Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Free Floating.

Death of a Salesman runs closer to three hours than two.  Of those three hours, I am on stage for somewhere in the neighborhood of eight minutes.  I'm pretty okay with this.  I've been doing the theatre dance for a VERY long time.  Since I was five years old, there have only been three full years of my life that I wasn't on stage at least once.  I've been in more shows than I can count.  I've been the lead.  I've been the support.  I've been the spear carrier.  I've been set dressing.  I've been chorus. I have done it all, and have every intention of continuing to do whatever is thrown at me.  It has been a long long time since my vanity was attached to the size of my role.  In fact...size is pretty goddamn insignificant.

The only reason I bring this up at all, is to give an idea of how much time I have backstage to do, well... I read a lot.  I put my headphones on, and off I go, into whatever musical wonderland I conjure for myself that day.  I also get lost in my thoughts.  Oh I occasionally throw into whatever conversation is going on in the green room at the moment, but mostly it's just my music and my mind. The greenroom is kind of like my own personal Fortress of Solitude.  Except there's none of all that crystally crap.  And except I'm not Superman.

Today something strange happened.  I've now filed it away in the figure it out later section of my brain, but I'll lay it all out here.

So there was a girl backstage today.  She's been there before.  Not one of the actresses, but certainly a familiar face.  She's attractive to be sure.  I guess in the common vernacular I was "checking her out", but also...not really.  More of an observational review than a sizing up for the mating ritual type thing.  This is not uncommon.  At least not for me.  I look at everybody.  I quantify without qualification.  I take a million mental pictures per second.  There is no judgement, or comparison.  Simply puzzling together other physical masses in relative space. Curious about the resultant gravitational effects.  This is something I do so naturally that I probably wouldn't even have noticed I was doing it, if something about it all hadn't occurred to me in that moment.  More on that in a bit.

As previously mentioned, I've been doing this whole acting thing for nearly my entire life.  I don't get nervous in front of audiences.  A crowded room full of strangers, I'm completely out of my element, but give me a script, a costume, and a couple lights, and I am in my world.  I don't get sweaty, shaky, or jittery.  When I was much younger, with much less experience behind me, I would think about all the little things.  I would go through an entire checklist before going onstage, just to be sure I wouldn't fuck something up.  My checklist now consists almost solely of making sure my zipper isn't down.  Imagine then my shock when something strange happened to me today.  Just before my first entrance, as I was standing in the wings to go onstage, waiting for my cue, I noticed I was feeling kind of funny.  It's been so long since I felt it, that I didn't know what it was at first.  I had to check my symptoms before I could make any type of accurate diagnosis.  Accelerated heart rate.  Shaky hands.  Shortness of breath.  At first I thought I might be getting sick...but thought it strange that it was happening in this moment.  Then it hit me.  For some, inexplicable that moment...I was nervous.  I had pre-show jitters.  That's it.  As soon as I realized what it was, there was no question that I was correct in my diagnosis.  The question then became cause.  Why the fuck was this happening?  Now?  I haven't felt that in years...and funny thing is, once I realized it, I was fine.  It went away.  It was, and quite frankly, still is a complete mystery to me.  I don't know why that happened.  It was that same feeling I used to get when I knew there was someone important in the audience.  Except...I knew that today I had no one in the audience.  It's a scene I'm very comfortable with.  I wasn't worried about forgetting lines...or missing a cue.  Hell...I wasn't even worried about my zipper...I'd already checked it.  Nope.  It was that distinct feeling of performing for someone I wanted to impress.  I'm sure even if you're not a performer, you know that feeling.  Shaking the feeling was quite easy once I identified it.  Figuring out the cause has proven much more difficult.  Of course I did have a lot of coffee this morning...maybe it's nothing more than that.  Mr. Occam would certainly suggest nothing more.

I bring this up as a point of interest really.  Nothing more.  You's the first time I've felt a very long time.  I've been stuck on numb for quite a while.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not beyond amusement...or slight interest...but an actual change in my physical's been so long, it was almost new again.  So of course I want to find the cause.  But it was probably coffee.

