the 50th anniversary of the first day you shared your amazing life with those of us on this tiny planet, I want to say thank you. When I am down, you are there to comfort me. When I am joyous, you are there to share the wonders of the universe with me. When you looked like David Tennant, you showed me what kind of energy and enthusiasm I want to bring to every role I play in my own career as an actor. You make me laugh. You make me weep. You give me hope and fill my imagination with impossible dreams. You taught me there is beauty in everything, and empathy for everyone. You taught me that everyone deserves a chance, everyone deserves to be helped, and that words are the most powerful tools we can use. You taught me that everyone is important, every life is beautiful. You taught me to keep loving, even in the face of tremendous loss. I know I've only known you a few short years (as measured here on the slow path), but I can barely remember a time when I didn't know you, and can't imagine a future time without you.

Thank you for sharing your life with me. Even if you never look like me, and even if you never pop by my place to pick me up for a ride, I take tremendous comfort in knowing you exist. I hope you are still traveling long after I am gone, because the universe needs a man like you.

Happy birthday, Doctor. Happy anniversary, Doctor. Thank you for the brilliance you have brought into my life.

She that thou knowest thine,

Friday, November 22, 2013

November 22 - Short

This is going to be short 'cuz I'm out being a person so I'm going to save the things I really want to discuss for later. But I just want to say really quickly that sometimes I feel really lucky, just in general. Right now is one of those times. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 21 - Grumptopotomus

Imagine an octopus mixed with a hippo. Who is extraordinarily grumpy. This is the grumptopotomus.

Today, I am the grumptopotomus.

Honestly, I have no idea what that even means, but the word popped into my head because I'm really grumpy today and what's better than a grumpy hippo octopus and sometimes when you're really grumpy you just need to giggle at something completely nonsensical. So I bring you the grumptopotomus. If anyone would like to submit artwork for what the grumptopotomus might look like, I'd love to see it. Remember: grumpy. 'Cuz I can see a hippo with eight legs and a weird octopus face, but it has to be a supremely grumpy weird octopus face. Or an octopus with a hippo head that is (again) extraordinarily grumpy.

And I have now succeeded in making myself laugh so hard I'm crying, which may mean the grumptopotomus is no more. For the time being.

Send me your grumptopotomus art! Let's all have a good giggle about it!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 20 - Butter

People have talked for years about the phenomenon whereby a physically attractive person can become less attractive if he or she is unkind, or how a non-traditionally physically attractive person can become moreso if they are strong of character. This should not be news to you - I'm sure you've experienced it first hand. We all have. Many of the people I hold most dear would not fall into the Hollywood Leading Man or Leading Lady category, but they are the most beautiful people I know.

I think this goes for sex appeal, too. Take, for instance, current "hearthrob" Benedict Cumberbatch. Let's be honest, he's a little odd-looking. While watching the first season of Sherlock, it bothered me that he didn't seem to have any pores. But he totally won me over in the role, and from doing some (perfectly innocent) interweb searches, I've found I kind of dig the persona he puts out there. I admire his work, and I admire how he handles himself off stage, too. And these things are what have turned him from this weird pore-less man into a sexy guy I'd love to meet and work with.

I bring this up because People Magazine named their Sexiest Man Alive today and I have to say, I thoroughly disagree with the choice. I don't usually pay that much attention, though when Channing Tatum won it, I had to look through my own list of sexy qualifications and got the feeling the IQ qualification might fall a little short, but I was okay with it. He seems decent. This year, they gave the title to someone who is either not very talented or intelligent in real life or doesn't want people to think he is, so he puts on an asshat public persona. In either case, I don't think he's a very good role model. Yes, he is nicely shaped, but remember what I said in the first paragraph? Have you heard the phrase "butter face," as in "she's hot, but her face is nasty?" This guy is a butter mouth. He's nicely shaped, but when he opens his mouth to speak or sing, it kind of makes me ill.

