Why am I here again?

Why so difficult?

Why must I suffer distain filled comments given to me in a scathing tone? Because I dare to disagree? Because I dare to have an opinion all my own? Seems that way. And because I don’t want to sit and defend myself all fucking morning, I cave. Go ahead. Watch what you want; even that asshole whom I hate, who gives me fucking ulcers, who has nothing of import to say. Go ahead; what does my morning comfort mean in comparison to your whims?

And, wow. This blog went from quite a few likes during the week (quite a few for me, anyway) to zip by the time I asked for help. Um…okay.

Sent a message to a source I respect. Crossing my fingers that I actually get a reply. Questions, questions…and here I am, wanting a short-cut. Please. Don’t make me go through thousands of nonsense airy fairy sites spewing the latest new age fad. I just don’t have the time.

Have a feeling I’m gonna give up on the book on Russia. It’s interesting, as a time period study. But damn! It just goes on and on and on. One of those books you really can stop at any bloody sentence and just pick it up again from there: no narrative, just paragraph long spews on Russia and Russian culture. Must set it down and pick up my Dutch again.

The sun has finally broken through the clouds, tho the rain is still here. It almost feels odd to see blue in the sky; I was so used to iron grey.

Problems settling down last night. I did my usual: telly, night-time rituals of teeth brushing and facial lotion, reading, lights out. Then I tossed and turned for at least an hour, my head going so damned fast I just couldn’t stop it. I do not appreciate it. My thoughts were all about my writing. Great! Super-duper. But I’m not getting up past midnight to write. Forget that. Not after a long day. And especially not when I plan to do something the day after. Kept telling my head that, but it did no good. Spin and spin it went until I finally dozed off.

Feeling…off. Can’t say my happiness meter is registering above zero. Conversely, I can’t say my depression meter is registering, either. I’m just blank. Kind of tired. Almost in a trance-like state. *sigh* I don’t like going out in public when I’m like this. People – even my shrink – take this as depression, but it isn’t. I’m just quiet. And damned tired for ten in the morning. Don’t want to take off 2 weeks in a row from class, tho. If I must, I’ll beg off by saying still feeling a bit ill. Most people accept that reason when I offer it up for these moods. Not true, naturally. But it’s the easier answer than explaining everything from A to Z.

My bro keeps looking at me to see if I’m done blogging. He’s had some coffee and isn’t such a crank now. I can tell he wants to spew at me, giving me his opinions on the morning news and his non-stop fucking SIM game that I wish to Goddess he never found.

…Why am I here again?

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The scales are tipping

Denmark: winds so high they blew a train off its tracks. Poland: ten feet of snow, burying people in their homes. Germany: blizzard.

I’ve been deeply thankful the last 24 hours for Dutch ‘soft’ weather. Everything seems a bit kinder in this corner of the world. The winds don’t blow as hard, the snow doesn’t fall as much – even the rain tends to be soft falling rather than a hard battering ram.

Still ill. It’s an odd illness. I can smell things and my nose isn’t really plugged. But I’m producing a thick mucus that’s very stubborn. My bro is affected, too. Hanging out, getting rest. Whatever this is demands it; at least twice every day I must close my eyes for a half hour nap.

Not sure what to call my cooked milk dessert. In the states I’d just say ‘pudding’, but over here that word does NOT evoke memories of Bill Cosby and Jell-O products (tho I’m not sure that’s entirely a bad thing). My version is lighter than normal, thanks to a secret method I have. Wonderful, flavorful, and literally just dissipates on your tongue. Also, very addictive. It’s so light and tasty you just want to keep eating and eating. I am being encouraged to increase the proportions so I just make more; so far, nothing’s made it to the next day. We eat it all up in one sitting.

Monday is the real start to my new year. Back to language lessons, back to regular hours for everything. Even the theatre group is scheduled to meet on Monday (tho when and where are still not settled).

I’m happily pleased with my break. Allowing myself to read in English really gave my head down time. We’ve had excellent food: cranberry pork roasts, mustard and rosemary sauces, fresh quiches, and holiday goodies both purchased and home-made. I’ve watched new films and old, laughed at the comedies and got goosebumps and shivers from the horror. I’ve written and watched, played and slept. As my bro would say, I gave myself a ‘real’ break for once.

Thank you, me.

