Zeroed out

Zero follow through. More than any other, it’s the reason I’d make a lousy parent. I get angry, I set restrictions, but then I don’t follow through. I want open communication and companionship more than any desire I have to ‘be right’ or ‘make a point’.

I was reticent, saying little. My bro picked up on it right away. Surprise, surprise. Realized that I was angry over something that happened a few days ago, and my bro is very akin to a dog: you’ve got to bring him up sharp immediately or he won’t remember what he’s being scolded for. So I let it go. I talked with him, helped with dinner and dishes.

After writing yesterday, I also realized that I’d written out my own solution. He was circling some anxiety and not letting it go. Best thing to do: listen. Didn’t ever hear him come out with a biggie that I thought all his frustration was pinned on, but he seemed much lighter once I let go of my petulance and just spent time with him.

And…he ran down to the store for a few supplies and bought some after dinner treats because ‘he sensed maybe I needed them’. That pretty much brought down whatever remained of my anger: just that extra bit of thought and kindness.

Have coughed my voice into a lower register. I really sound like a guy now. My normal voice is alto, so it’s rather deep for a woman’s to begin with. Now, tho! Yikes. Even to my ears I sound like a tenor/baritone.

Took my homework to bed and finished it off. Not a big deal, tho I note here I had to look up several words to make sure I was doing it correctly. It wasn’t an automatic run through the list.

Slept in ’til 10 this morning. That’s late for me.

Got the dates on the theatre meeting mixed up; it’s Thursday, not tonight. Good. That takes pressure off me today. May even stay for the full class.

Warnings out for high winds today. Guess the storms that have battered the east are headed this way. Rain, too. And cold. I don’t really want to go out in it.

Managed to put in some time on the audio scripts. Went out, saved my work in text form so I can always go back to the stage play versions, and began writing. Cut out stage directions and replaced them with audio cues. Got thru four scenes, then shut down. Trying to do it sans narrator.

Gave thought, too, to other short podcasts I can do. The trilogy is big, and not everyone will want to give a 30 minute story a try. So I’m thinking of lots of small bits; short stories built on things I haven’t quite found a home for. Patterning things after the YouTube channels I find interesting. No first person stories, and a certain pat intro that leads the audience straight into it.

Lots to do, and zero guarantees it’ll return anything. That’s life, I guess.

Well… It’s the beginning of the new year. Starting with zeroes on so many of my counters can’t be a horrible thing. After all, new things can only grow if there is room for them. Seems I have plenty of room in my life for new things right now.

I’m zeroed out.

Advertisements

That’s where I am

Monday. This week it’s my birthday and I have to see my rheumatologist. Not that the two are connected; I just happen to have both in the same week. It may also be the week the play goes down in flames.

Out to FB, delete the friend request I sent to D, the mega bitch. It’s sat there for weeks, unanswered. After yesterday, she can go fuck herself. I half expect her to be bitching to the director about me right now. I more than half expect a verbal exchange between us during rehearsal. Doing my best to visualize me remaining calm, pointing out her negativity and simply saying ‘You seem to be very negative, like you don’t like the script or the play. I get that you don’t like me, and that’s fine. I don’t like you, either. But why are you even in this production if you hate the story and hate your character?’

Yeah. I expect her to walk when I point out what a bitch she is. Because that’s what people like that do: they shove the blame far away from themselves, never taking responsibility for anything. I was to blame for her confusion, and after I sent her the motivational analysis, I was to blame for trying to straighten her out. It’s a no-win situation, and I’m sick of it. She can fucking walk. Please! Leave! You SUCK! Your acting SUCKS! Your accent is a fucking abomination and no one can understand a word you’re fucking saying! I’m taking a feather from her cap: if she’s gonna bitch at me about how nothing makes any sense in MY story, I’m gonna let loose on her shitty acting.

I’ve been nice, not saying anything. Now she’s gonna see the other side. People can’t handle my brand of honesty. I expect her to go within 10 minutes of the conversation beginning.

Yesterday I felt that disappointment. A bit of regret over having to take such drastic action. Today, I’m all for it. Do not care if this kills the EU premiere of my work. I still have the US premiere, still believe in my work. I can take this to another theatre company, we could shelve it and do it in the autumn of 2019 like I wanted, or it could just go bye-bye. Don’t know. All I do know is I’m not gonna have a bitch on the set who can’t act or take directions. She shapes up this fucking week or I’m axing her myself.

Foot. down.

Act one tonight. I have about a page and a half to memorize. My speeches are rather long; my character is in a therapist’s office, so she’s going on and on about herself and her daughter. I, unlike Ms D Super Bitch, know my character and her motivations, so it shouldn’t be tough. But I do need to devote some brain time to it.

Will probably duck out of class a bit early today. Give me an extra half an hour between class and rehearsal. I’m busy this week. And I deserve the extra time.

… One more thing. Ms D is so negative towards me that I expect to hear yet another complaint when I avoid taking her picture or getting her in frame. She’s complained about everything so far; take a left and she bitches, move to the right and she bitches. So I anticipate hearing a complaint about avoiding her, even tho she’s asked for it. She’s that type of bitch.

