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(4 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

For the first time. [15 Jan 2007|05:14pm]
And now a rare opportunity to post, quickly. My own computer is in storage, with the rest of my office.

"Phaedra" is progressing nicely. Two complete run throughs yesterday, and we're hitting the target of 90 minutes. However, I think we can be shorter still if we wrap our minds and tongues around it. And while I have enjoyed the process of "Phaedra", I have really come around to a point in my life...for the first time...when I'm really tempted to stop. Which, is not to say that I haven't been enjoying it. Only to suggest that there are now elements in my world and life which have taken center stage of their own accord, and feel more important than racing off to rehearsal.

I'd like to continue teaching. I'd love to redevelop my roster of students. However, "Phaedra" may be the last play I direct for a while.

I've been writing less and less on my blogs, and more and more in my private journal. I looked at the first entry, the other day -- 2003. Wow. The same leatherbound booklet with the pocketwatch painted on it, and I've been scribbling bits and bobs of myself, for four years, onto its pages. It's been a good friend.

"We humans seem disasterously in love with this thing...whatever it is...we call it life. We know no other. The underworld is a blur, and all the rest is just vain fantasy." (Nurse; Phaedra.)

Love to you chums...

-J.P.

(1 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

Is there life after breakfast? [17 Nov 2006|06:09pm]
[ mood | taciturn ]

A moment. Just a fleeting moment with which to play the livejournalist's catch up game.

In the past few months I have:

1) Started school again.

2) Ben appointed the head coach/program director of Centennial High School's competitive speech program. Daunting, and a much more worth while job (personally speaking) than the tobacco shops.

3) Made a disappointing habit of selling off old books at Powell's to keep my income afloat in dark times.

4) Seemingly lost weight, (So I am told) due to the new diet. Run out of gasoline several times on the side of the road, and managed to keep the wee chin up.

5) Started [insert laugh here!] writing my 'memoirs'. At the request of someone, actually.

6) Directed "Romeo and Juliet" to (personally speaking) dreary disappointment.

7) Started directing "Phaedra" to (personally speaking) glorious satisfaction.

And, all I really have to say at this juncture is: I'm looking forward to eating next week Thursday on Thanksgiving.

(1 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

These two are actually very sexy! [29 Oct 2006|12:58pm]
Ken Potts As Romeo


He's restless; a bit of a wanderer; kind of a beat-poet. Always in and out of love--fast on his toes, always quick thinking, until he meets:

Chandra Curtis as Juliet


The love of his life--she's raw, she's a poet, she's better than her family, and she's very ready for something else!

Both of them are better than they were raised to be. Their world is violent, corrupt, and sleezy. Empowered by one another, and so, so much in love, they finally...finally have means to take matters in their own hands!

In. . . .


ROMEO & JULIET
By William Shakespeare
Adapted and directed by Jeff Puukka

Things are not always as you expect them to be!

General admission | $10.00 at the door.

8:00 PM in the evening on November 3, 4, 10, 17, 18.
2:00 PM in the afternoon on November 5, 11, 12, 19.



(Rage into the winds)

[26 Oct 2006|12:42am]

(4 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

Thoughts in motion [06 Oct 2006|01:21am]
Well it has been some time since I have been committed to this journal that has seen me through so many times. And in case anyone was wondering, [Smirk.] -- [Repeat Smirk For Emphasis.] No, I have not fallen into a crack in the ground. Just crawled under the surface of the world--willingly--just a little bit.

I have several things to share -- and will try to make a quick order of them.

. . .

OOH!! Three cups just crashed over on my desk without cause or warning. Perhaps a ghost is finally joining me in my office?

. . .

"Romeo and Juliet" is progressing nicely. Although, this particular cast is a very tough code to crack. They're all so different, and the rehearsals with all of them at once are so cryptographed that I'm literally tired at the end of the evening, trying to get through to them. But, it's a rewarding challenge. And moreover, if what we're arriving with in November is any good whatsoever it'll mean -- perhaps -- that this has been my best work yet, simply because they're all so different and challenging to connect to.

. . .

Every year I go through a cycle. Autumn brings out the Pagan in me, and the Poet. Winter brings out something bleak, something lonely, something jealous. Spring brings out hope. Summer brings out restless, restless boiling blood. It's my most carnal time of year. Lust spikes on the graph, and I want simple things like sun, sex, wine, and smoke. But it is the first on the list--the poet--that concerns me the most today.

