Reading a book is so personal. It's not really an experience you can share with your friends or loved ones. I can recommend a movie to a friend, and even if we don't see it together, we can love it together: like when I recommended Gerry to Kristen. But a book... Jaime and I read the same books rather frequently, but it's hard to really talk about them. We both say, "I know, I know," but we can't really discuss the thing. Sure we can compare books aesthetically. This one time, Julie and I had the greatest conversation about why Orlando is so much better than Mrs. Dalloway. But it's so hard to describe how I feel after reading something like Ariel or Flesh & Blood or Dry. And yet to talk about a movie or a show is so easy. Danny and I can talk easily about Intimate Apparel and Aaron and I can go on and on about Topdog/Underdog. And we can talk about how we feel and what the show did to us and things like that: more than aesthetics. I think this is why I love theatre: it is shared experience. It is an event that hits me or affects me at the same time it is affecting someone else.
30 August 2004
Pr4manceJunky: im in hardcore training
Pr4manceJunky: like every night till 9 or 11
Girmo2003: training to be hardcore?
Pr4manceJunky: uh huh
Pr4manceJunky: im in the advanced worksop
Girmo2003: I would've thought you were teaching.
Girmo2003: They won't let me...
Girmo2003: they're afraid I'll injure someone.
Pr4manceJunky: hahah you are overwhelmingly hardcore
Girmo2003: like porn.
Girmo2003: good porn, anyway.
Pr4manceJunky: sometimes it is just too hardcore
Pr4manceJunky: porn that is
Girmo2003: too hardcore?
Girmo2003: Lies, Christina.
Pr4manceJunky: shut up Donnie
Girmo2003: Well if you can't make it on the 17th, then I guess it'll be fags' night out.
I also had an IM conversation and then a phone conversation with Kathy Vega, with whom I was in a theatre company years ago called Second Street Project. I hadn't talked to her in years.
The reason "progressive" is such a great new term for liberals is that it describes by the law of opposites precisely what the conservatives are: "regressive."
29 August 2004
Take Me Out opens Sept. 14th and runs through Oct. 24th Tuesday-Sunday. Let me know when y'all wanna go. The earlier the better for me. I'd like to go before CSUP starts school on 9/24.
Call me or reply to this post please.
28 August 2004
I'm such a slave to fashion. It's so much harder when one has no money to spend, but it can be done.
After waking up and watching Barry Levinson's Avalon, I talked to
So I decided, after, cleaning my room and the kitchen, that I would go off on a shopping excursion. I really wanted some lighter-toned dress shoes. So, naturally I headed to Cole Haan at the Paseo, where they seemed only to have shoes in dark browns and coffees. I headed out of there and off to Macy's. But no. On the way I passed one of those leather stores that's selling shit at discount rates. They had an enormous Kenneth Cole selection. I found two pair that I really liked in there. One was $150 and the other was $50. Psh. I was like, "Wrap that shit up." A pair of shoes for $50?!??! I haven't purchased a pair of shoes for so little in about two years. That felt good.
Then I went to the grocery. There was a homeless man wearing--I swear this is true--only a flannel shirt wrapped around his waist. In addition, this lone garment was hanging very low; I would even venture to say dangerously low. He looked like one of those Abercrombie models who wear next to nothing and try to sell clothes, except that this guy was unshaven and smelly and had an enormous pot belly.
I spent very little money at the grocery, as well. Fuck! I forgot limes. I just realized.
Nicotina: poppy, silly, Mexican cine-trash masquerading in this country as clever Tarantino-esque art house creativity.
Avoid this film.
It's even worse when I convince someone else to go see a movie and then the movie blows.
This is Diego Luna's third movie this year, and the second film this year that I have seen just for Diego Luna. Nicotina sucked. The Terminal was dumb. And Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights was fucking horrible.
Luna is still engaging and interesting to watch, but his film choices have not shown much wisdom. He needs to make a good movie post haste.
27 August 2004
The Compleat Female Stage Beauty is a reason that I would return to acting. The part of Ned Kynaston is a role to kill for. Really.
Like Closer, another play that I love love love, Compleat Female Stage Beauty is being released as a film this year with Billy Crudup and Claire Danes. They're calling it Stage Beauty and Jeffrey Hatcher, the playwright, has fashioned the screenplay. The trailer looks very straight and not interested in Restoration homosexuality at all. If so, the play loses almost all its historical and dramatic meaning for me.
Boo. I have realized, though, after rewatching the trailer to Closer, that maybe it's just a bad trailer. The film could still be okay. But damn is that trailer a piece of shit.
After visiting with my folks in La Verne for dinner, I went to Claremont to meet Jaime and ran into
Jaime and John and I drove to Brea to see the girls. Julie, Anna, Lisa, Chris and Anita were all there. All the girls are single again, I guess. Strange. I had beer. Just two, though.
The suitcase. La maleta. The suitcases. Las maletas. My suitcase. Mi maleta. My suitcases. Mis maletas. My luggage. Mi equipaje.
The CDs are actually quite boring. If I weren't really interested in Spanish or languages in general, I think I might fall asleep while this fool is talking about autobuses and shit.
26 August 2004
I need a boyfriend so that he can bring me coca-cola in times like these.
Fuck I'm really tired, but I'm visiting my folks tonight after work and then Jaime and I are meeting the friends down in Fullerton.
News about my show: Rick is pestering Marie for a copy so's he can read it. Cool. That means he A) doesn't hold a grudge about not getting Petruchio and B) he doesn't care about Linda's show. Good for me. I'm gonna need 2 males for sure, but three would be really nice.
I'm learning Spanish in my car. I started today. The Bus Stop. La pareda de los autobuses. The Ticket Window. La taquilla. The Ticket. El billete.