L’s other play is scheduled for the 19th. I’ve got it marked on my calendar; either I’ll go and film the performance or I’ll just go. Need to check with L on that before I buy a ticket. But I’m determined to support her. As long as I’m not coughing my lungs out, that is.

Saw a notice on a quick FB check. D, younger brother of D whom I had a conversation with over the holidays, says he’s been diagnosed with Rosai-Dorfman Disease. I checked the attached information on the notice. …Honestly, first thing I thought was: Yeah? So? While I don’t want to make light of his problem, it’s not the worst thing that could happen. Most people don’t even experience pain. So I’m sitting here, suffering from one of the most painful conditions known to humanity, and wondering why the fuck I should care. It sounds a bit weak to me. I wonder if his brother, D, feels the same. And…who the hell announces something like that? When I was diagnosed with RA, I had real problems owning up to it. I had to practice how to discuss it. That blatant announcement just feels like a snowflake move: Poor me! Everybody feel bad!

And there’s another thing: here it is Saturday and I haven’t heard back from D. Thinking I may send out another message to him. If his head is where I think it is, it would be easy for him to discount my first messages. He may think: Oh, she just said all that because it was the holidays. She doesn’t really want me to dump everything out to her. I need to let him know that isn’t the case. His brother’s news is just an easy opening for me.

Let go of my writing mania. I said to myself: if it isn’t coming easily, let it be. You have no time limits on this. That’s been helpful.

Do need to go back and tinker with the trilogy. Make changes for the audio versions. Print copies. See where I was on the sound effects. And modify my calendar to reflect the podcast work.

Ah, there’s my morning head pain.

…Last thought, and it’s about the theatre group. I love acting. Maybe more than anything else. But…and… I’ve been thinking about only doing the PR. Really pushing everything I think the group should do. It’s a lot. I am firmly convinced every performance needs a host or hostess, someone to oversee the audience. That’s everything from greeting everyone at the door to making sure the bathrooms are clean and fully stocked with toilet paper. This is the person who handles any problems. This is the person who gets video of audience reactions, who works to pep up the space and make it nice, who runs to the store for a few salty snacks and lays them out for everyone. He/She is the party giver: never really enjoying the party, just making sure every detail is taken care of so everyone else can enjoy the party. It’s a role I do very well. And I think the group needs to establish that kind of event. It’ll be small. I don’t expect to spend more than twenty euro on the layouts and tp. But the presentation is everything. A visit to the theatre can be (and has been) ruined by un-stocked toilets; it leaves you feeling dirty and gives the entire night a negative connotation.

Problem is, I can’t be an actress and the party host. And I’m beginning to think the group needs the party host more than the actress.

The scales are tipping.

Shadow Days

Right. Or, write.

Now have a file marked ‘mystery’ on my desktop. It consists of two sentences and a lot of questions. Spent the day thinking about who I’d like to kill. The US Prez is done to death; I won’t touch that one. Personally, I’d kill for intimate reasons. I want 45 to go to jail ’til the end of his days, but I’d like to blow my sister’s brains out. Perhaps it will come down to that in the end: no great motives, just personal revenge.

My bro noted my mania. TV on cartoons, watching YouTube vids on my computer while simultaneously playing games. Had to do all three to keep myself occupied.

Mush. My head’s gone to mush, and there’s nothing I can (or want) to do to prevent it from spreading.

Made the mistake of looking at my eldest brother’s FB page this morning. Vomit. Conspiracy theories, pseudo-political rants betrayed by his sexist language, and in general a whole lot of shit that made me glad I cut contact with him. *sigh* Still. I shouldn’t have looked. Bad on me. There’s always something out there that trips my trigger.

Read an article on some fired member of 45’s cabinet. The fired person now thinks 45 ‘may not be very honest’. *eye roll* How do these obviously low IQ people get ahead? It took you 2 years of lies to get to ‘he may not be very honest’? That’s after the trail of lies and destruction during his campaign.

It reminded me of my uncle, sending me a message that he no longer supports 45. The entire thing comes off as ‘congratulate me; I’m on your side’. No, you’re not. If you were ‘on my side’ you would have woken up before all this bullshit. My uncle belittled me the entire time he supported 45; Don’t say that! or even I’m disappointed in you for posting this. Now it’s all shoulder bumps and eye winks: See? I think he’s an idiot now, too. And since I’m a man, my opinion carries far more weight than yours. I couldn’t rely on your judgement alone, but now that I think 45 is full of shit it’s obviously the correct judgement.