There are many, many, many men I think are sexier than this year's Sexiest Man Alive. But for the sake of similar comparisons, I'll throw this one into the mix. Also a tall, skinny musician with dark hair and lots of tattoos. But he writes songs about how everybody should be writing songs, and how he'll look out for his god daughter as she grows up, and how life is meant to be lived to the fullest. He's funny and historically minded. He likes to learn facts about each city he visits on tour. He likes to learn a new cover song every day. He likes to read books, including autobiographies about people of whom he's not particularly fond just for the sake of learning about someone who is different to him. He loves his friends and loves making music. He's fascinated by English folk songs, and he loves to share his knowledge. On a personal level, I emailed him to thank him for his music and he responded with a very pleasant "thank you" email within about eight hours. By all accounts, he seems to be a decent human being. Not perfect by his own admission, but decent. Funny. Smart. Talented. Hot.

So for as much as I complain about the objectification of women, and as much as I do like to occasionally objectify men as a joke, could we please stop celebrating idiocy? If we're going to adopt anything about geek culture and make it cool, can we adopt the bit where we pay attention to people's personalities and celebrate the smart and funny ones who have some character?

I wish I didn't secretly know that that is asking too much. Go listen to Frank anyway. He's lovely.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19 - Nasty Habits

I was talking to someone over the weekend who said he was thoroughly disgusted by people who choose to chew gum. His argument was that it is akin to a cow chewing his cud.

Now, I will agree that it is perhaps odd to put something in your mouth that you chew and chew and chew but never swallow. It's a lump of mushy stuff that you infuse with your saliva and the bacteria that accumulate in your mouth and then you either stick it to the underside of a table to piss other people off or spit it out into a garbage receptacle where it will remain permanently adhered to the receptacle, never actually being disposed of. Gum chewing is not part of the digestive process, though, and is not semi-regurgitated matter mixed with stomach acid that has come up for a second go-around. And the kicker is, there are actually quite a few benefits to chewing gum. Particularly sugar-free gum. Particularly mint gum. Which happens to be what I chew when I chew gum.

The person who made this bold statement that chewing gum was gross also happens to be a smoker. Did I mention that? Yeah, he is. The person who inhales nicotine and tar that turn his teeth yellow and rot his lungs thought that chewing gum is more disgusting than smoking.

Now, I think we all know the dangers of smoking. And I think it is safe to say that most smokers don't give a rat's ass. In Europe, they put giant labels on cigarette packages with pictures of diseased lungs or that say, "Smoking Kills" and people keep smoking them anyway. For some, I'm sure it's turned into a "collect them all!" game with the warning labels. But from the very basest, very simplest, most mundane perspective, smoking makes you smell bad. We can tell you've been smoking because of the foul odor that accompanies you when you walk back inside. The stench that lingers in the air. And maybe that stench isn't the bit that is going to give me cancer, but I still have to smell it, the same as I have to smell my coworkers cooking their Lean Cuisine lunches in the kitchen. It is a distinctive, unpleasant smell that follows you everywhere, no matter how much perfume or cologne or body spray you try to use to cover it up. It just smells bad. You smell bad. And heaven forbid you try dating a smoker and feel the urge to kiss you get to lick the tar and nicotine out of the inside of their mouth. Sounds like fun, yes?

I'll admit it - I've kissed smokers. And I'll also admit that regardless of technique, I'm tired of it. I'm tired of doing things like brushing my teeth, eating mints, chewing minty gum, or putting on lip balm to make the experience more pleasant for my kissing partner if he's just going to light up and taste like an ashtray to me.

I don't know that I've had much on my "dealbreakers" list before, if anything, but let's put this on there. No smokers. I'm done with it. I'm done with overlooking that "character flaw" when it comes to interviewing life partners (I'll overlook it for friends and casual acquaintances, but not for life partners). But I'll offer a deal to any smokers out there who were considering applying for the position - I'll give up chewing gum if you'll give up smoking. Deal?