Since the Autumn of last year, I've been chasing words. Not writing so many plays -- writing other things. I'm still working on my series of essays, "Lift", about acting and developing one's own sense of craft, and problematic gray areas of pedagogy. It will be a long time before that ever sees the light of day. It's a dense cobweb of thoughts in my mind, and will take a long, hard, valliant effort to bring it to any comprehendable lines on paper. -- However, I have, since last Autumn, been writing more and more poems. One was started in 2005, and finally finished recently in an epic fifteen pages of verse. I'm quite proud of it, and absolutely positive that no one will understand a lick of what it's about. (Except, of course, the fateful personages depicted therein...) Other bits and bobs have surfaced as well, especially this Autumn. Last Spring the question: "Should we do a reading?" came up as a debate between the Royal We inside my own mind. So, I'm slowly building up the nerve to organize such an event. There is call for candles, and wine, and a tip jar; people to sit in the room, listen, and put lots of FIVE-DOLLAR-BILLS into the tip jar. If such an event is organized, you--my dear readers--will be the first to know.

. . .

It seems -- and I say it seems because I'm waiting for formalities to be printed and signed -- that I got my first really good job today, as the Director and Head Coach of the Centennial High School Speech & Debate Program. I'm terribly daunted, but also terribly excited.

. . .

It's not completely unworth mentioning--if I haven't done already--that I'm actually back to school as a student myself.

. . .

Lastly, for now--at least: Yesterday I was visited by a dear friend and participant in my theatre program for many years. Elizabeth. She flew off on her butterfly wings to Alaska, then came back briefly, is now in California, then Hawaii, then Australia. After a few glasses of wine, she walked around my apartment, chuckling to herself, and my curiosity finally grew to say: "WHAT!?"

I'm going to paraphrase what she said here.

Elizabeth wandered around my apartment and said:

'I'm amused by your lifestyle. You're intelligent. You're smart. You know that you could take your garbage out, instead of piling it on your patio. Or, that you could take that cup of whatever it was you were drinking, and put it in the sink, and wash it, instead of flicking cigarette ashes into it. But you don't do those things, because you choose not to do those things, because you live in this crazy, creative chaos. So, one doesn't go "Oh Jeff!" -- all though, one does think: "Oh Jeff! You could really take your garbage out!" -- one doesn't, because one understands that you choose to live this way in this crazy, creative chaos -- crazy, chaotic artist lounging on his bed smoking his cigarette.'

I laughed, so hard. That made me happy.

I think it'd be a very effective way to deal with all the people who cast me the sneering eyebrow lifts with faces like question marks. I could quote that on a post-card, or bumper-sticker, and just hand them out to people who look at me and say: "what?"

Very few people EVER set foot in my home. For any reason. So, it sort of warms the sentimental nubs of the heart that the ones who do set foot in my home -- once in a brief while -- capture something of an understanding of how it all works.

-J.P.

(Rage into the winds)

To the incense in the air [29 Sep 2006|09:39pm]
[ mood | somber ]

I miss my piano. If I had it, I would play it now. I'm listening to David Gray, watching the incense in the tray curl around the room in rings of smoke. The spirals roam around the apartment, and for a moment, there is more moving and alive in between these walls: It is not just the cat and I, and that gives me some subtle sense of lift.

How is it that time slows down when you want it to move fast, and that time speeds up when you want it to linger? If I could command the winds of time with a sway of my wrist, I can think of at least three things I would do.

"Am I unhappy with myself, right now?" -- I do not think it is so simple as that, anymore. The less time I have the harder it becomes to gauge contentment. The less time I have, the more I want the time to be good. The more I fret.

The time stamped on the clock is 9:52 and with an hour-and-thirty-minutes left until an overwhelming question might be answered, I don't know what to do. I want the world to go my way right now. But I suppose that is what everybody says. In the mean time, I'm walking around like a nervous wreck: cleaning up the counter-tops, emptying the ash-trays, doing laundry, putting off a therapeutic twenty minutes in the shower, waiting for the sound of a voice.

And it is at times like these when I think: "Surely, others have discovered some way of living life more easily than this."

I am what I am. Someone has to be.