25 August 2004
I have seen 37 films so far this year: quite a feat for me, really. It's nearing the end of August, which means summer's over and the good movies are going to start pouring into theatres. Finally! Since I am bored, I thought I would post my 2004 list as it stands on 8/25/04. This is sure to change drastically by year's end, but for now... the following are my favorite movies of the year:
1. Garden State
2. Spring Summer Autumn Winter and... Spring
3. The Return
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
7. Kill Bill: Vol. 2
8. I'm Not Scared
9. The Twilight Samurai
13. Bon Voyage
14. Good Bye, Lenin!
15. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The following are movies I liked but didn't quite love:
16. Facing Windows
17. Shrek 2
18. Latter Days
19. The Village
21. The Manchurian Candidate
22. The Ladykillers
23. Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!
Everyone's Favorite Part or Movies That I Didn't Like:
24. The Terminal
26. I, Robot
28. Home on the Range
29. Coffee and Cigarettes
Movies That Absolutely Blew in the Worst Sense of the Word:
30. Secret Window
31. I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
32. Spider-Man 2
33. The Mother
34. A Home at the End of the World
35. The Dreamers
36. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
37. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Recently, because of the new job search, I changed my outgoing voice mail message from the very fun "Waaaaw Waaaaw..... Bacon. Leave me a message." to the standard, more prospective-employer-friendly "Hello, you have reached the voice mail of Aaron Thomas. Please leave me a message after the tone."
Most responses to the new message have been, "Booooooooooring," "How come your message is so crap?" and "I want something fun," etc. You get the idea.
Two people--John Testro and my sister--have said "thank god you decided to be normal, finally."
Why would anyone want me to be normal and boring? Why do some people dislike it when I don't do things the way other people do things? Consequently, these people are people with whom I spend less and less time. They don't want me to be myself. They want me to be "normal." Forget it.
That reminds me... the other day I was saying how one of the relics of my religious beliefs is my refusal to participate in the lottery. When I was growing up, that was a sin: the sin of gambling. Now, I naturally don't believe in sin anymore, being an athiest, but a few things in my life have hung on for dear life... like my refusal to buy a lottery ticket. My sister was absolutely incredulous. "You're an athiest. Is there anything else like that in your life?" "Sure," I said, "I still believe that god is going to send Mr. Right." We had a good laugh about that.
At that point my dad pipes up, "I believe that too, just a little differently."
Keep praying about it, Dad.
You have to let these things go.
Two words: Ethiopa Yergacheffe.
Come on baby / Let your love come out
Kevin called me yesterday (!) to tell me that he finished reading Pterodactyls. This made me sad all over again. He would have been absolutely perfect for Todd and I think we would have had a lot of fun with that show. What I mean is that I think he would have instinctively understood what needed to be done with that character. He can still play Michael in Valparaiso, but it won't be so much of a stretch for him, I think. Pterodactyls would have really stretched him. Ah well. He seemed really sad that we weren't doing Pterodactyls, too. He asked me about Valparaiso and I said, "Oh, it's really fucked up; I'm not sure how to describe it." He said, "So it's an Aaron Thomas play." Yeah. Basically.
I am still throwing around the idea of whether or not I want to do Midsummer with Linda and Peter. I guess I should just say yes, but I'm still not sure WHY we're doing these Shakespeare things. I guess if it's a favor to Linda it's good to do, but still...
This comes back to the question that we should be asking every time we do a show: WHY??? Peter Brook's book The Empty Space keeps asking "Why theatre at all?" and I think this is the perfect question. Not just "why this show?", but "why theatre?" Shouldn't we be asking that every day? Why not just all go into the cinema? My answer to myself is: Suzan-Lori Parks. She, for me, is THE innovator.
More on this later. Must go shower.
24 August 2004
How weird is it that I wish there were actually more work to do here. I hate feeling like there's nothing to do.
Steve (the boss) will be leaving for Brazil on Thursday and will not be back until September Seventh!!! I am just delighted by this prospect.
I need to take the GRE... Anyone else taking it? Perhaps that is what I will do right now. I ought to see if I can take it at PCC since that school is so close to me. I know CSUP has a GRE-prep class I can take. Maybe PCC does too.
Looking for some education I made my way into the night / All that bullshit conversation / Baby can't you read the signs / I won't bore you with the details baby / I don't even wanna waste your time
I ain't Mister Right.
That's CHICAGO!!! Liquor, Dancing, Murder, and All
That Jazz. Running around on an almost naked
stage with almost no clothes on is a way of
life for you. Corruption and Scandal are two
of the bigger words in your Vocabulary. Just
Be Good to Mama, Give them the Old Razzle
Dazzle, and who knows, you may just escape the
Cell Block Tango!
In Which New MUSICAL do You Belong? (13 Outcomes & Pictures!)
brought to you by Quizilla
23 August 2004
Does anyone know the 1967 Disney movie-musical The Happiest Millionaire? I started it this evening but paused at the intermission because Eddie got home. I'll watch Act II tomorrow, I guess.
Burn the bridge / Bet the store
Anna finally called me today, and so did Derek. I haven't talked to these bastards in, like, a month. It's about damn time they called me.
Why do people feel the need to call me before I am awake? I don't particularly care for this. Saturday it was Testro at 10:00a and yesterday Nancy called at 10:00a to ask about my interview on Friday. And then today Derek called me at 7:30a to apologize for never calling me. On the weekends I am still asleep at 10:00a. Show me the people who are awake at this hour and keep me away from them. Note to everyone I know: I have been out partying until the wee hours of the morn. On the weekends it is safe to assume that I am dead to the world until at least noon.
It was an eventful week and I was quite cheery by the weekend and ready for a relaxing time.
Note: It's not a party unless someone is doing coke in the bathroom.
So I went to an event on Friday at Zach's house (part of the usual crew). In attendance: Dyson, Jai, Julie, Lisa, Jason & Alex (of the starbucks crew), Zach (naturally), and Chris. It was nice. I drank a lot. I'm an alcoholic now. There was drama, though, because Lisa decided to go through Zach's text message outbox. And it was a scandale royale let me tell you. He had some seriously kinky shit in there going to women other than Lisa. Not at all cricket. There were many tears. The zinger of the night was uttered by Lisa: "I just want to get up and leave. If he wants to talk to me he can text message me since he's so fucking good at it."