Apologies. Tripped triggers again.

I hate my DNA relations.

My bro expressed a bit of regret over not feeling like going down to the huge fireworks display tonight. Really? Good Goddess, I can think of nothing less appealing. Ride a full metro downtown to a crowded outdoor plaza where there’s loads of alcohol, noise, and additional small fireworks being set off in the crowd. Stand around in the cold drizzle unable to see anything because I’m really short for the Netherlands. Then fight our way back in a crowded metro, hot and sweaty, to finally come home? No. Not my thing.

Besides, New Years is an arbitrary point in time. There’s nothing ‘magical’ about it, other than the fact that the entire globe gets whipped up about their clocks moving forward by one minute. I enjoy the fireworks and fun stuff associated with it, but… It’s never been that big a thing to me. Similar to Xmas; nothing really in that date. Just an arbitrary day on the calendar, reinforced by pagan rituals and traditional feasting during the dark days of winter. And they couldn’t even land it on the real point, the solstice! Pfft!

Meh.

…The weather continues to be grey, dark, and wet. It’s like the world refuses to allow a day to come thru like a real day. It’s giving me shadow days, full of grim weather and grimmer thoughts. I feel like I’m becoming as bleached out and void of everything as the days are.

Yes. Shadow days.

Keep yourself safe

The director sent out a long WhatsApp message last night, telling the actors the production is over. It was…diplomatic. I’m not sure of the sincerity of it. Then came the responses. The longest from M, who was doing great in her role. G chimed in with a ‘Can’t wait for the next script’ or some such shit, just a note that she didn’t express any regret that my script was getting canned. Nor did the other online friend of D; again, it was enthusiastic over doing something else. I watched the messages come in, but remained silent.

Supposedly the board will be ‘meeting soon’. No idea when.

Had my appointment with Dr T yesterday. Told him in Dutch that I was happy to see him, then apologized and said ‘that’s the last Dutch from me, I’m too wound up’. Told him all. The sadistic revenge fantasies, the headaches, the total lack of understanding over what happened. He agreed that D must have been projecting onto me, and it was unfortunate that I got so triggered so quickly into my treatment. But he also felt it was an unusual blip, that I was doing well on my current level of medication before it happened. We talked about cluster headaches. He made a lot of notes. I wound up by telling him my plan: at the next board meeting, I’m gonna give them an opportunity to kick me out. Just say that if they have second thoughts because of what went down with D, they could just tell me and that would be it. I’d be disappointed, naturally, but I’d rather have it upfront than see it eek out in passive-aggressive behavior like D. Dr T felt that was logical and a good way to take care of myself.

Today I want to take all the vids off the camera. Still don’t have anything to convert them, but I can pull them and watch them. Keep them in storage and use them if I want. And, if I’m honest, I want to review any of act 3 rehearsals. Listen to see if I said something ‘too controlling’. Back myself up with proof that I wasn’t being a bitch.

And maybe I caught D being a bitch. I’d cut and loop that shit, just for me. To remind me how shitty she really was and that I’m not crazy.

The rest of my weekend is devoted to the newsletter. Finding something to fill 2 pages of now blank info. Gotta think, too, about the website. Announcing that we’re not doing the script. Figure out what to put out there to make it vibrant and exciting.

Have decided that I’ll quietly work on the sound aspects for the trilogy during Xmas break, just like I planned. I want to get the sound effects done before I announce that my bro and I are taking it to podcast. Thinking, too, of who I’ll ask and who I won’t. And how I’ll respond if someone (G) whom I don’t want in the podcast tells me they’re willing to do it. Some of that’s easy: I’m the director, and you’ll have to say and do what I want. In G’s case, that means using ‘creepy’ every single fucking time I wrote it. It’s there for a reason. I’m not asking you to understand it or even like it; just do it. Good thing to remember: in audio productions, it’s much easier to use the same actor in several roles. A new accent, a different EQ on the voice, and víola: a different character. I could do all three acts as podcasts with just the board members – which is what I’m thinking of doing.

Been watching horror. Picked up several new DVDs the other day. Most are just okay; typical story lines, typical shots, typical scares. One, The Conjuring, is very good. The direction in it is stellar, and it’s quickly climbing up my favorite horror films list. Yep. I can see the difference. Feel it and hear it. There’s a very fine line between good and bad in horror. It’s easy to do bad horror. It’s damned difficult to do good horror. You know the camp I sit in.