(Rage into the winds)

Ode To The Elephant Trainer [23 Sep 2006|05:31am]
[ mood | silly ]

My apartment is a small place. It is the recepticle of all my haphazard ups and downs. It's where I sit and think, if I can't sit and think at the pub over a cup of coffee and a cigarette. It's the place where my socks land on the floor after however many hours outside. The place where my hats land on the reading table, and my jackets are thrown over the backs of various chairs. Where the dishes pile up in the sink; or if that's full, the stove I never use. I'm far too poor to eat well--though I can cook well--when I have no one to share it with. It's the place where my cat looks for her litter box and finds some ratty old newspaper instead. This place has its flaws, like me. And it's the place I thought of when I read D.D. say: "Don't go home" at the end of his long, fragmented book. The place I retreat to, because the shape of it, the smell of it, the length and width and light of it are not merely familiar, but ingrained under my skin.

But tonight is different.

I am sitting in my chair: the black chair that takes up the very center of the tiny office where I live. The chair where I daydream, or work, or write. The chair where I sit swivelling in circles, as I am swivelling in circles now. Giddy, jagged, bumpy circles as only my chair can can deliver. Spinning round, and around again every now and then, because I'm thinking of a bench, and a merrygoround, and the girl from yesterday. And these thoughts make me want to spin.

And practicallity has taken its tole on me.

Because I get up and go into the bathroom, and scrub the bath-tub one more time. It's me attempting now, to remove the dried up paint-spill stains from the day I made that prop for "The Tower-Maiden's Daughter". I scrub the tub again; and do more laundry; and burn old newspapers in the fireplace. I empty the ash-trays, and do the dishes. And then, the voice of practicallity says: "You'll have the place all spick and span, and then tomorrow afternoon she'll back out. What's this? You don't believe me?"

And I say, "No, I don't believe you now. And I'm not going to dig for the sound of you in lonely chambers of my head anymore."

I used to dig, when I needed Mr. Hyde in his lonely caverns to keep me company.

"The seeds you planted clogged up my brain and I don't want them to grow again. I don't believe you"

And I don't care, either. Tonight is for me. I sold off my old books today, and my hungry gasoline tank smiled and turned off its yellow signal for the first time in a week. And it was blissful, even though it didn't last for very long. And I drove down the road with my music blaring and visited my friends. And my apartment is a horrid mess, but cleaner than it's been since March. And I am going to smoke this cigarette. And I will keep thinking of that girl with my smirk on my face, and swivel in my chair, between typing like the madman I am. But now I am a hopeful madman, though. Because it feels as though the Spring I craved--that never really came--is finally here.

(3 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

On three: 1, 2, 3: BOLLOCKS!!! [20 Sep 2006|02:26pm]
[ mood | annoyed ]

Today was the first time I actually ran out of gasoline on the side of the road. Luckily I was right by a Les Schwab and there were two blokes readily available to help me get the car off the road and into their lot, while I hiked over to the gas station with my little red gas can...

What was comforting: I didn't get stressed out by it. The car stopped moving as quickly as I wanted it to, and it was exactly clear: Ah, I'm out of gasoline now. Hmm. Pull over, turn the little flashing lights on so nobody hits me. Yes, that'll do. I also learned that after the little yellow "Empty" warning signal comes onto the dash, I've got about 35 extra miles to go, running on the fumes.

What is not comforting is that now I really don't have any money, and only about half-a-gallon left in the tank after driving the car back home and parking. So, about 7 miles left.

B O L L O C K S !

I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY WANT A CIGARETTE! AND FOOD! And full tank of gas to get my mind off of this nonsense!

Ah well, 3 hours till rehearsal. I'll figure something out?

That's all the dueshbaggery you get for now...

-J.P.

(Rage into the winds)

Back to the here and now... [08 Jul 2006|02:04am]
[ mood | wedged ]

Well, Alaska was lovely. Truly. I can't stop thinking about the amazing light. The people I met all seemed quite friendly for the most part, and of course there was lots of good food.

My colleague Elizabeth has moved up to Alaska, for the time being, and I had hoped I might actually have the chance to chat with her on her way up through Anchorage... But, no such luck. It's quite a shame to see her go. Apart from not being able to work with her on any of the projects in the distant future, I shall now have to find a new and worthy chum to drink wine with. Whoever it is will have some big shoes to fill! -- I had also hoped to reconnect with an old chum, Audrey, but no such luck there either. Fairbanks was just a bit too far away from where I was.