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18 - Melted

Every now and again, when my cat is sleeping on my lap or next to me on my bed, he'll let me hold his hand. It is during those moments that I know if I am ever so lucky as to become a parent, I will be a good one. In those moments, I melt. In those moments, I know I would do anything to keep him safe. In those moments, my only thought is that I hope he knows how much he is loved. I know some people think a pet or companion animal is just a pet, but my cat is my family. And I'm so lucky he came to spend his life with me. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

November 17 - Pleasant

So, there are a few things that I will admit I'm good at. And it makes me antsy when I feel like I'm stuck in a situation where I am afraid I'm not going to be able to be good at one of the things I'm good at. But I then get to be extraordinarily happy when one of those situations turns out better than I expected. 

Today was one of those days. I was afraid I was going to let myself down, but in the end, I did not. This is also one of those days when I know I'm doing the right things because even when I think I can't, I can. 

Yay vague blog!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 16 - Haiku

Saturday evening
Prepping for the sophomore show
Please, Caffeine, kick in

Friday, November 15, 2013

November 15 - Opening Night

I'm not exactly sure why opening night has more buzz about it than any other performance during the run of a show except maybe closing night. Is it because this is the first time people get to see it? Our first exposure to the rhythm of the show with an audience? Even with preview audiences, opening night feels different. Or is it because we've been waiting and working so long for the final product to be revealed and now it finally is? 

I'll admit it, I make a big deal about opening night. I'm more about opening night gifts for my cast mates than closing night gifts. Not that gifts are essential, but I like thanking everyone for their hard work. But why on opening night specifically?

This question occurred to me as I wondered if it would be okay for me to wear a Doctor Who t-shirt and beaten up hoodie to opening night tonight. I remember back in the day, I used to dress up a bit. Especially in college because we had a reception for patrons of the theater after opening and we wanted to assure them they were investing in something worthwhile. But now...a lot of the people I know don't bother anymore. Should I?

Not to mention the fact that every performance is as important as every other performance. Just because I've done the show a half-dozen times already doesn't mean the audience members there tonight have seen it yet. They deserve my all at the thirtieth performance just as the first audience does. 

I dunno. No matter how much I try to talk myself out of it, there is still something magical about opening night. I'm excited to take tonight's audience on this journey with me. I'm excited to feel my cast mates' energy as they feed on the energy of the audience. I hope people laugh. I hope they enjoy the show. 

Happy opening!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 14 - Ugh

In typical Kitty fashion, I seem to be getting sick just in time for opening night. I know why it happens, and I know why it happens with such alarming regularity. I just wish I could figure out a way to make it stop happening.

See, by the time we get to tech week, my schedule has gone kablooie and I always end up spending a week not really sleeping. Wake up, go to work, run home, (hopefully) eat dinner before going to the theatre, rehearse until 10 or 11pm (or later), go home, try to sleep, wake up, go to work... I say "try to sleep," because I am often unsuccessful. I'm usually kind of buzzed after a performance, and as one who has problems falling asleep anyway, it makes it that much harder to quiet my brain down enough to get some sleep before I have to get up and do it all again. So by opening night, after a week of not sleeping well and sometimes not eating well, my body says, "Fuck this," and fills itself up with spare phlegm in an attempt to force me to slow down and take care of myself for a day. My skin usually likes to join in the rebellion, too, and starts sprouting volcanoes on my chin. Good fun.

And it is for this reason that I did just about every show I did in college on DayQuil. My dear friend DayQuil, helping me through theatrical performances since 1998. I'd like to avoid taking something before the show tomorrow, but I think the only way to do that may be to take a sick day.

We'll see how I feel in the morning.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November 13 - Control

I don't like to think of myself as a control freak. In fact, in many ways, I think I am extremely flexible and I like giving up control for some things to other people because I don't want to be pestered with all of that responsibility. I do like deluding myself into believing that I have some sort of control over my future as an artist.