I don’t think I’ll include her in the cast interviews at all…

No response to anything else. No other answers in, nothing from the director even tho I sent him that note after reading D’s replies. I’m not a fan of this start-stop shit. But I understand others have jobs and things they have to do during the day. Just wish they were a bit quicker with things.

Calm is my word this week. No matter what happens, no matter what’s said. Stay calm, turn it on their heads. And make D pay for all the shit she’s heaped on my head so far – which is a LOT.

Will prep off a letter to the director. I probably won’t send it. I’ll wait, change the language, make sure I’m not too inflammatory before I actually send it. But version one will be acidic. Angry. Nasty.

Because that’s where I am.

Time for some distractions

9:40. Nothing. No word, no reply. Do not know if I’ll get vids shot today or not. Waiting on hearing from the actor, who claimed to have had something going on with her daughter today. She said ‘I’ll let you know as soon as I know’. Her life must be pretty damned chaotic. Here it is late morning and she’s gotta be somewhere today for her daughter – but when? In an hour? In six hours? And who puts anything together at the last minute with kids? An on-the-spot improv dance rehearsal by six year olds? Or maybe they’re doing a flash mob…

Apparently I was just one click away from completing my sign-up with FB lite on my phone. I clicked it, and suddenly my phone went off. Now I’m being bothered by people electronically waving at me on the damned thing. Seriously? Waving at me? For fuck’s sake -! Had a good laugh, tho. It only took 2 minutes of being on it before I heard from an acquaintance of mine. He’s in the UK and we connected on poetry. I find him competitive. It feels like he only writes to me when he needs to crow about his accomplishments. I get messages full of his work, his interviews, his kudos. Then, in the last sentence, he asks how I am. The message I received yesterday followed the same pattern, with the twist of asking what I thought of the new Doctor Who. Kept my reply short and upbeat, but didn’t bother telling him much. Just said I’m very busy these days with the theatre group. Not the fact that I’m the playwright, or the buzz around the project, or the incredible footage I’ve found to use. Just busy. And I really like Doctor Who as a woman. No doubt I’ll get another long message detailing his online releases and self-published books. *sigh*

Thinking I’m just gonna do a finalization of my roughs and get them out on our video page. A bit hesitant to do that: once they’re public, anyone can see them. But I’d like the group to take a look at them and give me some feedback. Now. Not two months from now, not two weeks before opening night. Now. When I have time to change things.

Have to take the time to get out on Submittable and get my story to a few places. I keep thinking about that and not doing it. I should do it now. I won’t hear from anyone for months. And I’m done following the rules! I’m submitting to multiple places at once. They always say don’t do that. Bugger them. They take their own sweet time replying, so I’m playing the game MY way. All at once and whoever grabs it fastest, wins.

Did my Dutch homework last night in bed. Pleased to say there’s only one question I need to do a bit of work on. The rest were very simple for me. So simple I managed to read thru the short story, do all the homework, and still had time to read 5 or 6 more pages in my book. I like that!

Supposed to meet the new replacement actor tonight. I guess he’s got the part; at this point, we just need a willing body. We’ll work around his acting abilities. Hope he’s not a total hack, but then, he’s playing one of the brothers. Half of act 2 they’re affected by this phenomenon and walk around like zombies – so I don’t need GREAT actors. Been charging the camera battery; or, I hope I have been. Tricky to get the battery into the charger. It’s lit up, so I’m crossing my fingers I did it right. Ugh. And filming the scenes means I have to slap some make-up on my face. Cover up the worst of the dark circles under my eyes and give my cheeks a bit of color. Not looking forward to it. But I know I’ll regret it if I don’t.

At least my bro and I have been talking about sound. Discussing the big sounds we need to make, and how best to make them. We need to get set up for my vocal recordings this weekend. Make sure his mic works as an input on my system, choose a decent gate to cut out the high end hiss. I’ve now got a good idea of how to proceed and how many steps I can do on my own before I need to call my bro into the picture. Happy to hear he’s confident we can hook up our good keyboards directly into his system if not mine so we can use their big multi-sounds. Now I’ve got to get serious in timing with him. If he wants to create the small electronic sounds we’ll be clipping into the voice, we need to do that early on, too. But at least he understands the path we need to take. Act 1 first, Act 2 second, then Act 3. Just like it’s written.

It’s sunny outside. Perfect for filming, if M shows up.

If.

Ding! Is it her? No. Just another nonsense alert for something I don’t care about right now.

And if I knew she wasn’t coming today, I’d go to the gym to get some exercise. Of course. Of course I feel like walking and moving. Because I can’t. I have to sit here and wait. Oh, I know some people would say: Go! Take your phone and monitor it while you work out. Yeah. Well, I’m not the sort of person who’d go and get all sweaty and then run around in the cool autumn air to shoot vids. One or the other, and until I know for sure about the vids the work-out is a no-go.

Time for some distractions.