Back here in Portland, I am slowly cleaning up my digs--it was a bit of a jaring thing to come home to after a week in a squeaky clean, spacious house with a maid and a jacuzy tub.

Romeo and Juliet is coming along nicely. I've done quite well casting, I think; though I still need to find parents for Romeo and Juliet to explain the possibility of their existence, and meet the demands of the plot, more importantly.

Apart from having to work first thing Thursday morning when I got off the jet, I have gone to see a couple of movies since I got back. I saw The Devil Wears Prada (who could pass up Meryl Streep playing a completely unsympathetic character???) And, The Pirates Of The Carribbean II which, was, well, colorful and fun and all that, but not nearly so funny as the first. I fell in love with the first, and watched it numerous times, and a lot of the humor is recycled in this one, so, the script felt a bit thin I suppose. Not to mention, the vocal clarity of a lot of the characters in this one was terrible! Let this be a lesson to aspiring actors: You are the ones we go to see, and you're charged with the responsibility of delivering lines, so please do so clearly. And if not clearly, at least audibly...

Ohhhh. Phew.... What now? I'm a wee bit frustrated actually. It's the summer, the weather is hot for Portland, and I'm coming into that blood-boiling point of the season wherein I'm hot and bothered and really start to crave some good ol' frivolity. But, being a bit busy right now, (and not having anyone in my life to spend frivolous time with), those urges will have to be pushed back down into the cauldron for another go. I'll settle for a nice drive down to Ashland later in the summer. Cyrano is playing this year, and it's one of the classics I have never read or seen. So, I should be earnest about trying to get down there...

(Rage into the winds)

The Alaska Files #3 [05 Jul 2006|06:15pm]
Well, it has been an interesting ride. I can now say I've enjoyed Ice Cream in Alaska, (summer!); That I've seen theatre in Alaska, delightful play called WAR which I will hope to orchestrate a reading of--in Gresham--this Spring. And I can also say I've eaten reindeer. For breakfast actually. Sausage. Quite tastey. Shame about Christmas, though: Rudolph is no more.

Flight home takes off late tonight/early this morning, whichever way you want to look at it.

Here is a shot of that rather sci-fi gate made from car-parts.




Now it's back to Gresham, and to R&J. (I managed to make my decision about the Prince while I was up here...)

(2 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

The Alaska Files #2 [01 Jul 2006|11:00pm]
[ mood | peaceful ]

Okay, so: For those of you who I haven't told, I'm visiting my Father in Alaska until the 6th of this month. He's taken himself off to bed, so it leaves me with an opportunity to update the journal.

So far the trip has been very pleasant. And what a trip it is to look out the window at a stellar scattering of mountains, at 11:00 p.m., and see no hint of a sunset.

I could not see much from the air, on the way in; I was not sitting next to a window, so I only got a sense of leaving Portland where it was dark, and gradually coming into some other place where the sky got brighter and lighter. And certainly here, there are great sights and sounds. The air is clean, and quiet. The quality of light is amazing. The mountains are about twenty minutes off from the house, and the inlet or the bay is about 10 minutes off.

Tobacco is quite expensive here. $12, I think, for Hoyo de Montere excalliber 1066 cigar; and $10 (can you believe that, $10!) for my brand of cigarettes. I have a theory that it may have simply been the shop we visited--if we found a more straightforward tobacconist in downtown Anchorage, I suspect the prices would be much more reasonable. Oh well, all the more reason to quit, right?

I'll hope for the occasional use of Father Figure's digital camera, so I can photograph odd bits and post--such as a very fascinating pile of torn up, concrete sidewalk pieces I saw earlier in the day. I'm really not sure why such a pile of rubbsh would make me as ecstatic as it did, except to say it captured my imagination. So did another interesting bit; a sculpture I'll hope to photograph and post later. In the building where Father Figure works, there is--in addition to his office--the studio of an artist called Marike. She'd sculpted a huge sort of gate out of silverish bumpers and car-parts and it stood in the car park of the office space--I got to visit the office today, snoop 'round and get a sense of just what my Father is doing up here in this strange part of the Country.

But a fascinating part of the country as well: We drove around the inlet on our way to dinner earlier, and that is quite the sight. A huge bay, enveloped by mountains. No beaches, just water, water, water, water, mountains! Quite the dynamic visual. Not to mention the tide was out, so what water there was at the time had a very scrambled identity crisis for a current. Some waves flowing left, some right; it was fascinating.