I say I delude myself because I honestly don't know if I'm a fatalist or not. And also because nobody knows what the future holds for artists. It is a very insecure world and sometimes the best and only thing you can do is hold on for dear life to the things you love the most. Moments come, too, when I am reminded of how little control I have over my artistic career, like when as one of the principal characters in a play I am not mentioned in a review, or when I am not cast in a show because I'm too pale next to the lead guy or whatever. These are things I cannot control, as much as I wish I could. I cannot. I have to be okay with that.

But one of the things that helps me be okay with that is knowing that I can always create. I can always imagine. With a camera and a day, I can make a silly YouTube video that makes other people smile. With paper and pen, I can write a book for my nieces. With a guitar and a thought, I can write a song to pass the time. I can always create. And a rejection from one project does not negate, cheapen, or lessen the importance of the other projects. I create because it is what I do. If other people choose to participate in my creations, fantastic. If they don't, I still create because it is what I do. It is the one part of my artistic future I can control, so I hold onto it for dear life.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12 - Deadline

My deadline has come and gone. What I was waiting so desperately for may still make it's way into my life, but the deadline has passed. I'm breathing easier (which is good, if disappointing). I can be a person again instead of a bundle of nerves. 

Which is funny to me. I've been waiting for this deadline so long and with baited breath and even though what I was waiting for hasn't come, I'm perfectly fine with not waiting for it anymore. It's like the butterflies were switched off as soon as the deadline passed. 

Here's hoping I still get some word, and that the word is good. But I'm glad to not be a nervous wreck anymore. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11 - Spoilers

I remember when Terminator 2 came out, one of my friends got to see the film before he saw any trailers or ads for it, so he didn't know that Arnold was the good guy this time around. I apologize for spoiling that bit just now for any of you who haven't seen Terminator 2 yet but seriously, the movie is how old? And you've not seen it yet? I'm guessing you don't plan to. And besides, the blog post is titled "Spoilers." I consider that fair warning.

Anyway, my friend got to see Terminator 2 not knowing that Arnold was the good guy, so he got to experience the terror of "oh god, he's back" right alongside the characters in the film. I thought to myself, "What a lovely way to see a movie - the same way the characters do, with no foreknowledge of what is coming." And ever since then, I've had this ongoing internal battle over whether to watch trailers and advertisements and whatnot beforehand.

On the one hand, it's fun to see what's in store. It's fun to get a glimpse of Middle Earth before the next Hobbit movie comes out. It's cool to see what your favorite actors look like dressed as characters you grew up with. And trailers are a very useful marketing tool - if we didn't see the trailer for some film we'd never heard of, how would we know if we wanted to spent thirteen dollars to see it in 3D or if the eleven dollar 2D version will suffice?

But a large portion of the joy of watching something new, or reading something new, is allowing the story to take you on this unexpected journey. Being surprised by plot twists or character introductions. Building the world of the story piece by piece. If you know what all of the pieces are going in, you spend more time waiting for the next reveal than enjoying what is happening in front of you right now. At least, that is my experience with spoilers. And the real kicker here is that sometimes, the stunts they show in trailers are from footage left on the cutting room floor, so you can spend an entire film waiting for one specific moment you loved from the trailer that never actually happens in the film. And you leave frustrated and disappointed by what was otherwise a lovely movie.

So the 50th anniversary Doctor Who episode is "airing" around the world on November 23rd. Which means the interweb is inundated at the moment with trailers and sneak peeks and photos from the set and whatnot. And I am trying my hardest to not look at any of it. I don't want to know the plot before I show up to the theater that afternoon. I don't want to know how the three versions of the Doctor will interact. In many ways, I think it's bad enough that I know three versions of the Doctor will be in the episode and I don't want to spoil it any further by knowing anything else about it before I see it. I want to be surprised. I want to experience the episode in the moment. I want to watch the plot unfold before my eyes, not spend the whole episode waiting for a specific explosion or line or plot point. I honestly don't want to know until I get there.

So what do you think of spoilers and trailers and inside looks and sneak peeks? Do they enhance your viewing experience or ruin it? I know why they exist; I'm not debating that. I just sometimes wish they were easier to avoid under certain circumstances.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November 10 - Tired

If you get to the end of a theatrical performance and are exhausted, you're doing something right. 