I’ve lived it

Went thru Act 3 last night. That’s the act I was most worried about. Some negativity from the actors, some misinterpretation of my story…it was adding up to concern that the third act wasn’t gonna go well. And while I’m dealing with some non-native English speakers who have to practice what word to emphasize in some sentences, they’re listening to the director, adding in their own things, and it’s coming together. But, yeah. We laughed last night, but the mood was far more serious than the other two acts – even when I went into clown mode, miming wild gestures. That is due to the actor playing the government agent. She is such a buzz-kill. Even when she’s being a bit playful, she’s somber. But at least she can be playful.

Connected everything with everything. My phone is somehow connected now to FB, tho FB ended up being a shit and making me put in a new password even tho my home computer is still signed in on the old password. But, hey! I saw the news articles about FB. I don’t expect much other than personal invasion.

I’m being dragged into the 21st century whether I like it or not…

Got some pix on my new phone and the director set me up so every pix and vid on my phone goes directly to Google storage. Yippee; I can add photos to my theatre blog post today.

Need to try hooking the camera directly into my computer. The director said try that before we go any further. Crossing my fingers that my mac will recognize it. Then I can just download here at home, make the vids, and get them out.

Tonight is Act 1 again. Need to run my lines this afternoon.

Tomorrow is recording night. Up at 2 because my bro said the sweet spot in this building is between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Thinking I may just doze off in my chair and bring my alarm clock out here. I’m usually up ’til midnight these days, or almost. Nap for 2 hours, do the recording, then finally head off to bed. It’s gonna be weird, and I expect it to throw me for a few days.

Still working on my Dutch homework. More exercises than I thought in that small packet! Feeling good about it, tho. Confident.

Got in fresh air and sunshine yesterday. Breathed that cold air into my lungs, smelled that autumn smell of decaying leaves, looked up at the blue sky… It was a good choice. I was right; it had been too long since I’d done that.

And…wow! My bro’s stepped up the last few nights. I’ve come home to a clean kitchen post rehearsals. Dishes done, garbage and recycling out. Must remember to thank him for that. I come home wound up and tired. I notice the crap is gone but I’ve bigger things on my mind. Ha! The Universe is teaching me why I don’t hear about the same tasks from my bro when he’s out doing things. The shoe is on the other foot. Okay. I get it. Now I’ve got to change it. Start speaking up to him, thanking him when I come home and the house is clean. Point out to him that I notice and appreciate his work. If I do that, maybe I can teach him to do the same when things flip around again.

Spoke to the director about video for the production. Said we needed to meet and talk about that, that I needed time to create the vids. He agreed. Good. I roughed in several ideas months ago, so I’ve something to go on. And, as usual, my head’s been filling in those rough ideas. Edit this, do that, bring the entire tone of each vid into the lighting of the play.

Remembered, too, to ask about our local tv programming. It won’t hurt us to go in there and see if anyone doing a show on Rotterdam local events wants to interview or talk about the production. The director laughed at me when I told him I often surf thru those channels late at night. He considers it a cul-de-sac; a dead end that reaches no one. I disagree. Even if we only reach 5 people, that’s 5 more than we’re reaching now and it costs us nothing. We’ve got to start getting press coverage from somewhere. If we can’t convince a free, local tv show to talk about us we’ll never get larger press coverage.

And let’s not forget tomorrow I’ll be in the dentist’s chair. Brrr! Nothing like a bit of dentist anxiety and a panic attack at 10 in the morning. Really wakes you up.

Time to pull out that camera and start fiddling. I’d like to begin filming tonight. Compiling clips. It’ll take time to get what I want.

And… How insecure is it of me to know I want to wear make-up while I film myself? I know what I look with and without make-up on camera, and the whole thing will sell better if I wear make-up. That means painting my face tonight. Meh. Well, I’ll get plenty of practice in. I may even need to buy more make-up ’cause I’ll be using it on a regular basis. I just… I don’t want a hundred clips of myself looking so damned tired. Besides. Beauty sells. Anything and everything. I’d be stupid to ignore that fact.

Time to shoot up with my weekly drug that keeps me on my feet. I hate injecting myself. Have to really disconnect even tho it’s just under the skin. Goddess forbid that I’d have to find a flipping vein! Could not do it. Ugh. Have a very ugly memory of a drug addict sticking a needle in and out of his arm trying to find a vein. I put in in my memory deliberately. Sounds strange, I know. But that night I knew what was happening. I didn’t participate, but I did watch.

If I ever had to choose one moment when I decided somewhere inside of me to become a writer, that was it. That night. Watching that horror.

Watching that horror…

And the penny drops. There it is. The source. The reason why I’m finding it so easy to write horror.

I’ve lived it.

One. week.

I should probably put a big red circle around yesterday’s date in my calendar; here’s where it began. Yep. I got back to the gym. Weak as shit, just trying to get moving right now. The quads in my legs are paramount. Lately I’ve taken a few running steps up stairs and felt that weird and awful pull in my right knee that says it’s straining. I really don’t want more knee problems. So build those muscles. Keep ’em strong.

Another rehearsal tonight. Lucky for me, it’s Act 3 which means I’m not in it. I’m there to sit, observe, help when and if I can. Must begin running thru my own lines. I think tomorrow I’m expected to start going off script…

Boy! Did I hit with the flyer. Everyone who sees it is pulled into it. What’s this? Oooo! And then they scan the QR code and start reading. Stats on the group’s website are up 23% over last week. Fan-bloody-tastic! While I want everyone to sign up for the newsletter, my first job is just to get the damned word out. I never again want to hear that we’re the best kept secret in the Netherlands.