We had dinner tonight at a hopping little place about 40 miles outside of Anchorage, Double Muskies (sp.) -- It was one of the best steaks I've ever enjoyed, perfectly prepared; absolutely melted in one's mouth; preceded by scallop-stuffed mushrooms, a charming little salad, and really good bread. It took about an hour waiting for a place to sit at the bar--but for a hungry carnivore--the prospect (and indeed promise) of a slab of ripe, rare meat was very well worth it!

Well, I'm going to go back to watching a film by the fire, but first I'll leave you with a little optical joke. My tombstone.

QuizGalaxy!
'What will your obituary say?' at QuizGalaxy.com

(Rage into the winds)

The Alaska Files #1 [01 Jul 2006|02:33pm]
Greetings from Anchorage -- I'll write in detail when I get home, but I was very struck by this pile of concrete rubbish. Struck me as very cryptic. I had to photograph and post...










Cheers,

-J.P.

(Rage into the winds)

Romeo and Juliet [28 Jun 2006|04:35am]
[ mood | quixotic ]

So: Romeo and Juliet is the next production on the schedual. Rehearsal begins with a reading the 17th of July, then a short break, then we dive in. So--for the interested, or the curious, I suppose it's time to start posting progress reports on my various blogs and journals.

Design:

Our set designer is Jett Johnson, who is brand new to it. Although not by any means to the disciplines required. He is an artist, and a handy guy on the whole. We've only had one meeting so far -- a few weeks back. We began at my home-office listening to techno music, then went to the theatre so we could play the music louder, and look at the space. Neither of us have a very definite sense of what the set will be, as of yet. Most of our conversation had to do with how we would set up the space to create an alternative world. Because of the fact that we're setting it modern, (as modern as you reading this!) we'd talked about the possibility of setting the room up like a club, with non traditional lighting, and fans and predetermined scents strategically released at certain points in the play. However, as much as I like the idea of a club scene--and want to incorporate some of it for the Capulet masque, I can't commit to it fully because we need the various locations. We need a balcony, we need a place for Friar Laurence, we need some sense of common, public, outdoor grounds, so we can also get a sense of hot, hot weather. At the end of our discussion we'd talked about creating a ramp connecting the upper-staging area to the lower-staging area, for the fights and for the dance; and talked about creating two sand boxes for the fight sequences, and also to get a sense of a beach-like environment. I like the idea of blood in the sand. That's about as far in as we are though; he went off to Texas, and I leave for Alaska this Friday.

Costumes: It seems (unless something changes in the next week or so) that our costume designer will be Lacey Cassidy, recently graduated from the university in Corvallis, Oregon. I reviewed her portfolio earlier today; she is a double-major, costume design and fashion design. I'm really more interested in what I saw of her fashion designs; she's got a very eclectic sense of style, which is also quite functional. And as I told her I wanted the characters to be identifiable, like people you'd see passing by, on a train, on the street, and so on, I am hoping she'll use some of the "fashion designer" imagination that she has, and not only the costume designer imagination that she has.

The Actors:

I am still looking for the right Romeo. Part of it is the simple act of seeing Romeo candidates opposite Juliet. I have come to agree that if you're an actor, you can--mentally--invent chemistry, or put on a mask of attraction. Paying attention to your opposite, playing each line and action for your opposite and to your opposite and about your opposite, and because of your opposite. As if there were no one or nothing else in the world except your opposite. This is a mental state of mind. However, I still don't think you can fake chemistry physically. If the slightest nerve in your body is not engaged or stimulated by your opposite, the outsiders will be able to tell. The person watching a couple can always tell who is genuine and not genuine, whilst one of the people making up that couple may not know themselves. It's funny, isn't it? It's always easier to spot a lie when you're not emotionally involved with someone, but watching people who are emotionally involved.

I suppose my most radical interpretations of characters so far would be:

Mercutio who I've cast as a woman.

The Prince who I've cast as a woman.