I'm tired. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

November 9 - The Skin I'm In, Part 2

I want to be a champion for women's portrayal in the media. I want to show women as they are. 

Looking back on my career, though, and somewhat forward, I realized that I often times play men. Or characters who were men, but we make female so I can play them (or the director wanted to gender-bend and I seem right for). Which is, as a side note, why I'm always a bit taken aback when someone says I will never play the Doctor. And while I realize that I'm probably thinking too much on the matter, I find myself wondering what this says about me as a person. Am I masculine? Am I not feminine? I know I'm not girlie, and I do sometimes have issues identifying with other women, but any time I tell a guy that I feel more like "one of the guys" than like a girl, they remind me that no, I am in fact a girl. So how is it that I get to play these masculine characters?

I am not complaining. Let me be completely clear on that point - I am not complaining. I love having the opportunity to play characters that I otherwise might not get to play (see: Hamlet). I just wish I knew the thought process that leads to casting me in masculine roles. 

In my own fantasies, it is because my performance abilities transcend gender. That's probably putting too much thought into it, and giving myself too much credit. But if, by the end of my career, someone else describes my performance history thusly, I think I will have done my job. 

Friday, November 08, 2013

November 8 - The Skin I'm In

As I was driving home yesterday, it occurred to me that I have not weighed myself in months, nor have I done the "oh my god, I shouldn't be eating this" thing in quite some time, either. Maybe just weeks for the second one, but still, that's a big deal for me. Usually any time my trousers feel a bit snug (even if it is because they just came out of the dryer), I start thinking it's time to start counting calories again and when can I fit in some more physical activity and oh my goodness nobody is ever going to love me if I don't lose twenty pounds first. But I haven't done that in a while. And amazingly, I've been happy during that time that I've spent not beating myself up about my physical appearance. Shocker, huh?

"I've been happy during that time that I've spent not beating myself up about my physical appearance." What a brilliant place to get to in my life, and how extraordinarily sad that it took me this long to get there.

Because let's be honest. I've been saying for years (maybe two or three) that my dress size has no bearing on my intelligence level or my abilities as a performer or how much I care for my friends and family and the world around me. But secretly, I've still been wondering what it would be like to be a size 2, just once in my life. I think I'm getting to a point now, though, where I believe what I've been saying, too.

And while we're being honest, dieting makes me grumpy. I don't care what kind of diet it is - it can be one wherein I live on chocolate and soda, dieting makes me grumpy. I don't like having to keep track of every morsel that enters my mouth. I don't like measuring out twelve grapes to have with breakfast because they have more carbs than other fruits, so twelve is all I can afford. I don't like finding out that the delicious, healthy foods I love to make for myself actually have 500 calories per serving. I know how the human body works (kind of), and I know that carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals are all essential for proper body function. Carbohydrates are my favorite because without enough of them, your brain doesn't work right and I am particularly fond of my brain so I want it to keep working right. When I diet, I get grumpy. I don't want to do that any more.

So what all of this brings me to is that fact that I'm starting (finally) to be more comfortable in my own skin, in exactly the condition it is in. It is okay that my tummy isn't perfectly flat. It is okay that I've got a butt. And more important than knowing there will be at least one person in just about every room I enter who finds me attractive is being able to look at myself in the mirror and see my own definition of beauty. Which, I think, more than anything comes from the fact that I've been happy not beating myself up for the past couple of weeks. You'd be amazed how much you start to glow when you stop bombarding yourself with negative imagery. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

November 7 - Update

The watched pot is my email account.

It is not yet boiling.

Grumble, grumble.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

November 6 - Waiting

I am terrible at waiting. 