…Oh! And Dr T noticed my eyes yesterday. I was born with two different pupil sizes; my right eye remains dilated and reacts very slowly to light. It gives me a strange appearance. And I can always tell when someone is really looking me in the eye; they’ll see it and say something. Why? Because it’s creepy (there’s that word again). It looks like I’m possessed or something. He mentioned it because it’s a sign of some headaches. Did not know that. Will start to take notes and check my pupils when I get migraines.

Getting tired of distracting myself. It’s needed, I know. The weather outside is shitty, it remains dark enough that the common lights in the halls are on all day and night. Still feels like I should just take it easy, tho. Last night I felt very petulant, watching all those messages fly back and forth on WhatsApp. Why? Because no one thought to ask me how I was doing. It was my script, and important to me. That’s very child-like, I know. But the thought was there, as was the feeling. Not one of them asked me if I was okay. Not one.

Part of that, I know, is because I fake it so well. I’ve heard that through my entire life: you seem so strong, so self-assured, so okay with everything; we didn’t know you felt like that! That’s early schooling at the hands of bullies; never let your tormentors see you cry. But I also see it as a lack of empathy. It never even crossed your minds that I might be upset over all this? Not once? From any of you?

The walls are going up. They’d been coming down, but now… Now they’re getting reinforced. Remember the director has no morals regarding copyrights. Remember L is egotistical. Remember all of it. Keep yourself safe.

Keep yourself safe.

I’m not crazy

Sound work. Sat down and just got to it. Listened, thought, made a few decisions. Cut the two roughs I wanted to take all the way around. They’re now totally clipped, with .01 seconds of silence between each word so the effects reset on the computer (giving the voice an eerie, not quite right feel). Brought them back to my computer, found GarageBand sees them differently after Sound Editor and I’ve got some jiggery-pokery to do before I can manipulate them. Managed to figure that out, too. Spent an hour or so on the effects, trying different settings, listening, thinking. Ended up dropping the pitch by 9. I still hear me, but that’s because I’ve done this before and know what I sound like. Thought about going deeper but then I’m running into possible problems with the sound cutting thru the venue. At a 9 drop, the voice is still easily within human hearing range, even if you hear for shit. Today it’s cutting out the sound effects I wanted to use from iLife and iMovie. There are a few sounds I want to flip around and run backwards (can only do that on Sound Editor), then effect and run in the background of the voice. See if it’s properly creepy. Yeah, I used the word. CREEPY. May set up the mic for the 2nd pass recording tonight if I get that far.

Have had to spend umpteen amounts of time talking myself down. Being logical with myself, trying to get my paranoia under control. I suspect the theatre group is communicating in another WhatsApp group to which I’m not a member, but I have no proof. What I’m expecting is an SMS message late Monday evening, asking me where I am because we have rehearsal. Really? I’ll say. I didn’t get the link to the agenda. What’s going on? I suspect the director will simply send me to the agenda at that point and not ‘fess up to the fact that they’re all communicating on another channel without me. I won’t go. Already decided that; if my suspicions are correct I won’t put up with it. Sorry; can’t make it tonight. If you’d sent me the schedule earlier I could have told you that. I don’t like playing games, but if no one will be honest with me and ALL they give me is game playing, I’ll play. According to my rules.

Maybe I’ll get the agenda link later today. Or tomorrow. Sometime before I’m expecting it. Maybe I’m all wrong with my thinking…

Or maybe not.

Meanwhile, it’s self care. Move a bit, try to work with that pinched nerve in my leg. I’d like to do my hair, too. Brightening up the color will make me feel better overall, and I’m ready for that! Watch Ghost Adventures, which has become my go-to comedy collection. I’ve even begun tinkering with a spoof of it. Finding all I really need to do is listen and write the dialogue down verbatim. It’s ridiculously funny and won’t take much to push it into a farce.

Thinking ahead on writing. Beginning to ponder the opening to the Blue Whale book. I want to start with the daughter killing herself; shocking, tragic, and should pull readers right in. I’ve been seeing the house they live in, their kitchen and bedrooms in my mind. Hearing their voices. It’s close. I feel like I’ll be ready to begin next year, after this production is done.

