Cosa Nostra

My precious artist types, I love them so. We are preparing for our weird, which will take place this Saturday as part of the delirious and wonderful madness that is Pandemonium. Rehearsals and discussion and collaboration and dissection and semantics and mechanics.

As I stood outside our plastic yurt before rehearsal, with a young girl with partly purple hair in a fake beard and kimono, me in my corset and fishnets, another in a flowing watercolor top with flaming red hair, we ooh’d and aah’d over the beautiful sunset that had popped up in one corner of the sky, opposite the gray sky on the other side, with the fake lighthouse stretching into it.

You get to know each other intimately and quickly on these shows. I’m used to it, and sort of love it, because it breaks down barriers instantly. It’s like walking onto a movie set and the first day you shoot a scene with a guy who is supposed to be your husband, it’s a nude/bed scene. And you’re like hi, I’m rockandrollmama and you’re in your undergarments, and he’s in a sock and you shake hands and then get in and do a lot of weird pretending while people position you and make you hold that position like a model, and measurements are taken and still photographs, and then the camera rolls and people are right up on you and you’re like oh, baby, but yeah I just met you and this is funny, so you smile a lot and try not to laugh because the situation is so absurd.

Actors are a tribe, and once you meet someone who is in the tribe, they’re just automatically another cool tribe member. Here, button this for me. Ok, you guys pretend to kiss here. I’m going to stomp my foot twice every time I pick up the axe, as a safety thing, so everyone listen for that. Will you put on my false eyelashes? The hair – up or down, or should I just wear a hat? Here, I have some water. Oh, I brought a Luna bar, do you want that? And the give and take in the space. People come to realize quickly that I push the envelope and they seem to like pushing it right along with me. It makes it more interesting to watch, I think. There is a challenge and transfer of energy that elevates the performance in a way that, goddamn it makes me happy. It always has, and I think it always will, as long as I’m able to do it.

It’s like a commune, a group of people in a show. A crazy, wonderful thing that shifts its shape and comes together to create a shared experience that marks you. And, hopefully, the audience, in some way. Carry it with you. I know I will. I will work hard for you to, too.

This thing, it gets you through your day, sometimes. When you have an “other” day to make the rent; a day that does not involve theater as your thing. I was fighting more deadlines today, a lot of pressure and some mistakes I made because of haste. I took my lumps. I also had to spend way too much time on the phone trying to fix a lot of fucked up and broken things which have been broken for days and require more follow-up. But these are small problems, in the grand scheme of life, and I am glad for the reality check on those things; life conveniently provides those. I should not complain. Or, if I do, I should keep the complaints in perspective. I’m always working on it. I’m not always perfect.

Two more rehearsals, then, this thing of ours.

After the thing, back to mom stuff. The boy, the grocery, maybe roller skating?


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