T’s book is officially out and for sale – in Dutch. He’s so proud. And he should be! It looks really sharp and the sheer amount of work he’s put into the translation should earn him a gold star from someone.

Continuing having problems with my email connected to my bro’s company. Somehow we got blacklisted from our own site. Our new server sorted it out, and in came over 200 emails. Neither my bro nor I are happy with our new server. Compared to the last, they’re really not on the ball. But they’re here, in NL, and the annual cost is about 25% of what we were paying. For many reasons, this new server is the best choice right now. But as soon as we get some money in we might look for somewhere new.

Out of boredom, I took my Dutch homework to bed. Read the short story and began on the exercises. Have a feeling I’ll once again hear from my fellow students that they found it difficult. Me? It takes time to go through it and look through all my options, but I’m not finding it difficult. These are words I have, in a story. The exercises just ask me to use the story’s words in new sentences. Easy-peasy, or as they say in Dutch, ‘het staat als een paal boven het water’ (it stands like a pole above the water, a saying for it’s blatantly obvious). See? I can even use Dutch idioms in casual conversation. I’m getting better.

Trying to keep my ear open and listen for a time period when the house is quietest so I can record in the lines I need to do. The downstairs neighbor often plays loud music during the afternoon, and there are still workmen tinkering in places. Thinking I may just set my alarm, get up at 3 in the morning, turn on the computer, and record the lines then. It’ll be quiet; I can guarantee that! And…hm. Maybe I’ll even get a new and interesting delivery out of myself.

Had a good, long laugh at the director the other day. He gave the actors some instructions; wanted one of them to really engage in some horseplay. He asked one actor to hit the other on the back hard enough to throw him off balance, and then proceeded to run the scene several times in a row. I mentioned directors who put actors into dangerous and frightening conditions in order to keep them in the mood and get what they want on camera. The director looked me square in the eyes, smiled in a devilish manner, and said ‘Yep.’ He’d do that. And, in some ways, so would I. I’m willing to get bruises, bumps, and cuts. I’m willing to go that extra mile for a role.

Hell! I want to.

I guess it’s a 3 a.m. recording session for me…

At least the wet weather has blown itself out. For now. I’ve sunny skies outside and I find that heartening this morning. Maybe I’ll just go for a walk in the sunshine. Clouds are supposed to come back by this evening. Feels too long since I’ve felt sunshine on me.

Keeping up on juice and hand washing and everything I can do to keep myself healthy. I feel tired a lot. No big surprise; either my body is going or my head is. I feel like I’m holding a stallion back. Like I’m in the starting box of a big race and the horse I’m on is straining to take off and run. Letting the horse run isn’t wise. Holding him back is difficult and tiring.

One. more. week. Then Dr T will give me more meds and hopefully this will ease off.

Pleased to find I’m pretty comfortable talking about my mental health issues with the director. I use ‘shrink’ rather than doctor and kind of make fun of myself when I mention it – one of my big defense mechanisms. But the director is listening to me. He asked me on Tuesday if I was still doing okay. I told him I’m going a bit fast and I want the med that’s supposed to stabilize me upped. He doesn’t give me much feedback on any of it, just lets me say it out loud without judgement. That helps. Told the director I’m strung out, feeling like I’ve been going on nicotine and caffeine. Did not say it’s rather like the day after a cocaine binge – no need to admit to all my horrible past at once – tho it does feel like that. But the only upper I’ve been on (other than my paltry few cups of coffee in the mornings) is adrenaline. This is my version of mania.

Oh! And the venue we’ll be using has video projection capabilities and we can do it at no extra cost. I have the camera. My schedule might become tighter still…

One. week.

Even cheerleaders take a day off

Have an invitation to meet and see a possible theatre venue. Sadly, it’s on the day I have language lessons and…well, everyone knows how much I need those. So I’m passing on it. Technically, I could probably do it. They want to see the venue at 10 and my lesson is at 12:30 but…and…I know how these things go. It won’t be fast. It’ll take a while for someone from the venue to let us in. Longer to find the person we need to speak to. Then poking around, questions… It’s too close. And I can’t do everything.

Remember that! I can’t do everything. More; I don’t want to.

Must admit to disappointment over my FB post. Received plenty of likes and even some comments, but no reposts from the theatre people. Here’s where we fall down: one of us or the group’s page posts something important about us or our upcoming production and not one of our members reposts on their page to help spread the word. I have to get our members to understand that it’s not about your friends seeing the post and being able to come to the show, it’s about upping the traffic and visibility of our page. You don’t know who might breeze past your page and see it. We’re fishing, and when you fish you spread your net wide.

Got in loads of info on possible venues from the director’s girlfriend. This is her job on the board: sort thru venues, all the info, present possibilities to us. Sadly, she gave it to me all in Dutch so it’s not that easy for me. But I ‘handled’ her. Have to admit to doing that to keep her in line: took the time to compliment her on her work and thank her for gathering all the info together.