Attraction.  Isn't that an interesting word?  It literally means to be pulled toward.  We use that when we talk about other people.  We have no problem understanding this when we talk about it scientifically.  We understand how attraction works with magnets.  We understand how attraction works with bodies of mass in space.  We get so confused when we try to figure out what it is about a person, that attracts us to them.  We know why the earth orbits the sun, and why the moon orbits the earth...but why the fuckity fuck do we orbit each other?

And this is what happened to me with the girl backstage today.  This was today's epiphany brought to me by curiosity, realization, and the letter Y.

Although attractive, and she certainly is...I felt no attraction.  I let myself realize this.  People are beautiful.  So much goddamn gorgeous, surrounds me at every turn, and I am unfazed.  I am undrawn.  I am unattracted.  I am floating in my space, without orbit. I am a gathering of atoms, condensed, and slowed to a visible and congealed vibration, that has over time become sentient.  Floating on a floating rock with other gatherings of slowed sentient atoms who all seem to meet, orbit, and bounce to yet another gathering of atoms.  Some of those atoms bond.  Some reject, eject, and the search continues.  I seem to have bounced right out of the equation.  I am an element without form or formula.

I've written so much on this, and yet the realizations just keep coming.

That feeling.

You know the one.  That feeling you get when you are "attracted".  That jittery, quickened heart rate, shortness of breath, sweaty palms...that thing that feels so scary, and so thrilling all at the same time.  That thing where you don't know if you have to scream, or run.  Where everything becomes a secret that you just can't keep to yourself, but you can't tell another living soul.  That feeling.

That feeling.

That feeling I had right before I went on stage today.

Maybe I have a crush on stage acting.

I haven't felt that since last summer.

So the beautiful queen of all the land, in a fit of jealousy made herself ugly.  She created a weapon to take out the competition.  A delicious apple that would take the new beauty in town out of the competition.

The difference between Snow White, and myself is that Ms. White had no idea the consequences of eating her apple.  I had no doubt, but took the bite anyways.

I'd do it again.
In a heartbeat.

And ever since, I have been in a bit of slumber.  I have allowed myself a dream, that I know for fact can never be anything but.  It's a very good dream.  The kind you never want to wake up from, because waking up becomes admission of the unreality of dreams.

I don't deny the possibility that a Princess Charming could come along, and kiss me out of it...but come on.  That's gonna have to be one helluva a girl, and one helluva kiss..and really....

that shit only happens in fairy tales.

Monday, March 11, 2013

D'ja miss me?

Five weeks.  I haven't posted in five weeks.  On a completely related note, about five weeks ago is when I got heavy into rehearsals for Death of a Salesman.

In that five weeks, I've dropped down from a pack a day kinda about three a day.  I'm not getting any less nicotine.  I'm just smoking far fewer cigarettes.  Thank you ecig.

As soon as Salesman closes, I'll be going straight into rehearsals for La Cage.  I was going to take a short break.  I'm not going to after all.  I'm okay with that.

I'm into my ninth month of bachelorhood.  At the top of it I stated that I wasn't going to be looking for any new relationship.  Nine months later, and I still feel the same way.  Still as dedicated to it, as I was on day one.  Is nine months long enough to say that perhaps this isn't a phase?  I still maintain that I can't read the future, and who knows what that holds...but I also maintain that I am not looking, seeking, or spending ANY effort to change my relationship status.

I was invited to join a FB singles group.  I did.  It's specifically for former Mormons like myself.  I was intrigued by that at first.  Turns out, ironically, that it's exactly like an online singles ward without any of the Jesus speak.  It also seems that I'm the only one in the group NOT looking to attach myself to someone.  Even in a group of singles, being single is anathema.  Needless to say, I quickly lost interest.  Of course I quickly lose interest in many things.