On Saturday I went to another hang-out that was supposed to be a party. John had invited me out with him, but I went to the "party" with Julie instead. In attendance: people from high school who were all older than I. Some of them looked better (which made me feel good) and some of them looked like absolute shit (which made me feel great). I drank 4 beers and didn't even have a buzz. I'm an alcoholic, I swear.
The Saturday thing was especially nice because Julie and I never go out just the two of us. So that was cool.
Looking at people from high school can be such a test of one's mettle. It has been six years since high school for me. For some of these people it has been over nine years. Some of them are doing really well and are on great tracks. I feel so happy for these people who seem happy and together. And when I remember how I was in high school: how I felt, what I thought, I think it is so incredible that I am where I am now. I am so grateful. So... relieved that I found what I want to do.
In stalker news... I found some pictures of this guy on their school website, and they, naturally, have his work phone number listed on the school directory.
What do I need with love? / I got it good / Got it good / But now I got it baaaaaaaaaaaaad.
22 August 2004
I've never been a fan of Spielberg. I confess it. I think his movies are manipulative, and recently, too schmaltzy and saccharine for my taste. I like Minority Report and I like The Color Purple. I sort of like Schindler's List and I half-like E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial. But his last two movies I haven't liked, and I hated Artificial Intelligence: A.I.
That said, I watched Jaws today for the first time and I loved it. This movie has got to be the best movie of its kind ever made. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The movie is absolutely terrific. I realize that I'm probably the only person over the age of twenty who hasn't seen this movie, but if you haven't seen it, go out and rent it. It's a masterpiece of cinema... quite honestly.
And if you have seen the movie, you might want to watch "Jaws in 30 Seconds (and Re-enacted by Bunnies".
19 August 2004
I am SO helping the children.
Aaron: (name deleted)
Jill: Oh, I knew that.
Aaron: WHAT!!! Why didn't you tell me?
Jill: I don't know.
Aaron: How could you possibly know that?
Jill: I forget who told me.
Aaron: We're in a huge fight right now.
Jill: I think Holly told me.
Aaron: Yeah... she woulda heard it from Christine.
Jill: And she heard from Elesa.
Aaron: And she heard from Nathan. Right.
Jill: Tell me again and I'll pretend I don't know.
Aaron: Guess who's out of the closet!
Aaron: (name deleted)
Jill: SHUT UP!
Aaron: You're laughing too much; this isn't fun.
Jill: We are SO fighting. I have to go.
Aaron: Call me later.
It is amazing how the events of the day can simply melt away when I get home. This is why I love my condo so much. It is my home. I put on some music (this time it's Mahler - Ich bin der Welt Abhanden Gekommen) and allow my day to just ebb away from me.
Still listening to Caroline, or Change a lot. The more I listen the more I love it. The music is so beautiful and it has so much to say.
Before I left work for the afternoon Marie had called me. We got the rights to Valparaiso and it's a go. I was supposed to talk to Dustin the set designer but I he didn't call me. Hm. So that's what we're doing in the fall Valparaiso by Don DeLillo. I reread it this evening and I'm happy. It is so fucked up, and it's brilliant in it's way. DeLillo is speaking his own theatrical language: a language no one else in the theatre is speaking. For someone as obsessed with forms as I am, this is great. I am excited again. It's not a perfect "Aaron Thomas" play like Pterodactyls, but it's poetic and beautiful and it has some great roles in it. I'm going to cast seven people: four-five women and two-three men (depending on the talent). Ok. It's gonna be ok.
I got home and finished The Bostonians. And for the record I did not like it at all. I love Vanessa Redgrave, and she was fine in the part, but I hate weak characters like this. And it just wasn't cinematic enough. This was early Merchant/Ivory, I guess. I loved several of the movies they made following this movie: Maurice, Remains of the Day, A Room with a View, Howards End. All of those are wonderful. But boo to The Bostonians. I know this is sacrilege, but I think one of the chief reasons I didn't like the movie is because I really don't like Christopher Reeve as an actor. I know he's paralyzed and shit now, but he wasn't a very strong actor. He's downright bad in this movie. I don't know. Opinions? Can anyone name a good Christopher Reeve movie?
After the movie I baked a cake. I felt like a spice cake. I am fine with cake mixes; I made my own frosting, though. I refuse to eat that fake stuff out of a tub. It tastes processed to me.
I have the tendency to work myself up when I have to see someone I am not really interested in seeing or when I have to go to a big party. (Contrary to popular belief, crowds are not my favorite thing in the world.) So my best friend from high school has been trying to get me to hang out with him for at least a month and I made plans with him for tonight. Of course I didn't want to go, and of course we fell right into synch with one another when I got there. He was my best friend and it shows when we talk. I think anyone walking past would just assume that we have been friends for years. My sexuality is a big issue with him, but I have to confess he is a lot better, even than he was six months ago.
The phrase "that's gay" doesn't mean to me what it means to other people, I realized. He said he went to a party and it "was really gay" and I'm thinking, "Was it in Laguna?" and then I realize he means it was boring. The next time he said it he said, "You thought it was gay?" and I said, "Well generally when I say 'gay' I don't mean 'bad'" and he apologized! I was stunned.
He is sorry we're not closer. He wishes he could talk to me more. He invited me out with him on Saturday.
"So guess who's gay--apart from yourself."
John told me that this guy who was the head of the young republicans at our high school is now out of the closet. "He's, like, Liberace gay," says John. I can't really describe how this makes me feel. First of all, I was always really attracted to this guy. We weren't friends because he was three years older than I and he was really really rich, but I ran into him about three years ago and we chatted for a bit. This guy was a crazy Republican in school and he went to Notre Dame for his BS. Now, John says, he's out and proud and liberal as all get-out. This makes me feel so good. There was someone else at my high school. I've always felt like such an anomaly, coming from that school. It's not just that: this guy was always a great guy, and now he's out. It feels like some kind of victory.