I feel like a flipping cheerleader. Barely one word goes out to the theatre group that doesn’t include a ‘!’ somewhere in it. Rah-rah, siss-boom-bah! You’re all great, everything’s fun, let’s keep going. Hoorah, you did your job. I do feel grateful; one less thing I have to do. So my cheerleading is 50-50. Fifty percent genuine, fifty percent handling. I figure that’s a fairer percentage than most people have. Plus, I’m up front about what I’m doing. I’ve said before I’m gonna be a cheerleader and try to bring this group together. They are the least together group I’ve ever been part of. I’ve seen this three times now. Everyone’s enthused and excited during auditions. Yes, I’ll be there. Yes, I want to do this and have fun. But the moment we begin talking rehearsals, all I hear is: I can’t make it that day, I’m too busy to do it, It’s impossible for me. It’s like once they get a role they all turn into divas. Work around my schedule; after all, you’re lucky to have me. Ugh! If I could, I’d play all the roles myself.

…Yeah. And like that’s not a control statement.

Wish the director would communicate with me more. Then again, considering the whole triangle set-up there, maybe it’s wiser for him not to reply to my messages. Do not need his girlfriend griping when he ignores her to reply to something I’ve sent him. To date, he’s teased her that I could replace her as his girlfriend, he’s done some crowing about my acting abilities and raised her jealousy level, and I think our easy back and forth communication style including several new inside jokes is really bugging her. So, yeah. If I stood in the director’s girlfriend’s shoes I wouldn’t want him messaging me back all the time. Sadly, I find that counterproductive to the show. I need feedback on what I’ve sent. I need to talk with the director, hash things out. *sigh* Guess I’ll really need to learn brevity. Get my questions answered immediately because it’s not like he’ll tell me anything outside of rehearsals.

Did not do a full super scrub yesterday – at least, not on the house. Remembered my bro cooked something that sent the oven into smoke mode, so I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed it out. Burnt out my hands and fingers so I just played for the rest of the day. And I don’t really care to do more cleaning today.

Getting back to a decent and regular exercise routine is on my mind. Not enough to get me out of my chair today; yesterday was hard on me and I deserve a bit of a weekend. But I’m beginning to dream of exercise and sweating. Getting back to it. Have really let myself go lately, and it shows in my increased waist size. Will need to start right back at the beginning: just get moving. Slowly up everything, adding in more and more advanced exercise as I build up. Hate and love the idea. Soon that’ll grow to a point where I have to get up and move. No need to push myself today; I know it’s coming.

It’s good to sit here on a cloudy Sunday in my pjs, knowing I’ve done a lot of work and a good job. I feel accomplished. Easy in my mind; things are progressing well. Beginning to worry about my own ability to do it all two nights in a row. We always book the opening weekend as a weekend; Friday and Saturday performances. I know how tired I am on the second day when all I’m doing is performing. I’ll have a lot more on my plate this time. Vital: good sleep. That means allowing myself to wind down. Get out of the theatre early and don’t stay ’til the last guest leaves. Get home, chill, take my pill(s), read, lights out. Up the next day, shower if needed (and I might need to get the blood off me), an hour to putz with the shoulder wound and do it right, re-pack what I need, eat, get to the theatre. It’s a lot.

Gimme a weak-assed ‘whoopee’.

Well. Even cheerleaders take a day off.

Sick

Don’t faint; it’s just make-up. I am really proud of this look. Third attempt at wounds and first attempt doing it on my own shoulder. My bro can’t look at it at all, and I’ve already grossed out someone on FB with this pic. I can’t stop looking at it. I wanted good and boy! I’ve got it. This was done with cotton circles, kid’s glue, and street make-up. That’s it. Total cost about 10 cents if you add in the additional heating cost because I turned the heat up while I did it.

Covered up the wound with paper towel and surgical tape. First because my bro was gagging, second because I needed to test how it survived under wraps. Sprayed it first with hairspray – that was an inspired idea. Worked very well. Kept the wrap on for 8 hours, moving naturally. Expected it to need a bit of touch-up, and it did – but even if I didn’t have time to it up before going back on stage, a splash of fake blood and I’d be ready to go out make people gasp.

I am SO pleased!

Remembered to get out to the theatre’s website and change the ‘name’ of each newsletter sign-up. I included a newsletter sign-up on almost every page of the new site and found that they were all showing up as ‘newsletter form’ in my mailbox; there was nothing to tell me where it was coming from. So, now, I’ve got ‘newsletter-home’, ‘newsletter-past’, etc. Much easier to discover where our followers are coming from.

Brainstormed last night during tv. Took paper and pencil to bed and made notes. I’ve known for quite some time this production needs backstage people. In my head, it’s been ‘I need help with make-up and video, marketing and props’. But that’s as far as went – up ’til last night. One of the biggest obstacles I’ve encountered in the past is communicating what I want to other people. I think so much I literally forget what other people know or don’t know because I get so far ahead of them. Now I’ve notes.

The make-up person needs to meet with me, go through both the script and the MA’s to learn about the characters, help design the make-up for each character, learn how to do wounds and bruises, and keep all make-up items organized and clean.