I spent the last week or so being very much in the moment. I had a lot of things going on that all required varying degrees of advance preparation, and found myself focusing on the most immediate task first, then shifting to the next bit of preparation when the first task was complete. What was amazing about this process was that it made me focus very much on the moment, exactly where I was at a given time. In a way, it was a brilliant exercise. And now that some of those projects are complete, I find myself incredibly impatient for the next deadline to hit. I don't want to spend the next hour chilling out, I want to get to rehearsal and get working. I'm antsy to get into tech next week. I'm thinking about my trip overseas next month. Since I don't have a deadline right exactly now, I don't want to be in the moment right exactly now. I want the next thrill. 

I need to work on staying in the now more, and appreciating where I am in the process. I should probably cut back on the caffeine, too. 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

November 5 - Cool

On my way in to work this morning, I heard an ad on the radio where someone (I'm pretty sure it was Zooey Deschanel in a spot for New Girl, which I love) said, "We're cool." And it came out in the dorky, sort-of defensive way that the geeks I grew up with used to cling to in order to validate ourselves as useful members of society. You know the tone of voice. Someone decidedly uncool trying to convince himself (and others) that he is cool. And I thought to myself, "What's so great about being cool?"

I mean, seriously, think about it. This is the biggest, most on-going, far-reaching ad campaign in history (I say, having done absolutely no research on the topic). Everybody wants to be cool. Everybody wants other people to think they are cool. As much as we want food and shelter and to be loved, we want to be cool because we think being cool is our ticket to being loved.

But let's look at coolness for a minute, yes? The actual word "cool." It means not quite cold, but colder than warm. It describes a state of non-commitment. Cool can't even be bothered to slow down enough to be cold, nor is it as inviting as warm or as furious as hot. It's just...there. Cool just exists. And for some reason, we all want to be cool. We all want to just exist.


Let's look at how the word is used, for example, in the context of a budding relationship. People feel the need to be cool around one another when they are getting to know each other so as to not scare the other person away. So they hide their feelings, they shrug things off that really annoy them, and they avoid saying the things they really want to say for fear they might venture into warm territory and therefore cease being cool. How many times have you told a friend to "just be cool" around the object of his or her affection? By which you are telling them to not show emotion, not be excited, not let this person who makes their heart skip a beat know that their heart is skipping just now. Yet we all yearn for the brilliant poetic moment wherein we learn we make someone's heart flutter just a little bit. So why do we have to be cool? Is there this big societal fear that if we tell one person they make our heart flutter, that it won't mean anything if we tell someone else the same thing later in life? Because I'll tell you right now, the heart flutters I feel for certain people now are just as lovely, if not lovelier, than the heart flutters I felt as a child.

I have, admittedly, spent a large portion of my life wanting to be cool, too. But I have to say, I'm tired of it. If I'm excited to see someone, I want to let them know I'm happy to see them. If I hear a great song on the radio, I want to have a dance party to it. If wearing a TARDIS watch that doesn't keep time very well makes me feel more like me, I'm want to wear a TARDIS watch that doesn't keep time very well. Fuck being cool; I want to be me. I want to be excitable and passionate and friendly and energetic and I want to use my fucking words to fucking tell people how I fucking feel about them, coolness be damned. There is so much amazing stuff going on all the time in the universe; why on earth would we want to not participate in it and not be affected by it?

Find one thing that you love and love it completely. Every day, with every fiber of your being. Fuck being cool.

I love you guys.

Monday, November 04, 2013

November 4 - Words

I love the English language. I truly do. I love that it is an ever-changing thing, full of weird syntax rules and irregular verbs. I love that it is confusing and muddled and that twenty-seven words can all mean the same thing, but in just slightly different ways. And I love that we are always trying to come up with new words to describe new phenomenon in new ways. I love it.

And we have so many words at our disposal. So many. I, for one, am not using them very well at the moment, but I have, on occasion, found a brilliant word to describe a perfect situation and been really very proud of my deployment of, say, "emblandened." Even our jibberish is lovely (she says, as she mentions that "emblandened" is a perfectly cromulent word).