The Friar who I see in a very non-traditional light. I've cast Devin Bernard to play Friar Laurence; Devin played the blind King in The Tower-Maiden's Daughter -- you can see some photos from that play on the photo montage on my main Myspace page. So, with the Friar, I am keeping the same gender (obviously); but I see him in a physicaly troubled light. I see him with a crutch, for one thing. And I also see him smoking cannabis in ACT II.3 when we're introduced to him. -- If you're in the cast and you're reading this, I've put a very long-winded, throrough explanation of why I see this into the Preface for my cutting of the script. However, here and now, for the time being, I'll simply say this: I do not think that Friar Laurence is a bad man, or a sinister man, or a manipulative, or power-thirsty figure. There've been many darker interpretations than mine... I think he's a good man, but a bad priest. He takes responsibility for things he can not possibly provide, and I think it's to do with his faith. As a Priest, he's a servant of God. He's responsible to help God's will on earth unfold in his capacity to aid it. And by this point his ability to interpret what is and what is not within his bounds is unquestionably clouded.

Also: Part of it is to do with sneaking in shadows of mortality. The whole idea of Romeo and Juliet dying is mentioned in the beginning, in some of the first words of the play--given by the "Chorus" in the prologue. I have to be faithful to that; the audience needs to be prepared for watching Romeo and Juliet die, and that process can not only be vocal, referred to in the text, it also needs to be visual if the forshadowing is the work. It strikes me that a physically struggling Friar, and a Prince of questionable health, can help that through-line unfold.

Other:

I've talked with Dani--who did the mini documentary of The Foreigner--about documenting the rehearsal and process of getting Romeo and Juliet on stage, and also helping to create a short commercial or "trailer" if you like to help market/advertise the play. He and I both have very difficult scheduals, so, at the moment this is all up in the air, at the moment, and I'll be sure to post any progress.

I've asked Joyce to come aboard as a source of additional actor support, and Shakespeare coach. I'd hoped that she'd be able to be involved in the entire process, but she was recently cast in The Metamorphoses at A.R.T. which has a parallel rehearsal schedule. But, she did say she wants to participate, and pointed out that she could help as far as a sort of vocal coach and Pentameter coach, suggesting that she clear up questions about language and scansion so I'm a bit more free to focus on acting values in rehearsal.

At the moment, that's where things stand. More meetings tomorrow evening, and more meetings immediately when I return from Alaska on the 6th.

I think that our "Romeo and Juliet" promises to be thrilling because it was chosen specifically as an answer to one question: If we were to do a play for people who had never been to a theatre, or seen a play before; a play that featured a little bit of everything that makes the theatre great, what would that play be? The answer is clear enough, and coming up in November!

Peace,

-J.P.

(x-posted)

(Rage into the winds)

Making peace [15 Jun 2006|01:48am]
I decided to have a reprieve from the pressures. I went to see "The Da Vinci Code". It's by far the most gothic film I've seen Ron Howard put out, and in many ways -- isn't really all that good. Mostly--I think--due to the script. Lots of narration. And also, the film included a lot of graphic tricks here and there, which--granted, they are neat--can kind of be for modern cinema what the Deus Ex Machina was for the Greeks. If you have a problem you can't work your way out of, make a lot of noise and have a God come down. If you have something you don't know how to film, play with the computer and throw plannets on the screen dancing around Tom Hanks' head.

But, I did find much of it entertaining. Ian McKellen's turn as Teeving was much fun -- and I think that anything anyone ever wants to know about feelings of incredible inspiration could be learned by watching Tom Hanks stride down the streets of Paris, at night, against that climactic music.

The battles will resume at 9:00 AM this morning. My will, and inspiration, will certainly be tested. But for now, I'm taking a break. I am at peace.

-J.P.

(2 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

Squiggleshit. [13 Jun 2006|11:45pm]
[ mood | angry ]

All I want to do is run my theatre so that my otherwise rather purposeless life can make some sort of contribution. I don't want a wife, I don't want kids. I want to run my theatre, and be at peace. And, the next time you see me, if you're urged to ask why I am a walking corpse, I'll in return ask why such a simple goal as the goal I have would be met with such resistance as it is.

It's a rather odd feeling -- here and now. I've sort of fallen out of touch with my family. My father has moved to Alaska, which has provided a gaping whole in my day to day ritual of making merry with him at Edgefield. I used to visit at least once a day--sometimes twice a day, sometimes thrice. But he's following the opportunities which are best for him, so, it's all good.