Video needs to be at every rehearsal possible, filming everything. I don’t want to use the scenes or give the story away, but I want the other moments captured; the breaks when we talk about the scene or motivations, the giggles when we screw up. Get creative with angles and shots, think about your framing. Vid needs to do interviews with cast and crew, and be on the spot during performances to interview the audience both during the break and when the play is over. I’d also like some behind the scenes footage while we perform.

Props and wardrobe needs to help find what we need and keep it organized behind the scenes during performances. This person gets to boss around actors if they choose to help with set changes. Their word is law: move it there. Also, they need to be on hand to help with wardrobe changes: have the new clothing ready and help actors make the change.

Marketing is the most wide-open task. Meetings with me to brainstorm new ideas. Flyer duty, which might include getting bloodied up with make-up to make an impact. Social network posting. Being at rehearsals as much as possible to blog about it or post pix or just mention it somewhere. Help find sponsors. Dazzle me with a new graphic.

…That’s much better than just ‘help me with make-up’. Meetings with me will go up, up, up. I expect most to be in addition to the rehearsal schedule. But other than video, there’s no rush. I can pace myself. Even video isn’t an end of the world thing. If we don’t get it up and active for a few months, that’s okay. My concern really lies in getting footage to use.

Taking a feather from the director’s hat and making planning first on the chop block: meet with me in private and discuss the job and the production in depth. Get on board with my vision; that’s my real goal. Sell these people. Get them enthused. If I can do that, they’ll put in the work. If I can’t… Well. I’ll cross that road if I come to it.

Today: clean. I need to organize and freshen up my own space. Yesterday I chopped back all my plants (taking out 2 garbage bags full of branches and leaves) in prep for winter and a promised window pane swap. The window in our sitting room has always had condensation. Over the summer the workman saw that and, I guess, pushed thru a new window for us with management. Supposed to happen this week, but we haven’t had a call yet and now it’s getting cold outside… Well. The plants needed it, regardless. Need to tear apart my room and really clean it. Scrub things out. All of that. I know the busier I become, the less I’ll do these things. And it’s not like my bro is gonna pick them up the moment I drop them. I know; I’ve tested him on multiple occasions.

For now, I get to float on my success. Comment on the pic from FB: I had to pick myself up off the floor. That’s totally sick!

Yeah, that’s me.

Sick.

Mindless

Today’s word: squirrelly. Too much energy with no direction. My goal is to find a channel for it. Some outlet that’ll burn it out of me safely and quietly.

Had fun yesterday. Wore my iPod even on short jaunts out, blasting my favorite punk songs. Felt that nervousness I feel before wearing out a new outfit. Warm weather continues and I had an opportunity to wear one of my recent purchases. Happy to say by the time evening came ’round I felt confident and pleased with the way I looked. Had a wonderful conversation with a student during my language lesson; someone new. Sadly, he’s not staying in the group. So I’m back to the typical coffee clutch breaks, talking around me but not including me. Bummed about that. Did my homework, and by the time I was done I felt disappointed I didn’t have more. Read my book, enjoyed it, had good sleep.

Beginning to see a pattern emerge in the people around me. I recognize my trigger: it’s when people begin to brainstorm on their own and tell me things I’ve already thought through that I lose it. And that’s the problem. For the most part, the issues I bring up are new to the people I’m communicating with; they haven’t thought about this aspect of the production. I, on the other hand, have. I’ve been thinking about it for two years. While creating, while writing, while editing, while reading it, while fleshing it out… Two years. Get it? Anything you think of I’ve already thought through, so if you see me get a little impatient it’s because I’m three steps ahead of you. I need to recognize this is the process everyone goes through, and I need to let them do it. I hope I can shorten the process by bringing up the inevitable flaws in their plans that I see after all this time. But then I run the risk of being Negative Nellie, and bringing everybody down.

Fuck! The difficulty in allowing people to fail! It brings me new appreciation of parenthood.

Moving on…

Have next week off from class. It’s some autumnal holiday that I didn’t have marked on my calendar. Color me disappointed. I am thrilled my teachers have upped our homework and given us more difficult assignments and reading. But…I’m just about the only person who does them. Once in a while someone else will do a bit, but for the most part it’s just me and everyone else claiming they can’t find 30 minutes in their week to sit down and do it. I can tell my teachers are disappointed in this, too. And it makes class difficult; everyone is asked the questions and given a chance to answer. They stumble, give some incorrect answers, they give answers that prove they don’t even understand the directions, and then the teacher looks to me for the answer. Do you understand what this assignment asks you to do? asks the teacher. Yes, they all nod (like sheep) while the entire time both I and my teacher knows they don’t get it. *sigh* This is the last year we can do this. I can’t ask my teachers to keep pushing the others just because I’m ready for more.