But my question is this: With so many words at our disposal, and the sort of blanket permission to make up new ones as the situation requires, why are so many people so afraid to use any of them?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

November 3 - BED

So it's November now, and I must say, I've been pretty good about blogging every day this year. I think I've missed two days so far. Not too shabby. But the question has started to enter my mind, what happens next year?

I have had fun blogging every day, but there have been days when it has sort of felt like a chore. I like writing; I'm not sure I like forcing myself to write. Though at this point, blogging every day is rather a habit. I think it will feel weird to not keep it up. Will it be weird for you to not get new content every day?

Just something to think about. If you do a project with a set end date, do you have to stop then? Or do you get to stop?

Saturday, November 02, 2013

November 2 - Decision

I made a decision today. I was getting ready for an audition, to read for the part of the fairy queen, and I looked in the mirror and I saw beautiful. I saw strength and talent and radiance and brilliance and it was beautiful. I liked seeing that. 

So I decided that I am only going to get more beautiful as I get older. I had my moments as a kid, and a severely awkward stage through middle and high school. And while someone out there may disagree with that statement, I think it would be hard to disagree with the statement that I only seem to be improving with age. So I decided that I am only going to become more beautiful as I get older. 

And to clarify, I'm not talking about Hollywood standards of beauty. I'm talking about laugh lines that give my face character. I'm talking about glistening, silver hair. I'm talking about kind, bright, wise eyes. I'm talking about a welcoming smile and an honest desire to hear other people's stories. I'm talking about a giving nature and a fascination with the world around me. I'm talking about the real, honest, blinding beauty that comes from living a life full of the most human imperfections. That is who I decided I am going to be when I get older. And who I want to be on the path toward becoming starting now. 

So how's your day?

Friday, November 01, 2013

November 1 - Rehearsals

Do I talk about acting too much? Seriously, let me know if you're getting sick of this stuff. I just kind of figure, the mommies out there keep mommy blogs, the fashionistas keep fashion blogs, the techies keep tech blogs, and I'm an actor so a lot of my blogging is acting-related. It's what I know. They tell you to write what you know and it's what I know. I'm sorry if it gets dull or repetitive. Anyway.


So we're at that point in the rehearsal process where scripts are down, intentions are being explored, and we're actually getting to play with each other. Find new things in the lines. Try different tactics for getting what we want in a scene. And I have to admit, this is the part of the rehearsal process that I love most. I love being able to look my scene partners in the eye when I talk to them (as appropriate). I love letting their words affect me and discovering how I react to them. I love finding things organically, like, at this moment, I need to hug my kid. I love getting to the point where we know, as a cast, that someone has something more to say and it is not that they have forgotten their lines, but that they are letting the character find the appropriate words to say at the appropriate time. It is at this point in the process that it stops being about a script and starts being about living truthfully on this stage. I love that. This is what I live for every night I show up to the theater. Connecting with people. Making the director feel stuff. Surprising my cast mates with a different tone of voice. I don't have a simile for how much fun it is because it is like nothing else in my life. It is my drug of choice. I often feel that this is my real life and the muddling through, going to work, cleaning the house and cooking food stuff is the imaginary part. On stage, I get to live fully, albeit in someone else's skin. I love it.

Last night, I made some good, honest discoveries and some strong, emotional connections with my cast mates. Almost to the point where we were thrown off our game and forgot where we were in the script. But we got back into it and...yeah. I had to hug my kid by the end of the scene.

Which also got me thinking about basic human interaction and the physical component thereof. I think we are often quick to think of touching other people as a sexual thing, but it doesn't have to be and often times, it just plain isn't. But we, as humans, need to touch and be touched. As a single woman, I find I can go for days without touching another person. Most of my physical interactions happen with my cat (who, I'm sure is tired of me snuggling him when I get home) and while I love him to bits, it feels really nice to hug my stage mom and my stage son and have them hug me back. It helps make those other moments of emotional connection that we have that much stronger, too.

So yeah. I'm feeling good about the work happening on this show so far. We still have a fair amount of ground to cover before we open. But I'm enjoying the process. Having an audience come in and enjoy the show will just be icing on the cake.