And the future tips off the current production. If they treat me like crap, if they pussy foot around rather than be courageous and up front with me, they’ll find me very, very busy in future. Oh, I’ll take some pix and get the newsletter out. But I won’t participate. Must be careful with this; most of the people I’m bitching about in my head are NOT core members. But I feel at odds with the director right now, and don’t know how much communication (if any) is going on without me knowing about it. One thing is very clear to me at this point: I’ll do what’s most beneficial to me next year. If that’s acting, okay. I don’t think it will be. I feel full up with writing ideas and I know that’s the direction I want to head.

Thursday is my appointment with Dr T. Really need to talk with him at this point. Tell him about the manic surge, the anger, the ensuing depression. Discuss my progress and the progress I still want to make. He may suggest upping my night time med again, and frankly I’d be on board with that. Have noticed my anxiety before leaving for rehearsals. It ain’t fun.

My bro’s sticking around the house today. He went to the doc earlier this week, feeling ill. She thought it might be a virus and suggested he take a week down. Ach! I don’t think that’s what’s going on, but okay. I think we’re both riled up about our own things, and our combined anxiety is making us feel sick. I mean… We both have childhood histories of making ourselves vomit and run fevers from anxiety. We’ve both tried hard to get over it, but neither of us ever had a good example of how to deal with this so we’re floundering.

…Oh, yeah. Happy December. Whoo. hoo. Doesn’t help that knot in my stomach to realize that yes, it’s the first and no, the director still (to my knowledge) hasn’t begun the December rehearsal schedule.

*sigh*

I realize now that it’s this sitting around on unspoken stuff that’s most detrimental to me. I’m scared to bring it up. Scared because people lie all the time to avoid uncomfortable truths. They’ll tell me that’s not going on, I’m imagining it, I’m paranoid… Been down that road before. I don’t like it. So while I know talking may be the best thing for me, I feel reluctant because I can’t take hearing I’m crazy one more time.

I’m not crazy.

This is why I’m seeing a shrink

Dr T has been telling me that we need to prevent the manic periods because depressive periods always follow manic periods and, when they do, they’re twice as bad. He’s right. Whatever poured into my system during the talk with D, it was a fast and heavy hit. The depression afterwards was similar: I was fucking down, down, down. Had problems smiling yesterday. But I think it’s largely blown over.

Don’t quote me, naturally. I’m on my first cup of coffee.

Wrote everything out. To the director, to D, to M, everyone. I won’t send anything out; I just needed to get it out of me. It also brought clarity to me. I needed to take a long look at my instincts on the whole issue and make a decision: what happens with M if she suddenly takes up D’s cause of harassing me? I don’t think that will happen; there’s a reason M thought her role was sycophantic. She tends that way herself. I imagine she’d be at odds with herself, trying to please me and be a burr in my side at the same time. But it’s good for me to know how much I’ll take.

Feels like the director is leaning towards having L put a wig on and play the agent in Act 3. I’m pleased with that. I’ve felt Act 3 needs an anchor, someone really performing well in order to drive it. L can do that without blinking an eye. She’ll give me exactly what I want and be intimidating as hell.

Today I have to go to the apotheek and get my meds. Think I’ll stop by the store and pick up some hair color, too. I really need a refresh. Then it’s audio work, moving files, converting them, and taking them to a .001 blow-up of the wave so I can begin cutting and splicing. I want to be able to get better roughs to the director to use in rehearsals. Have to see how much time it would take to finish off the roughs after I’ve spliced and effected them. I’m willing to give up an hour or so to get the director something better.

…Have to admit to some terrible thoughts now. I’ve considered going back to the grove, to that thing that lives down it, and giving it D’s name. Sicking it on her. I’m not sure it would do anything, but along the lines of being careful what you say and do because we all affect reality around us, I’m a little afraid of doing it. What sort of pact would I be making? I’m not concerned about D. She’s made her own bed. I only thought of it because that thing down the grove gave me the distinct feeling that it attacked anyone who didn’t respect it, and D is the least respectful person I’ve ever met. Figured it might enjoy chomping on her bones, or scaring the shit out her. I’m just not sure of the repercussions on myself, so I hesitate. But it’s there, and I could do it if I feel pushed.