Good news: we’ve finally saved up enough money that my bro can buy his new computer and needed software. Whew! That was really hanging over my head. I now know we can get all the recordings I want. Experienced that he’s-behind-me-in-thinking with my bro. I told him we need to set a specific date, probably in the first week of December, to bring everyone in and do the recordings. He didn’t listen, and went off on coming to various rehearsals. I then had to slow down, and take several steps back. I’ve already culled through the entire script for the lines I want for the teaser trailer. I’ve also been making notes of everything we need for all three acts: foreign languages, screaming, etc. You can come to rehearsals, but understand their focus will be on the scenes they’re working on – which may or may not include the lines of dialogue I want recorded. Finally I got him to agree it would be best to just set a date and stagger the actors; 20 minutes each should do it. Come in, do your lines, scream a bit, maybe I’ll ask for something else. In and out; everything in one night. It minimizes the stress of carrying the computer and mic down to rehearsals several times. It gets everything I want or need in one go. It minimizes the actors’ time. Best option. But I felt I had to fight for it. I had to slow down and explain my reasoning. And…if you really respect me, if I really have authority, why is it I feel I must always explain myself so bleeding thoroughly? Is there no one on this planet who’ll just take me at my word?

…Hm. Well, that paragraph meandered off into a rant.

Had a message to write today. My work on the theatre website has upped its status so much that I’m now receiving requests from people who want to send me their CVs even tho it’s stated very clearly that we’re totally amateur. I feel bad. I’d love to be able to say yes, come work with us, but that’s just not possible. I didn’t close it down totally, just reminded the person we can’t pay anything but I’d love their help. I don’t expect to hear from them again, but, you never know!

*sigh* Once again, from down the hall, I hear a smoke alarm go off. It’s on my bro’s SIM game. But how smart is it to include that sound in the game when the effect is (at least on me) to ignore it when I hear it? Not very, in my book.

Yeesh! I’m all over the place. Fine. There’s plenty of things I need to do that don’t take any brain power.

Mindless it is.

Own it

Been wondering if the the things I’ve been blowing out of my nose get up out of the trash and walk around when I’m not looking. You know; like that Doctor Who adipose episode. Gross, but…I swear I’ve seen some fully developed things when I’ve built up enough courage to look after blowing.

Joking aside, I’m healing. Slowly.

Headaches are finally easing off, too. Seems to have been a combination of sinus pressure and eye strain. Had to stay off the computer all week, other than fast email checks. No gaming. Haven’t really missed it; the cough medicine I’m taking knocks me out.

With the latest ‘gods, am I gonna die this time?’ cold finally going away, I’m able to think again. And my thoughts are lovely, because I’m a real playwright. 🙂

That’s my new mantra. I’m a playwright. A real playwright. My work is finally being appreciated. Just letting that knowledge sit inside me. It’s very different to feel so good about myself and my work. It’s very difficult to take everything in and not discount it one way or another. I don’t want to jump around or draw a lot of attention to myself. I just want to own it.

I want to own that I’m attractive. Ditch all that ‘I’m so ugly’ bullshit that I’ve hid behind all my life. Ditch my complaints over my ‘huge ass’ which is really quite tight and appealing. I want to ditch the ‘I’m so stupid and dumb’ stuff, too. I’m neither. A bit naive, maybe…okay: more than a bit naive and it’s definitely not a maybe. Still. That doesn’t make me dumb or stupid. It just makes me innocent and trusting. So what if that’s an oddity in this world, especially at my age? Just one more thing that makes me unique. Own it, girl: you be smart. Take it in. Most of all: I can write a damned good story. Piles of rejections from every corner of the industry do NOT negate that fact. The truth lies in the eyes of my audience, those that read my work. I’m gonna stop dissing other people’s opinion of me and start saying ‘thanks’. Just ‘thanks’. No justification, no explanations. Acknowledge it. Own it.

Dreams have become fragmented. Neon colored, bright – memorable in pictures but not in content. All I can say for sure is: no, I’m still not dreaming in Dutch.

Auditions have finally been called. Not thrilled to find the first date is set for this Tuesday, only a couple of days away. Have another date set, a week off. Hoping my film posse can make that one; I asked the director for some lead time so they could make it and he didn’t give me much. As my bro keeps telling me: not my problem. I am the writer, not the director. Also not thrilled to find the notice difficult to spot on the FB page, an old photo from last year’s production used to promote it, and the title of simply ‘auditions’ with no word of the play or what to expect. Hm. Then again, as I mused to my bro, perhaps the director is set on the core group doing this. It’s a bit more challenging to the actors: give me fear, give me rage, let loose with it. Some of these ‘actors’ are really uptight (makes me wonder if that’s why they try their hands at acting). Happy to find the director wants me by his side during the selection process. Tee-hee!! I get to sit there and see everyone. Very jazzed about that. And honestly, I already know pretty much how it will go down. I wrote the damned thing just for this reason: I watched the group over two years, mapping their personalities and their work. I saw how newbies were reluctant to join the group due to their – erm, shall we say relaxed attitude towards productions. I know who’s gonna be in it from the core group: L and J, two core female members and decent actors; and M and E, two core male actors who can definitely do the job. I’ve already said I wrote a part for me, and I did. Add me in, and that leaves one female and three males to find. The director can always step into a role if needed. And yes, I even wrote a few roles that don’t need much from the actors so I feel confident taking on a few newbies. In my head, we’re looking for one female and two males. I’m interested to find out who comes to the auditions. Already heard the people who attended the reading were asking about it. Might we actually have more people than we generally do? Man! That would be uber cool!