It reminds me of a game that Ryan, Fergie, Isaac, Christina, and I used to play. Homos: 1
17 August 2004
Asked Steve if he could let me go at 4:30 so I could go to CSUP to pick up my plays and see what I wanted to direct. He just gave me this look. It said, "Why don't you just tell me you have a job interview? I can take it, asshole." But I didn't have a job interview... too bad, too.
I drove to CSUP and of course Marie was gone even though she said specifically that she would be there until 5:30p and I got there at 5:00p. Ryan was there, though, and Dennis and Joyce, who I naturally talked to for about 40 minutes. Ryan and I used to be very close. But he's in school now and I'm not... and all he wants to do is complain about school. I don't know. I got Joyce to let me into Linda's office and I found my plays and headed out.
The plan was to meet Jaime and Jamie in Claremont and then go to Oasis for the rest of the evening. J&J were late so I thumbed through the two plays that were my old runners-up. Valparaiso is looking promising. I just have to check with the set designer (and Bill) and make sure we can do the video. I don't know shit about video and Valparaiso has some important video content. Then I totally ran into Becca and we hung out for about 20 minutes and then she headed out. J&J showed up soon after, but Oasis was closed (Mondays & Tuesdays I guess there's no party.)
I have to remember that I am not going to direct a show that's anything like Pterodactyls and I have to be okay with that. I had my heart set on that fucking show, but I will do a different kind of show and it will be really good in a different kind of way.
J&J and I decided to go to our usual Sushi house to eat tempura and drink. That worked out. Jai and I have the greatest relationship ever. It so rocks. I love having someone who can finish my goddamn sentences. She's not a man but what can you do?
Had one great conversation each with Wahima and Ashley today, too. It was a good day. It's a relief to have a support system that knows how to behave when I need a lift. Thanks, guys.
16 August 2004
I have just come from the bookstore. I am now inside at my computer having a gin and tonic, but I kind of wish I were out running or something. Maybe I will do yoga tomorrow. I need to let my head go. I think tonight I will bake something and then go to bed.
I made these deviled eggs yesterday that are brilliant. Whatever.
I feel really frustrated. I have been working on Pterodactyls for about three weeks and I have been so excited about it.
I called Angie Mendoza and gave her my address and told her to mail me the two plays I lent her. I know I don't want to direct Shopping and Fucking, but I suppose that Divinity Bash/Nine Lives is a possibility. It's just that it has a cast of at least nine (I think--I can't really remember).
I started reading The Foreigner (the other play going up in Fall at CSUP) today. Why does the director tell me that she is going to use eleven to thirteen people? Eleven is plenty. But that's so many. I mean, what does that leave me in the Black Box? I am whining now. Okay, I'll shut up.
I just don't know what I will do. I had given them several plays. I guess I will look at those again.
[sic] by Melissa James Gibson is good and funny but might be a little "out there" and it's not an emotional piece at all.
The American Plan by Richard Greenberg is very good, too, and would give the set designer something to do, but the end is not great and I am not sure I have the female talent to do it. This is a possibility, though.
Valparaiso by Don DeLillo was my second choice originally, but I'm not sure I'm that interested in it anymore. I just don't think I want to talk about what it wants to talk about. Maybe I do. I need to look at it again, perhaps. But it isn't emotional either, and I think I want something that is emotionally effective. It is a fiercely intelligent piece though.
Then there is Bryony Lavery's Frozen, which I suppose is a possibility. Although, now I'm wondering if we could get the rights to this either. This is a really good play, though and it could be the solution to my troubles.
Now I feel like I need something that is about women more than it is about men. Linda is only going to use four women (that means seven men!) So I will probably have a lot of women from whom I can choose.
I have a lot of work to do, now. And I am not going to sleep very well until I have a new play.
I should not speak ill of some of the people of whom I wish to speak ill. There are some people I just shouldn't hang out with. Usually I don't. I'm usually good about this sort of thing.
I did see a very good movie, though: We Don't Live Here Anymore by John Curran with Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Krause, and Naomi Watts. It's a great little melodrama with some wonderful acting. Laura Dern is particularly good. And the sound in the movie is used very well. I was quite conscious of sound during this movie. The score is nice and spare, but it's the other auditory choices the director made that really struck me as interesting.
Mark Ruffalo is in EVERYTHING. Four high profile movies this year! Really that's quite stunning. He's supporting in all but We Don't Live Here Anymore, but still! That's impressive. Kenneth Lonergan put him on the map in 2000 and he hasn't looked back.
Kenneth Lonergan should direct another movie.
15 August 2004
I started a story about how I got into theatre in the first place...
This boy who I thought was the hottest thing ever (he was a wrestler and a basketball player and his name was Ali) asked me if I was going to audition for the Christian acting troupe on campus. This was in high school, and he wasn't that Christan and neither was I. I was frankly surprised he was auditioning, but once he asked if I was, I was like, "Hell Yeah, I am." I figured he was in for sure and if I got in we could spend loads of time together and he would slowly but surely become my best friend in the world (I didn't idealize sex then like I do now ;). Anyway, long story short, he didn't audition and I did. I got in of course... there weren't a lot of boys in drama. After that burn I did two shows with the Christian troupe and then when they did Our Town at the school, I was like, "sorry, folks, I'm busy and I don't like the play." But they had a drop-out, so they asked me to do Our Town and I did. It's such a good play, but I, naturally, didn't appreciate it one bit.
I tell this story to give you some sense of perspective when I tell you that I joined the garden committee at my homeowner's association because the president of the committee (Dean) is hot and clearly gay and because we've flirted. Naturally, you won't be surprised to hear that Dean is selling his unit, moving out, and no longer attending meetings of the garden committee. So I endure them alone. Fifty percent of the committee is certifiably insane. I still go. And boy do I feel like an asshole.