I am an introvert.  I turn almost  Once it's in, I detach.  Once I detach, I analyze.  I put it all under a microscope, and scrutinize mercilessly.  It's a fun game.  I will go through incredibly long periods of time...out of the company of others.  For most of that time I won't even realize it.  I neglect pretty much everything, and everybody.  I'd apologize, but by now that's pretty much litany.  Besides is it really apology, if you and I both know it's going to happen again?

The problem is, once I resurface, I find my personal social meter is pretty far in the red.  My own fault, but I can't really just fix that either.  It seems a bit strange to just out of the blue say, "Hey, I know I haven't talked to you for a month...and it may even seem I was ignoring you...wanna get together?"

It's also a balancing act of desires.  This whole being single thing I got going's for real.  It's what I want.  Ultimately.  For so many reasons, I don't even feel like getting started on a list.  It does however have distinct disadvantages.  Even beyond the obvious.

I've been remembering things lately.  Missing things.

I think of my ex wife.  We've been divorced for near seven years now.  I haven't seen her for probably about four years.  We once were oh so very close.  I miss her.  I think of her often.  Once upon a time I imagined a life with her.  A whole life.  It didn't work out that way.  She is so incredibly smart.  I remember how we used to talk, sometimes all night and into the day.  We created a language, unique to us, as so many lovers do.  We wrote together.  We sang together.  She was and really still is, amazing.  Sometimes a memory of her creeps up on me, and I lose my breath for a moment, and smile, and although she'll never know...I wish her all the happiness possible.  I hear of her successes, and I can't help but celebrate, in my own little way.  I am a better person for having known her.

I think of my ex girlfriend.  We were together for five years.  Now apart for just under one.  We laughed.  Oh my god, how we laughed.  We once were oh so very close.  I miss her.  I think of her often.  Once upon a time I imagined a life with her.  A whole life.  It didn't work out that way.  She has a devious wit.  An incredible charm.  She'll call bullshit when she see's it.  I always had such an incredible admiration for her, and even after all that time together, I always felt there was so much more underneath.  A mystery, that...probably to a fault...I didn't want to solve.  She introduced me to a lot of music I probably would not have discovered without her.  Sometimes, I'll hear a song that steals me back into memory, and puts me with her again.  She is so intrinsically, so deeply, such a good person.  I am a better person for having known her.

I think of my former?  My never was.  We were never together.  Oh sure, we had a few weeks.  A few minutes.  A few moments.  I think of how never before, with any other person, had I felt at such peace.  Her very presence, calmed me.  Her eyes, soothed me.  Her touch, cured me.  Her everything...everythinged me.  It was over before it could begin.  Nothing began.  Everything ended.  There was a deadline without pressure.  A time limit, and no rush.  Just me, her, and stoplights. Torture in every smile.  I for one instant...imagined a life with her.  A whole life.  It could never work out that way.  She is away now.  And our worlds just keep on spinning.  The mornings keep coming, the tomorrows keep arriving, and our lives go on, and on, and on.  Some dreams will always...simply...have to be.

I've never been one for wishing.  I grew up knowing that if there was something I wanted, I either had to find a way to get it, or find a way to go without.  Yet now, at the tender age of not getting any younger, I find myself wishing every day.  It's foolish.  It's a waste.  Nothing to do, nothing to be done.  Only when I close my eyes, is she there again.  Inevitably though, my eyes open, and everything is real again.  The lights go down, the body moves, and the actor takes the stage.

And so I pursue distraction.  I lose myself at work.  I chase my other love.  My life passion.  I read scripts.  I audition.  I rehearse.  I perform.  I do it all again, and again, and again.  I discover that after weeks of my life have passed, that I haven't really talked to anybody.  A few people here and there at rehearsal, or at work, or at home...but not really.  I find that I miss human contact.  I miss intimacy.  I miss inside jokes.  I miss talking in code.  All those things that come so easily in a relationship that is the one thing I don't want.  To have my cake and eat it too I guess.

It's a sublime life, and I love every bitter bite.  I have missed you in my absence.  I'll miss you still when I'm not.  I have told you this before.  This is nothing new, but...I think of you often, and when I do



you are smiling.