And…*sigh* There’s this other theatre group. A bit of a break-away from our group. They’re based up in Den Haag, and run by a director/writer…A director/writer I don’t have much respect for. And they’re going to bleeding Italy with one of their productions. Italy. I mean… Okay, I’m jealous. Envious. Wanting similar for my work, because I know it’s better than his. The group I work with has already mentioned a few possibilities: festivals in other countries we could apply for grants to attend. This is the script I want to do that with. I want to to take it to these fests. At least one, please. Let’s really do this.

It’s a big ask. Coordinating 10 people on a trip like that. Wading thru all the Dutch paperwork. I can’t do it alone. I can’t do any of it, other than possible help on coordination (like finding accommodations). But I want us to try.

I gotta put it out there.

Own it.

No more ow

Gout. Wanna know why they call it that? Because if you’ve got it, you gotta say OW really loud. OW FUCKING OW. That’s gout. My left big toe is affected. Not my right foot, not my other toes, just the one. Feels like someone’s got it in a nut cracker and is trying to crush it. The pain’s been getting worse for days; a combination of summer coming on, lack of regular exercise, and my dumb luck. I’ll say it again: OW.

Walking despite the toe problem: check. Tiding up the house and keeping my personal space neat: check. Doing those pesky things like brushing my teeth and hair, or trying to look a little better than I generally do when I leave the house: check.

The Universe seems to be on board with my whole celebration this weekend. The powers that be resurrected our dead hoover. Last we checked it, it just sat there all quiet in its corner doing nothing. Got some SUCK power going again (maybe I should be worried). But in my wisdom I wanted my weekend free, so I did the housework yesterday. Four loads of dishes, hoover the place while the machine works, water the plants, take out garbage and recycling. The place isn’t perfect, but it’s better. And I feel better for it.

Headed outside for a walk. A check with the weather forecast told me yesterday was the only day possible for a pleasant walk; heat is returning with a vengeance (my toe could have told me THAT). I looked up at the blue sky. At the trees, with their leaves almost fully out. I said hello to everyone I passed and was rewarded with smiles and greetings in return (this is the only city I’ve found where people actually DO that anymore). Had a bit of happy magic passed onto me by a child. He just said hello to me when I greeted him and his parents. But it was such a musical hello, such a happy hello, I felt like I got a real gift from that two year old. He made me smile.

Plans today to head off to another mall. There is one mall in Rotterdam that has a natural foods shop which carries the frozen yogurt I like. Tried to find it other places, closer places. Nope. That’s their specialty thing. So my bro gave me a fifty and suggested I take the cold pack and go get some. ‘And take a look around, if you feel like it,’ he said. In other words: here’s some money, go spend it on yourself if you find something you want. He’s also made sure to automatically transfer a bit of money into my back account every month from his, so I can use my bank card for transactions. I know it’s a small allowance, and I know doing all that isn’t too much in the grand scheme of things, but I’m very pleased. I get more opportunities to feel like a real Dutch person and just swipe my card to pay for something. And he’s given me everything I need (permission included) to have a really enjoyable day at the mall.

The only thing I’m trying to judge right now is if my foot will let me do the mall walking I’d like to do.

Cleaned out a lot of clutter in my brain. I was able to think clearly and coherently as I took my walk yesterday. Centered on my new piece. I like the idea, think it’s fun, but it’s too squishy and undefined to continue as is. Was bothered by building up the space crew so large – large casts are always a problem for the local group, and I’m using them as my example of what to look for when writing plays. Scheduling 10 or 12 people is just damned difficult. So I began cutting. Who’s necessary? What’s really driving it? Took the idea down to 6 people: 4 space crew and 2 others they can interact with. As I pruned the story in my head, new ideas came to me. Ah, yes! That’s what was sitting under that morass of loose ideas! Beginning to feel the pacing of the play, when everything happens. Good.

Still no word from the director. This is another holiday weekend, so that’s it. Cough it up, buddy. You put the deadline as ‘after the holidays’, and we’ve just a few short days left to go before that condition is reality. My bro hopes to get a new computer by July, so any thoughts of recordings need to just be stored away until then at the earliest. lol! And I’m not noting any of that because I’m nervous about it. I’m noting it because I’m telling myself I’ve still got a few months available to lose myself in a new story before real work on this year’s production begins.

…Realized, too, we just passed the anniversary of my mother’s birthday. Some part of me must have been mulling that over. Feels a little odd to think about C now. I feel like I’m seeing her for the very first time – and maybe I am. If she were here today, I could look her straight in the eye. Not as her daughter, just as a person. And I’d let her see my empathy and understanding: I get it. I feel that way, too. In my imagination, C hangs her head a bit after that look. She feels regret over the past. She is proud of me, too, but she’s a bit shy of her feelings because she’s not quite sure how I grew into the person I am.

I have never before in my life envisioned that sort of calm exchange between my mother and myself. Screaming, fighting, crying – yes. But one look and all those chains melt away like nothing? One look and the balance tips in my favor? That’s brand new.

Hm. The pain in my toe has vanished.

No more ow.