I went to see Garden State this evening with Jaime and John and this guy who came along named Michael Jordan. He's a cute, straight, white guy who wants to be a TD at a university theatre and who studies at UC Riverside. It's so funny how charming I can be sometimes. This guy liked me almost instantly and I don't even know what it is that I do. I mean, this guy was really sweet-natured to begin with and very nice, but I surprise myself. My image of myself is that I'm shy and retiring and I don't really like people all that much, but then I'll meet someone and they will have the exact opposite impression of me and they'll take to me instantly. How can someone I've known for all of four hours--a straight guy, no less--feel comfortable enough with me to say that he would date me if he were gay? Really. Whew.
Garden State has held up. The movie is incredible. I got things I didn't get the first time. I looked at the sets more. I cried this time. Those three people screaming into the abyss is one of the most stunning images I've seen in a film in a while. And goddamn the soundtrack is good.
I am writing on this thing because I am waiting for Brittney to come over. She is staying with me for the rest of the week, or so it seems. But it's late and I wanna go to sleep.
Some Intimate Apparel Spoilers
I wanted to talk a little about Intimate Apparel, the show I saw yesterday at the Taper. It was an interesting show, I guess. I didn't think it was nearly as bad as dlamp thought it was. It definitely had its problems, though. There's no getting around that. For me, those problems had to do with the direction. The director had no feel for the material. Length, for me, is my biggest thing right now. You don't know your audience if your first act is an hour and a half. You just don't. And the play could've been cut. I counted at least two speeches that had nothing to do with the action of the story. The amazing actress who played Mrs. Dixon had this lengthy tale about her mother's washer-woman hands, but this monologue served no purpose whatsoever. I love the actress; she was wonderful in King Hedley II, but this monologue needed to be cut. And the direction felt heavy-handed to me too. The play isn't the subtlest piece of theatre I've seen to begin with, but the director told us all about the lesbian thing with Mrs. Van Buren way before the playwright did. Why? And I felt like the moment when Mayme produces the smoking jacket was wasted because the audience anticipated the whole thing. There was no shock value at all because she had to cross all the way stage left. As she crossed left we all said to ourselves or our companions, "she's gonna bust out that smoking jacket." Instead, she could've said "look what he got me" and then instantly busted that jacket out and we, not having time to think, would have gasped like we were supposed to.
The play is a rerun of the only other Lynn Nottage play I know, too. Are we not sick of this "black men are the enemy" theme? I am, but I guess Lynn Nottage isn't. The plays of Dael Orlandersmith explore the complexities of the black male from a female perspective so much more interestingly than Lynn Nottage. Ah well. Viola Davis was incredible, though. The audience stood for her. Her work is so amazing. I think what I love most about her is her physical approach to the work. Her body is so different in each of the roles I've seen her in. In this play, her body tells the story so much more than her words. She acts with her whole frame, and it's just fascinating. I didn't get to see Russell Hornsby. The understudy played the character of George Armitage. A shame too. The play would have been much more interesting if George Armitage had been played by someone sexy like Russell Hornsby. Instead, I was totally turned off from the moment I saw him. I know, I know. I'm the most shallow person you know.
A friend of mine sent me the greatest email today. It felt good.Brittney's here now. Off to bed.
13 August 2004
12 August 2004
11 August 2004
No, you rule.
No, really. You rule.
Now, I never saw The Princess Diaries, (even though it is a Julie Andrews movie.) But on the day it opened (i.e. today), I drove up to Valencia and went to a screening of The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.
Ever notice how the movies that you see for free suck the worst? This seems to always happen to me. I saw the movie for free because my lovely friend Madison Dunaway is in the movie. And good for her! We were all very excited. Madison's fiancé, brother, and mother went as well as their brilliant stage-manager friend John Hagen and his wife Sarah (John just got a job at the Boston Court Theatre down the street from me!)
I know you are all running out to buy tickets, and I hate to say it, but the movie is just terrible. That said, buy your tickets anyway, because Maddie gets royalties. The more the movie makes, the more my girl makes!
Congratulations Madison! You rock, baby.
Madison with Anne Hathaway and the re-named Raven (formerly Raven Simone):
Maddie with director Garry Marshall:
I picked out four PhD programs that look promising: UC Berkeley, US Davis, Stanford, and the University of Washington (U-Dub). These programs all take five years (give or take) and all seem really cool. The coolest ones are Berkeley and Davis. At those schools my Doctorate would be in Contemporary Performance (as opposed to, say, Theatre History or Theatre Criticism.) The program at Stanford is a Doctor of Philosophy, which sounds okay too.
Researching this makes me SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so fucking nervous and ready and jittery and... excited!
Freudian Inventory Results
|Genital (86%) you appear to have a progressive and constructive outlook on life. |
Latency (33%) you appear to have an irrational view on the value of learning.
Phallic (60%) you appear to have a good balance of sexual awareness and sexual composure.
Anal (70%) you appear to be overly self controlled, organized, and subservient to authority.
Oral (50%) you appear to have a good balance of independence and interdependence.
personality tests by similarminds.com
10 August 2004
I think I might have ingested too much culture this evening. I have been watching a lot of movies lately.
I came home and watched First Love with Deanna Durbin from 1939. There is no way to look at this Deanna Durbin chick and not think of Renée Zellweger. And that just kinda makes me feel sick. Boo to Renée Zellweger and boo to her Oscar.
After the movie, I decided to read a new play I got: Frozen by Bryony Lavery (a woman). The play is very very interesting. All or at least a large proportion of the new plays that get published read like poetry instead of dialogues/scenes. A lot of them have this poetic/bodiless feel. Like voices in the darkness. Frozen has more structure than this, and has a couple of scenes, but it is structured like 3 monologues in a Dael Orlandersmith/Wallace Shawn kind of way. I like this type of theatre. It's interesting to me. It's nothing like what Suzan-Lori Parks is doing, but it's still really cool and new. Anyway, nobody is doing what Parks is doing.