I got a wedding invitation to my sister's wedding today -- or rather, the celebration of the wedding which already happened previously in some official office or another. I'm happy for her and all that, but actually, I don't want to go. I haven't decided if I will go or not, I just know that I don't feel comfortable going. As much as I'd like to see her, and her husband Jason, and meet Jason's family and all that, there are other people from my own family that I don't know if I should see at the moment. The funny thing is that I've no idea what I did to piss them off. But I suppose it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things. Maybe when I'm 46 I'll behave perfectly all the time, but in the here and now I'm 23, and people in my life are here because they are ordained and privileged enough to be. So if I don't go to the wedding, they can take the same philosophy. Besides, who wants a walking corpse at a wedding anyway?

Ohhh, God! How did I become such a nasty piece of work!?

. . .

On the employment front, I'm chugging Full Throttle and Rockstar energy drinks at every turn. With Brandon leaving the shop to pursue an undoubtedly better opportunity, I was able to slide into place working a full time shift now. It's fine, and I'm acclimating to the environment faster and faster, but the amount of work I have remaining to get The Lab ready for R&J (rehearsals starting July 17) simply needs to be done at night, then. So, for the last week I've slept a total of 10 hours, scattered across those five days. And it's fine, I don't mind that buzzing half-lit frame of mind, but it's not healthy. Nor do I have any more money because of it--yet--so I'm still smoking my breakfast and lunch, with complimentary house coffee for dessert.

On the past employment front, Thomas Whittaker -- the owner of the tobacco shop I worked at previously -- has apparently taken a turn for the worse. I heard from Ron that he went to the hospital because he had some odd flesh-eating bacteria or infection on his leg. In the hospital he had a terrible stroke, resulting in operation on some sort of blood clot in his brain. I guess he's in rather terrible condition. And hey -- it's not lung cancer, but I'm sure someone will find some way to blame it on smoking.

Speaking of smoking, I really shoudl quit. But those chocolate buggers are so tastey. Oh well, at least I'm off of the cloves.

. . .

These are today's lyrics:

The Fray -- OVER MY HEAD

I never knew
I never knew that everything was falling through
That everyone I knew was waiting on a cue
To turn and run when all I needed was the truth
But if that's how it's got to be
It's coming down to nothing more than apathy
I'd rather run the other way than stay and see
The smoke and who's still standing when it clears
(Chorus)
Let's rearrange
I wish you were a stranger I could disengage
Say that we agree and then never change
Soften a bit until we all just get along
But that's disregard
Find another friend and you discard
As you lose the argument in a cable car
Hanging above as the canyon comes between
(Chorus)
And suddenly I become a part of your past
I'm becoming the part that won't last
I'm losing you and it's effortless
Without a sound we lose sight of the ground
In the throw around
Never thought that you wanted to bring it down
I won't let it go down till we torch it ourselves

CHORUS: Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind


Apathy -- is really a key word. What does one care about? What does one not care about? What does one care deeply about, and choose to ignore for reasons unseen?

Life -- about half a year back -- was much easier. On the whole, I have more stress now, but I am healthier. Half a year back, I was not in a consciencious frame of mind, making decisions that anyone in their right mind--including myself--would be happy to see me stop making. The answer, oddly enough, was theatre. Giving me something to distract myself with from those impulses. I've kicked the habbit, though temptation is all around me. And I and am healthier now. But life is harder. So: apathy. Apathy until the world stops quaking, apathy until the cornerstones stop breaking. Apathy until the curtains can be drawn.

(3 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

Closing of "The Foreigner" [05 Jun 2006|12:26pm]
[ mood | mellow ]

Well, "The Foreigner" has closed at the Gresham Little Theater. Good audiences, good feedback. On the whole a damn nuisance getting it up off the ground -- all the "drama" with Shirley quitting and having to step in and take a role myself. Not to mention the period of stress that continued into performances with a potential change of residence, (which ultimately didn't happen), my first car accident, and not enough time on the whole to see my special Lady friend. Hopefully now that things are a bit more relaxed for a week or two I'll be able to use a potential lack of stress as an excuse to smoke less. I enjoy tobacco, but it is a bit too costly. But on the whole, a pleasant experience to listen to the audience's laughter each night. It also fills a vacancy on my resume, a category which hadn't been represented yet. So, it is good.

Not many of my family came to see it, which was a little odd, but not surprising. Motherdear and I have been fighting petty nonsense battles. She takes things too personally. She has more life experience than I do, and that ought to be respected. But I do get the strong notion that she'd have a great deal more peace if I settled and joined the real world: Stopped running a theatre, took on a proper job as a Mortician or Investment Broker, and descended into the slump of getting married and making fat babies she could bounce on her knee. Ah well--it's all good. I'm sure she just wants my life to be easier.

