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Friday, December 14, 2007


So, last weekend was interesting. In the Chinese curse sense.

I mentioned earlier that I had planned on performing for my actor on the second weekend of my show. Well, doing it without rehearsal was daunting, but not insurmountably so. I knew his blocking and entrances, so that didn't faze me. Remembering the lines and the cues was far more disconcerting. I had planned on only working half a day, and was going to gorge myself upon the lines on Friday afternoon. By curtain Friday night, I expected to be pretty much ready.

Things turn.

On the way into work, about 7:00 a.m., my car skidded on a patch of black ice, and slammed into the back of a truck. Mighta been a little better had I not also been speeding, but apparently I was....and on that ice, the car didn't slow down at all. Hit the back of the truck hard . Totalled the car; the air bags went off, pieces and parts flew everywhere.

It was probably quite a show, come to think of it.

I've been in a few accidents before, but this was the only time, as it was happening, that my mind flashed on "Man, I hope I don't get hurt." Actually, if truth be told, it was more a case of "I hope I don't get hurt too bad", 'cause I knew it was gonna be a pretty good crash.

Well, as it turned out, I was lucky. I didn't get hurt at all. At least, not in the sense of breaking anything, or causing any permanent/chronic damage to anything. I did get pretty beat up though -- and a lot of that was from the air bag itself. Those air bags, when they go off, are explosive. I guess I knew that, intellectually, but I'd never been assaulted by one before. Hell, the one on the passenger side of the dashboard blew out the windshield. Yeesh. It's a small stick of dynamite inside 'em, basically. So the air bag itself hurt my chest bad. Still killing me.

I have no doubt I'd have gotten hurt -- maybe way worse -- if not for the air bag, so I'm not complaining about it, but let me say this: Ow.

I also sprained my ankle pretty good, and I have these oh-so-attractive blue-and-purple-and-green bruises all over my body (wanna see?), and many of 'em in odd places (like the inside of my right elbow). I spent most of Friday in the hospital, where I had an EKG to make sure my heart was okay, and a CT scan to check my lungs and heart, and xrays to check my ribs and ankle, and blood tests, and and and yeesh. And as the hours ticked on, my chest hurt more and more, until it hurt (and deeply so) even to breathe.

They gave me some pain meds, but they made me stupid(er), and I didn't like 'em.

As the hours ticked on, of course, so too came closer the 8:00 curtain on my show....and I'm wondering how a non-breathing, drug-addled, limping, unrehearsed line-dropper can even consider going on stage.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Um, *sigh*


My show continues this weekend. Once a show opens, the director is pretty much done. From that point on, the show belongs to the performers and stage manager....but, typically, I like coming to most (or all) of the performances, just to observe. It's fun feeling the audience enjoy something you've directed....and last weekend, I saw 'em all. This weekend, I intended to see 'em all (or most of 'em), too.

Funny how stuff happens.

Just got off the phone with one of my male principals. He's undergoing emergency heart surgery today (and he's a very young man (like, under 30-so-ish)), it appears, I will be going on stage this weekend, having not rehearsed. Ever.

And yes, I know the show, having written it and directed it...but watching and directing is most definitely not the same as rehearsing.

And, well, now this is a show that I wrote, composed, directed, marketed, programmed, and now will perform in. Geez. No wonder I'm tired all the time.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Curtain Always Rises

So, my show opened.

Let me tell you, it's a strange, almost out-of-body(ish) experience listening to other people sing music you've written...and even more surreal sitting amongst a large group of strangers listening to people sing music you've written. I like it -- sort of. I hate it, too.

And there's no possible way to be objective about the show at this point. I do know that it went off almost hitch-free on opening night, and then settled into smooth and easy sailing for the rest of the weekend. And I also know that many people told me how much they enjoyed it. Problem is, I never believe them, because they'd have said that to me even if they hated while it's very nice that they say it to me, it doesn't actually touch me like it should.

I'm not, mostly, a cynic; except when it comes to believing anything nice said about me.

But. I also noted this: many people in the audience -- like, lots even -- were crying during the final song I wrote. The whole show is, by design, bittersweet. It's Christmas, and it's a celebration, but it's also life and change and loss and watching our childhood and youth pass away. The last song is intended to pull all the vignettes together, without being cheesily maudlin.

And, judging by the tears, maybe it does just that. So, while I'm not even close to objective about it, I guess it is a successful show.