And yeah, I’m considering it as another story, too…

My bro has found Rick and Morty for sale in Germany, so he’s ordering the first few seasons for my b-day. We’ve really got into it. Rick and Morty, as I said to T the other day, makes me nostalgic for our old answering machine. You may have seen the type in a museum: it was a voice recorder with a tape you hooked up to your phone. We used to record in cartoon messages, parts of our favorite underground animations. Dad – oh, how I wish I’d have kept one of those tapes! – Dad hated those messages. Every time he called, he’d wait for the beep and then start cursing us out over the message, telling us to grow up and stop watching cartoons, damn it! We always laughed. Rick and Morty make me want to do that again, grabbing some of those great lines of dialogue. Not that many people call our land line. It’s practically not used. You never know, tho. We had a full time extra line in our house just using our answering machine messages because our number got passed around to strangers: You’ve got to call this number; it’s so damned funny! Always thought I should try to monetize that.

Tomorrow it’s official: I’ll be 53. Went downstairs last night and picked up some fatty cake bits from the store. I both needed the sugar rush to combat my depression AND I figured I deserved something for my b-day. Not sure I’ll be doing much, tho. I’ve work to do on audio, and I’m still bone tired. Need another day of rest to get back to normal, I think.

The director responded to my theater blog post. He liked it and shared it. Figure that’s his way of saying I did okay with D. I haven’t received anything negative from him, so that’s good. If he wasn’t happy, he’d communicate it. That’s one thing you can count on from most Dutch people: they’ll tell you if they don’t like something. They don’t always do the opposite and tell you when they DO like something, but you can at least be assured that they don’t harbor negative thoughts or attitudes you’re not aware of. They WILL tell you that.

…For all I hated talking with D, it was a good attempt. The other actors and the director did support me. I heard them trying to convince D to listen to me. I was with people who cared about the outcome, so they weren’t gonna let it get out of control. I just don’t think I was ready for it. Oh, I know it was a test from the director. I knew it as soon as he asked me to do it. I wanted to pass that test, to be someone who could do it.

The backlash, tho… I don’t want that again.

Will make notes for Dr T. This whole thing is right up his alley. And he needs to know about the shaking and subsequent depression filled day.

After all, this is why I’m seeing a shrink.

The Bitch is Gone

The Bitch is gone.

Received a WhatsApp message this afternoon from the director: I think you should talk to D tonight about the role.

Me?? I responded. I reminded him that I’m not good at that, that I feel under personal attack by her all the time. He said: You can do it. Just stay calm.

Googled how to handle difficult people. Took notes to remind myself. Went out to her original email and wrote her words down verbatim so I could accurately quote her. Honestly, I was more wound up and nervous about having to deal with her than I’ve ever been on learning my lines or performing. Took one of my big pain pills before I headed out just for that extra mellow edge.

Naturally, I was first there. And naturally, D showed up next. I hemmed and hoed a bit, not sure if I should just start in. After a moment I did. I said: We need to talk about Smith. You sounded really confused about the role in your message, and it’s pretty straight forward. As the conversation progressed, the director and the other actors showed up.

Caught myself shaking pretty damned badly at one point. Basically, in her eyes, I’m the problem. She said: I think Beeps’ control is ruining the play. I said: Okay, I hear that you think I’m the problem. Others chimed in here and there, trying vainly to smooth things out. The director tried several times. I asked her if she liked the story and she said no, that she didn’t think it made any sense. Did my best explain the logic behind it, but everything I said she negated. She rolled her eyes at me and basically did everything she could to belittle me. I asked her if I let her just do her thing for a whole month and after that I month I said: It’s not working, do it this way, would she do it? No. I asked her if the director gave her those instructions, would she follow them. No. Finally I told her I didn’t really want her on the play if she didn’t like the story and couldn’t take directions. And I certainly didn’t want her to continue and then leave us in the lurch because she wouldn’t do as asked. She then showed me how stupid of person I was dealing with. This is what she said:

I wouldn’t lurch you. I wouldn’t lurch anyone. How dare you say I’d lurch the group! I’d never do that!

I pointed out to her that’s not the way that word is used. Another eye roll. (Btw, she’s apparently got a PhD in English; I’d have flunked her out of her first level).

She finally made up her mind to leave. Yea! I was glad. So glad I turned and walked away while everyone else said good-bye. I’m sure that was interpreted differently, but in reality I was so damned happy to see the last of her I didn’t trust myself to stand there and NOT give her a parting shot.

