Thursday, February 10, 2005

There's Always Room for Cello

I've made myself a wee bit sick. It all started with a Venti Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino and a trip to Vons. I was attempting to stock up on Liquid Gel Drops, but Vons didn't carry Thera Tears. And after all the traffic involved in getting there, I couldn't leave empty handed. I explored the bakery section looking for breakfast treats I could share with my co-workers. It was all crap. I ended up with a plastic container full of hard chocolate chip cookies. I know they're hard because in the car I ate a handful, or a fistful, or a veritable arm bucket. And now my delicate tummy, shock of shocks, is unhappy with my breakfast decision.

'Course I rationalized my behavior by reminding myself that I'd gotten up early for another eye checkup and gone to bed late after watching a ShePlays run-through and when I woke this morning, both eyes were stuck together -- not to each other, but folded up in on themselves. Disoriented and plagued by meowing felines, I slammed into a door, adding to my collection of leg bruises.

I'm having such a good time watching my play come to life, which is a complete reversal from the last time I had a play produced. And don't even get me started on my last staged reading... The term staged reading was a misnomer. There was a set and props and the actors were off-book. We were just in a shitty, little rehearsal room with fold-out chairs, no budget, and a cassette player for sound effects. It was a full-length play I'd written about an apocalyptic love triangle. Sexual tension was supposed to be an important requirement of the actors' relationships with one another. Let's just say the male part was miscast. And by miscast, the reading was entirely populated by the actor's male friends who snickered each time he stopped lisping the lines and kissed one of the young ladies. The actor's entire person radiated gay -- which would have made for an interesting play, just not the one I'd written. As a result, the sexual tension was a joke, and the ensuing mind games which formed the basis of the play lost much of their oomph. It was meant to be about betrayal and unrequited affection and raw, animal heat, but what we got instead was an hour long snicker fest. I threw the play in a drawer and tried to forget it.

As for ShePlays, I couldn't be happier. The actors are real professionals. They listen to one another, they play off each other... They've created this wonderful slice of life and I find myself surprised and delighted to realize they're saying words I wrote. I'm grateful to them; I can't say enough good things.

Tonight is our preview and then tomorrow we open. The producer even procured a fantastic cellist to string the pieces together. Adds a real element of class. I'll have to remember not to pick my nose or scratch my ass or anything.

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