And my sister Emily--well--what is there to say about Emily? She's busy and young and ambitious and recently married. She wouldn't have had time for seeing theatre, even if she had been in town. Father Figure saw it opening weekend before he moved to Alaska. And Joyce came to see it, so did Dawn and Elizabeth, so I had my share of supporters.

The backstage love affairs have tapered down. The young actor broke up with the stage hand. Who knows what will happen with the Stage Manager and the older actor.

Now make way for "Romeo and Juliet". I have a week or two of calm. All I need to concentrate on is casting, and planning the set with Jett. I'll enjoy that.

. . .

In other news I'm taking on many more hours at the tobacco shop. Not feeling exactly happy about that, but it'll provide for more money and an interesting schedule. For instance: I'm not due at work until 2:00 today. I like that. I have time to eat. I can't remember the last time I ate during a work day!

-J.P.

(Rage into the winds)

Long overdue update. [03 Jun 2006|01:07am]
It certainly has been a little while, hasn't it? Or perhaps it just feels that way to me. So much has happened just since the beginning of the year. But then, I guess it has been 6 months hasn't it? Where does the time go?

The Foreigner is performing its closing weekend. We had a decent sized crowd tonigh, which was pleasant. Very responsive audience, including some visiting theatre colleagues: Tobias from Mt. Hood Rep., Steven from Sandy.

I'm currently in the midst of casting Romeo and Juliet which will open in November. Along with thoughts about people, are thoughts about the general look and tone of the play. I've decided to go contemporary. Joyce was joking with me last weekend after a performance of Foreigner. "Have you heard he's doing it contemporary? Yes, set in an Asylum. The inmates present the story of Romeo and Juliet". I love her humor, and her insight into how twisted I can get. But no, while I think white padded Asylum walls are awfully sexy, Romeo and Juliet will be contemporary only in the sense of the costumes and the casting. The set will--I hope--feel much older, with brilliant colors and a vivid texture which should contrast to more defined black and white modernism of the people.

So, here are some photos I've included in my research/brainstorming.

Texture:






















(1 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

Life's mind boggling questions [24 May 2006|06:36pm]
I often wonder how it is that I came to be--essentially--a Cynic with optimistic views hidden deep down. It's clear that optimism is nothing I inherited from either of my parents.

't is curious.

(1 Hark how her sighs do blow | Rage into the winds)

long overdue [18 May 2006|12:58am]
...It really doesn't matter if I really am a failure or not. The point is that all too often I feel like a failure. On several levels. I don't think I am, but it's not difficult to feel it.

My life is scattered at the moment, which will produce a scattered entry.

Things That I've Learned From The Foreigner:

The Foreigner is my first spin with contemporary American comedy. When I read it, I thought it needed to be on my list. However, had circumstance not prompted me to do it, I probably wouldn't have chosen to do it--at this point--myself. But, it was chosen as GLT's spring comedy, and whe the original director backed out, I felt it still needed to be done. I thought it would be a good piece for the GLT's body-of-work, because the material has a weightedness to it. Things I have learned, and must try to remember for the next contemporary American comedy:

1: Next time, black out all italicised stage directions prior to the first reading.

2: Do not move actors during punch lines.

3: If you have a young male actor who is restless, and a young female production assistant who is bored, find some way of keeping them both busy at all times. If you don't, they'll flirt at every possible opportunity and the actor will miss all of his entrances.

4: I don't like plays in which characters need real food to eat.

(Rage into the winds)

Rumbles from underground [07 May 2006|01:38am]
I wish I knew what to say. -- I'll have a glass of wine every now and again with a good friend or my family, but only now and then. So, while I'm at the pub everyday to sit by the stove, and people watch, and read, research, smoke, think, chat, 90% of what I drink morning, noon, and night is coffee. And this, boys and girls, is precisely the sort of thing that four cups of highly caffienated, heavily sugared coffee around 9:00 or 10:00 will get you: thoughts. Thick strands, thick webs of thoughts. One after the other, parading. And while they may be beautiful, they are without texture: they are phantoms, fantasy. So, I will go to the couch. I shall put the movie back on. I will settle into the black hole hiding under the sleeping bag, and drift off dreaming of Tuesdays.

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