After the play, I went to see I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. The new Mike Hodges movie with Clive Owen. I think I recently extolled the greatness pf their last collaboration: Croupier. RENT THIS MOVIE. But I'll Sleep When I'm Dead is nothing like it. The script is not witty at all and is more of a meditation on grief and revenge than anything else: a subject I am beginning to tire of after all of last year's films on the topic. Also, Clive Owen looks like crap through almost the entire film. Shaggy, scruffy, filthy, emptying his pisspot into the street gutter, sleeping in a van, etc. Worse than this, the subject matter has to do with a young man being raped by a much older man. I don't know why this is so sensitive with me, but I have no interest in watching it. I hate that this is soooo hateful and horrible. Of course rape is awful, horrible, unconscionable. But somehow I think that if one of their female friends had been raped, the men wouldn't have responded the same way. It is still the homosexual nature of the act that is so hateful to these people, and that reminds me once again how much homosexual sex of any kind is feared and reviled in this world.
Whatever. That's me on a bit of a soapbox and I'm not sure why.
Anyway, the movie doesn't really end, either. It's missing a key scene. And it's just not in the movie, and that's just supposed to be artsy. Well, I would've liked to have seen the end. Feel free to skip I'll Sleep When I'm Dead. Feel free to rent Croupier.
My boss got here at 2:00p and left about 10 minutes ago to go take a test or some shit. Woo Hoo! All alone again. I love being here alone... I don't have to do anything at all if no one's here. It's the best. Though I am supposed to write down what I work on. Eh.
That dragon in my last post is kinda cute. Why am I such a geek sometimes? I aspire to such coolness!
You are Form 5, Dragon: The Weaver.
"And The Dragon seperated the virtuous from
the sinful. He tore his eyes from his sockets
and used them to peer into the souls of those
on trial to make a judgement. He knew that
with endless knowledge came endless
Some examples of the Dragon Form are Athena
(Greek), St. Peter (Christian), and Surya
The Dragon is associated with the concept of
intelligence, the number 5, and the element of
His sign is the crescent moon.
As a member of Form 5, you are an intelligent and
wise individual. You weigh options by looking
at how logical they are and you know that while
there may not always be a right or wrong
choice, there is always a logical one. People
may say you are too indecisive, but it's only
because you want to do what's right. Dragons
are the best friends to have because they're
willing to learn.
Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
I'm so bored.
09 August 2004
I went to the Academy tonight to see another really old musical. This is back when those crazy Hollywood folk were just figuring out musicals. Tonight I saw Alexander's Ragtime Band with Tyrone Power (hubba hubba), Alice Faye, Don Ameche and Ethel Merman. Alice Faye was fabulous. She reminded me a lot of Simone Signoret. Don Ameche and Ethel Merman were cool too. The script was written by Irving Berlin (!) and included twenty-six (!) of his songs in 111 minutes of film. (That's shorter than I, Robot if you're keeping score.) It was really fun. Lots of dancing, tons of singing, the ghost of a plot, but some fairly good acting. That Tyrone Power was never known for his acting ability, but he's very good in this one. I even had a tear at one point. I hastily wiped it away, though, so you needn't worry about me weeping openly in the middle of Beverly Hills. I looked fucking hot tonight, perhaps that is what made the night feel like such a success.
I randomly ran into John Bastow, this guy who was in my department at university, when I was at Hairspray on Friday night. He was there with some older woman (I think.) I didn't get a good look because you know I hid my face and walked away as quick as can be. Not that I don't like the guy, but I just hate seeing folk I know when I'm out on the town.
I bought oreos on the way home tonight. I love indulging in things like that. They were only $2, too! Good times.
Elizabeth and I went to El Cholo and then to the Paseo to see Collateral and then to the Yard House for a beer. The Yard House is really cool. I'd definitely go there again. Hip place with cool decor and not-too-expensive beer. They have about a hundred bers on tap, which is really cool too. The only thing is there's usually this huge line on weekends, so when I go back, I'll want to go on a weekday... and the weekdays when I can drink are few.
Elizabeth and I ran into Bill Morse, his wife Joyce and their son Matthew, too. They were going to see Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Big surprise. Stoners.
I think Elizabeth is the kind of girl I would have married if I were doing the whole "I'm a straight guy" thing. And then she would have found out about my homosexuality and then hated me for the rest of her life. Whew. Good thing I'm out of the closet so we can get along.
One more thing. This is my coworker's one-year-old son, Christian James:
08 August 2004
Shark Tale looks pretty funny. I'm seeing it just for Scorsese, to be honest.
Saw looks fucked up, but not as fucked up as I'd heard. I'll skip it.
Ray looks like it boasts a fucking killer performance by Jamie Foxx. But ten'll get you twenty that the movie is too long and tries to fit too much in. Why do biopics always do this? Can someone name me five really great biopics? I don't think I can name even two or three. The only one that comes to mind is The Pride of the Yankees, and I think that falls prey to exactly what I'm talking about here.
Criminal looks like it's an exact remake of the Fabián Belinsky film Nine Queens (Nueve Reinas). WHY? Nueve Reinas is an awesome con film. One of the best ever. And it's not even old... maybe four years. Why remake this? Sure, it boasts John C. Reilly and Diego Luna, but really. This film seems so unnecessary.
Go rent Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens) if you haven't seen it. It's great.
A Home at the End of the World is an amazing book. I have recommended it to several people. It helped me to understand my mother in new and amazing ways and it has some wonderful, beautiful stuff in it. It's really wonderful.