The incident was glossed over. That happens so often. The actors that remained sort of purposefully didn’t talk about it. I wish that didn’t happen. It left me feeling like a pariah. The bad guy who’ll can your ass and walk away without a word. But I’d made my mind up as to how much of her shit I’d take tonight, and she crossed that line pretty fucking early in the evening.

We’ve got a few people in the wings. And L said she’d do the role. Put a wig on her and let her do another accent; she’d do well. I have full confidence in L’s ability, and she already volunteered to do it (bless her for believing in me and the script that much!).

Sent a WhatsApp note to the director, saying I hope I wasn’t too bad tonight but once D said she didn’t like the story AND she wouldn’t take direction, I felt it was a lost cause. He hasn’t responded.

Hm. Wish I didn’t have any guilt over it, but I do. I’m not used to standing up for myself. But I’ve less guilt than I’ve had at other times, so maybe I did okay. Better than I’ve done before, anyway.

Now I’ll see if there’s any backlash on it. Attitude from actors, or bad mouthing by D. Probably won’t catch any bad mouthing personally; I’ll have to watch people on that. I know how someone like D operates: she’ll continue to needle away at anyone she has contact with, complaining about me and the script. It can poison someone else’s attitude.

But for the moment, I can breathe again. The Bitch is gone.

The best birthday present ever

Yep. Act 3 has to get together. Last night was Act 2 and the energy continued: the scenes came together, the tension was palatable, and we had a lot of fun. Remembered the video camera this time. That’s good; the director let me sit for about 5 minutes ‘acting’ out the beginning of a scene as he did a voice over laced with sarcasm. I was laughing so hard! That’ll make the blooper vids.

Happy that my afternoon is free. Finding that I no longer have the kind of oomph to get me out of the house, working, each and every day. I can’t make it a full week. This is day three of night rehearsals, and I’m beat. No way could I hold an outside job. I can chill today, go tonight in beat up clothes because I’m not on camera.

Don’t know what’s gonna happen tonight. I’m hoping the director will begin curtailing D’s terrible acting. He’s told me he prefers actors to figure out their role themselves rather than dictating how they should act, but he also agrees D is WAY off the mark. I’ll take pics, watch, listen, and talk to the director during break if I need. We’ve got people in the wings. I’m not afraid anymore by her walking.

Got to the hospital yesterday for my blood tests. It was a wait. I’ve never gone to get my blood tests done and NOT have it be a wait. Took my Dutch book and read while I sat there. Read on the metro. Read on the tram. Finished off 3 chapters while I waited and travelled. Popped by the library and I HOPE I got it checked for another 3 weeks. Stopped by customer service, and the woman behind the counter didn’t understand what I wanted at first. Then she scanned the book and my card and handed me a receipt. She SAID I’m good for another 3 weeks, but that’s not what the receipt she gave me says. So, I don’t know. I might get a late fine despite my attempt.

Began working on sound files. Ugh! Garage Band really sucks. I heard so many people rave about that app for so long, and now I’m in it and using it and it SUCKS SHIT. Crappy quality; I can’t even get a WAV file out of it! Have to custom ask for a 320 bit MP3 so I can convert to WAV. Shitty, shitty, shitty. If I didn’t have to use it, I wouldn’t. But I’m there now. Going totally analogue in the studio would take me a month just to set up. Too late. I know in the long run a 320 bit file will hold as much info as a WAV. And we probably don’t need the WAVs to do what I’m doing; it’s just vocal lines, not a symphony. Still. Not thrilled with the lack of quality or choice. A distinct lack of professionalism.

Received answers back from M for the newsletter. Ah, thank you! Thank you for being exactly what I wanted. M is a writer by trade, so she gave me perfect write-up. I could quote every single one of her answers because they’re exactly what you want for marketing. Night and day from what Mega Bitch D gave me. Spent some time on the newsletter, getting the answers in and inserting a picture of M. Tonight I see F, the one cast member who hasn’t even given me an email so I can send him the questions. I’ll see if I can get something tonight. Have the feeling I won’t get answers from everyone. Planning on that now. Thinking about filling the space with other stuff. Remembered, too, to prep up my own interview questions. As cast member and as playwright.

Tomorrow I’m up early. Have to leave the house by 8:40 to make it downtown for my doctor’s appointment. Usually I’m not out of bed before 9. Ugh. I knew I’d regret that early morning appointment.