The movie, however, is crap, quite honestly. I don't know who this Michael Mayer is who they decided had the ability to direct this film, but it's an utter mess. I have no idea what that movie was about. Aside from playing fast and loose with the book in silly, unnecessary ways, the movie has no substance. It doesn't say anything. It doesn't have any money scenes. It doesn't get under your skin in any way. It's dumb. It's basically a sort-of "best hits" of the novel. It's so the opposite of how The Hours turned out. Maybe it's because the novelist, Michael Cunningham, wrote the screenplay. He's a phenomenal novelist, and I hope he doesn't write another screenplay for a long time. I'd love to read another of his novels and I don't think I ever want to see another one of his films. He just doesn't know how to write for the movies. If they ever butcher the film version of Flesh & Blood, I might picket the studio that does it.
I loved this book, and the movie is so bad.
Colin Farrell is great, though. I should say that. And Robin Wright Penn is perfection in this part. If the movie were better, I'd say she had a shot at a Supporting Actress nom in January, but the movie is so bad, there is just no way. A shame.
I did yoga this morning for the first time since, like, March. It felt really good. Why don't I do this more often?
Oh yeah, because I'm fucking lazy.
07 August 2004
Hairspray was fucking fantabulous. And that isn't even a word. Madison and I went. I wore my new orange shirt, jeans, and my white Madden Rreplays (I swear that's what they're called). The leads were both straight from the Broadway cast. Bruce Vilanch was only passable as Mrs. Turnblad. He's really funny, of course, as a comedian, and they let him do some schtick about the governor and Shaq, but the man can't really sing and you can forget about dancing. He can't even lift his leg six inches off the ground.
But the show is fucking amazing. It's oh so cheesy and camp and ridiculous and (thankfully) it's very John Waters. In fact, I rarely see audiences in Los Angeles respond to shows the way they responded to this one tonight. The audience clapped at everything. They were eating it up! Standing ovation and dancing in the seats. Seriously. I was in shock, but I felt it too. The show is a definite crowd-pleaser. It's really wonderful.
06 August 2004
I WANT A NEW JOB.
It's actually OK today. Steve has decided to stay home and work on tax returns, so he prolly won't be in until 1:00p or so.
I called my mother this morning to ask her a question. She small-talked me for a minute or so and then said she had to go. "Really?" I asked. "Yeah, the copier guy is here." "OK, well, call me at work later, would you?" I still had a question to ask her. I did call for a reason. "Probably not," she said. "Fine." I said and hung up. My mom is so fricking weird. Nowhere as weird as Matt Jones's dad, but pretty weird.
Tonight I'm going to Hairspray with Madison. I hope it doesn't suck.
On NPR they're talking about Mars and craters and shit. Snore. I swear to god, KPCC has two daily shows. Two hours en la mañana with Larry Mantle and one hour en la tarde with Kitty Felde, and both of them are boring as shit. I listen to NPR the rest of the day: Day to Day at 9:00, Fresh Air at 1:00, Marketplace at 3:00, and All Things Considered at 3:30, but during the local programming I have to listen to music or I'll fall asleep.
05 August 2004
I wanna sock someone. I once told Wahima I never got the urge to hit anyone. Today I have it. I have no idea what that's about. But seeing The Manchurian Candidate has done nothing to curb this weird free-fall feeling I have today. I want to hurt someone. The life I am living right now is sometimes not the one I want to live. I feel so unhappy with myself sometimes. The way I live. Why do I have to be so lazy? Why must I put so many things off? Why do I still do things I don't want to do?
So much has been expected of me for so long. There were so many dreams that other people had... and there was my dream... of living a life out of a magazine: hardwood floors, metal coffee tables, occasionally shallow take-charge friends, lemon drops. Well that's only one of my dreams.
Dry was a literary Requiem for a Dream.
The Manchurian Candidate was a fairly good movie. But it was a remake. The original is still better. Meryl Streep was fabulous. Her work felt new and original and masterful. But it was a remake. The original had brilliant, witty dialogue. Not this movie. This movie was chilling and gross and got under my skin like an implant, like Demme's Silence of the Lambs, and it made me squirm like Marathon Man did. But I felt like I'd seen it before... and I had. There's nothing new in this movie except Meryl Streep and some good direction.
I'm gonna wake up and do yoga. I've got to do something. I'm going stir-crazy. Too bad I'm not gonna be able to sleep.
Sometimes I can be such a goddamn fucking drama queen. I finished Dry by Augusten Burroughs today and it seriously fucked me up.
My boss is a fucking asshole. "I meant to ask you if you wanted more hours since Nancy is on vacation to pick up the slack [but now there is only one more day left in the week so the chance has come and gone. Oops.]" Am I supposed to think he's generous because he thought of giving me more hours but then didn't? Anyway, more hours mean nothing: well, no, that's not true: they could mean an extra fifty to sixty bucks. Who cares about fifty to sixty bucks extra. It's not going to change what I want to change, which is my state of mind. I wanna quit feeling like I can't afford anything. Sixty bucks won't fix that: only a new job will.
Tonight: The Manchurian Candidate.
I hate when I call someone and they don't call me back: oh never mind who it is.
Work has been quiet today. After I was a complete bitch to Steve yesterday things seem fine today. Whatever. I still hate him.
Today Ruth from next door brought me the most fragrant bouquet of basil. It's making the office smell so lovely!
It was kinda cool. There are four games going on at once, and each softball game lasts one hour: they time that shit. It's VERY relaxed. They are all smoking and most of them are drinking beer. It was (frankly) really white trash, but kind of fun. I mean, all we did was root for Zack and the other players. Some of them take it seriously and buy cleats and batting gloves and stuff, others of them don't give a fuck and are out there in cons. I wonder how much the umps get paid.
Jaime asked me a random question about Designated Hitters and I launched into this whole explanation of baseball leagues and rules and nonsense. She knew nothing at all about baseball, and that surprised me, but then we were both surprised that I knew so much about it. I do know a lot about baseball. It's weird. I used to play, but it's kind of surprising that I amassed that much knowledge about it.