Have to stuff some Dutch verbs and prepositions into my brain, too. We had a sheet full of them to learn last time. Lucky for me, I knew quite a few from my reading. But now I’ve a second sheet to learn and I feel I better devote some brain time to them. Plus I gotta learn my lines from Acts 1 and 2…

Life is full. Exciting. I’m laughing a lot, especially during rehearsals. I’m loving my PR job, climbing on the ground and chairs to get different angles. I love that the director teases me every time I pick up the camera, saying: *sigh* She’s such a millennial! even though I’m the oldest member of the team. I’m even loving how tired I feel each day, knowing it’s from laughing and walking and playing.

Thanks, Universe. I know you’ve been working on this for awhile, and I’m getting it a little early.

This truly is the best birthday present ever.

The Ugliest Shoes on Earth

Haven’t been taking pictures of myself during rehearsal because I found out how difficult it is to get a selfie. Yeah, go ahead and laugh; I know. Others have discovered this decades ago. I’m not into selfies, so it’s new to me. But I did figure I’d take a picture of myself that I knew would come out well. There it is: my foot in one of the ugliest shoes on Earth during rehearsal. Frankly, I like it.

Met early with T and L. T doesn’t sit on the board, but since he’s the director he’s got a lot of sway. I was very thankful to them. For one, they took the time. For another, I got support from them. T said: You know, after you mentioned the fact that D has never said anything positive to you, I gave that some thought. And you’re right; she’s not said one thing positive since we began this. L’s reaction? That’s what she gave you as an answer for a marketing thing? How are you supposed to use any of that? It’s so negative! We discussed D’s acting and some of the things that I’m really worried about. For instance, she’s supposed to pick up a loaded gun and show it off a bit to the other actors. Instead she waives it around like Mr Bean playing a secret agent in some comedy. Horrible.

Shake it off. The director knows. We’re on the same track.

And if I see this continuous terrible acting and T doesn’t say anything, I may stop the group and ream her out. She fucking deserves it. Oh, I’ll be diplomatic and non aggressive! I’m not so foolish as to think she’ll take (or deserve; let’s be fair) my full on anger/honesty. I’ll practice saying it with zero offense. Hold up! You’ve got a fully loaded weapon in your hands and you’re waving it around at everyone. You’re supposed to be a trained agent. They don’t do that. I’ll bet anyone right now that she’ll come back at me with something. That remark, if I make it, will come back to haunt me in some manner.

L thinks D is just really lousy at people skills. T thinks D is very depressed and hates her life, and she’s just taking it out on everyone she runs into. I just call her a mega bitch and leave it at that. Whatever her excuse, she’s a full grown adult in an extremely understanding and sympathetic population. Go to a doctor, get some medication. You’re a fucking burr in society’s side.

Happier things. Act 1 last night. Man!! We are gonna open this with a BANG! I had my doubts about L as Alexa but she is so dead on with that role I’m stunned every time I watch her. M as her fun loving friend is perfect. I guess I’m doing well, too. M said she couldn’t stop watching us work the scene last night (she even missed her entrance once because she was so caught up in the story). I wrote it, and still I’m a bit stunned by the opening. It’s so DOWN. I’m crying the whole time, and even tho I didn’t go the full monty to tears last night my portrayal of a crying woman just took over the whole room. I could feel it; this wall of sorrow reaching out to everyone in the room. It’s very heavy. And then I leave and M comes in to talk therapist to therapist with L. In the blink of an eye, M changes the mood from heavy and depressed to light and fun. She’s that good. And M and L work so well together I’m convinced I’m seeing two old friends who have spent at least a decade together instead of two actors who’ve only met a month ago. Really, really exciting.

Tonight is Act 2 and the litmus test for the new actor. Impress or walk. Noticed we’re already sending out feelers to other actors, so I don’t think the director is gonna keep him.

Today I have to head off to get my blood work done. I’ll take my library book along and find out how to re-check it for another 3 weeks. I’m only half-way thru it. Get out, blog on the theatre site, post to FB. Run my lines for Act 2 because I haven’t even looked at them. Eat and head to rehearsal. Full day.

It’s as dark and dreary outside as any horror story may want it. One of those it’s so dark days the automatic lights outside are on at 9:30 in the morning.

Loverly.

Well, brush the teeth and hair. Get dressed. Pack my bag. Get going. Start the day.

All of it in the ugliest shoes on Earth.

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.