After the game (which lasted 1 hour: good times), Julie was ready to go to Starbucks... in Diamond Bar (on the way back to her house.) I said goodnight and Jaime said goodnight and we went to one on the way back to our houses. I drove all the way to Chino Hills; I wasn't prepared to drive from there to Diamond Bar and then all the way home. Too much carting my ass around for Julie's pleasure, really.
Jaime and I had a nice time all by ourselves in Montclair.
04 August 2004
I was thinking about actors this morning. It's so strange. Last night, at a party for a good friend, the rooms were filled with actors. They were popping out of every corner. But no one talks about theatre or acting. We barely, in fact, talked about movies. This is fine, and would be kind of refreshing, I suppose, but I realized that when I'm with this group (2 or 3 groups, really) we never talk about acting. When I'm with Kristen, it always comes up. With Andrew, it was pretty much the only topic that ever came up. Allan and I always talk about theatre, too. I remember I was so shocked when Kevin started talking about acting at the cast party on Friday. I didn't know he even thought about acting. And yet, the only reason it came up was because Mike Steger was there and he always wants to talk about it too.
It's not that I'm completely obsessed by theatre, but if I spend my day with people who don't know about theatre at all (at work, I mean), sometimes I like to discuss my art and work with people who have similar goals.
I guess this is probably asking a lot, and I didn't think about it too much last night, but this morning it occured to me.
03 August 2004
I haven't done a full inspection of various theatres' seasons around town, but a few have been released and I am getting really excited. The Taper's came out weeks ago, but I only got my subscription last week. They are putting on Edward Albee's The Goat!!! I haven't been this excited about a play in a long time... not since last year, I suppose, when they announced Topdog/Underdog (which was fucking awesome times ten) and Homebody/Kabul (which turned out to be a kind of a stinker, but who's counting?).
In addition to the Taper putting on Albee's brilliant play, the Geffen, which announced its season this week is going to be doing Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg!!!! AND the one person show I Am My Own Wife, which recently won a Pulitzer. I am so freaking excited!
I have no one to go with me to these events, so if you want to go, let me know. I'll be going even if I go by myself, so if you want to see great theatre, hit me up.
02 August 2004
2. The Alabama judge who was removed from his position because he refused to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments is taking his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Does he think he's gonna win? I don't get it. Why doesn't this guy realize that he did something wrong? Religion has no place in the law. Period. So shut up, man. You aren't discriminated against because you're religious, but your religion (whatever that may be) has no place in our courts. Keep it to yourself. You are supposed to be serving the people of this country, not some god that less than half of Americans believe in! I don't get this guy!
The Village doesn't suck at all. It raises, in fact, a lot of provocative questions, some of which I am still pondering. But it's not a scary movie. It's not built to be a scary movie like we think of scary movies, and they shouldn't have sold it as one because it isn't one. I can't really talk about the movie without giving anything away, but it's definitely worth seeing as a genre piece and for some really good acting.
I haven't been crazy about Joaquin Phoenix since 2000 (when he made The Yards, Gladiator and Quills), but he's really great in The Village. The discovery of the film is the hugely talented Bryce Dallas Howard, though. She's great, and I predict an Oscar nomination come February. It may be to early for this, but there is definitely buzz for her on this front. She's going to be the lead in Lars Von Trier's next movie, Manderlay, too, and we all know what that means: Pain & Suffering. So we'll see about her. Adrien Brody is the other lead in the cast, and he is great, too, although it's an odd part for a guy with a Best Actor Oscar. Anyway. The rest of the cast reads great: William Hurt (who's terribly boring in this), Cherry Jones (love her), Sigourney Weaver, Celia Weston and Brendan Gleeson. While watching the movie I realized that I hate Michael Pitt. I can't judge him without prejudice. And it's because I loathe and despise Tommy Gnossis. I almost can't bear to look at his pig face. Grrr.
01 August 2004
It felt like I wasted the day today, but it wasn't really wasted. The thing is I woke up at noon and then kind of didn't leave my house until 9:00p and then only to go to the grocery for some chocolate cookie dough ice cream.
I woke up and made a Sausage Stew that I've made before. I also made polenta. They tell us polenta is this impossible thing to make. I've been scared of it ever since I'd heard of it, but I made it today for the first time and I don't know why cooks are scared of it. It was easy. Really easy. I didn't have any fresh herbs lying around, so it was kind of bland, but still good.
After I cooked I watched The Towering Inferno, one of the many disaster movies from the 1970's (The Poseidon Adventure, The Hindenburg, Airport, Earthquake, et al). As is typical of these movies, there were too many plots and the film was too long and poorly directed. It was okay, though, and Paul Newman and Steve McQueen star (their famous eyes sparkling at one another, I guess). My girl Faye Dunaway was in it too, looking absolutely fucking gorgeous. One of the many, too numerous subplots involved Jennifer Jones and Fred Astaire, way past their primes, falling in love. It was kinda sweet, except Jennifer Jones bites it. She should've lived. I would've liked it better. O.J. Simpson and Robert Wagner are also in it, and William Holden and Richard Chamberlain (so gay).
I started reading Dry today. Good times. It's better than Running so far. Dry possesses a plot, but hasn't lost any of the biting wit of Augusten Burrough's first book. I have already burst out loud laughing once, and I've just finished Chapter Three: a good sign.
I have dinner with my folks something like four times a month. They always take me to chain restaurants. It's fine: the meals are free, and the food isn't always horrible. This week when my dad called to invite me to dinner he asked me what I'd like to do. I said that what I'd prefer is to not go to Chili's or the Outback or any of "those kinds of places." My dad offers "Marie Callendar's"? "No, Dad," I say, "something that's not a chain restaurant, if we can do that." They have this little mom & pop Italian restaurant that they love called Mama Petrillo's that I think is fine. My dad then suggested a new Mexican place they haven't tried, one that we have tried called Casa de Salsa, and the new Japanese restaurant in La Verne: Shôgun Sushi. He told me he would give these options to my mother and sister and see what we came up with when I got there on Saturday. When I arrived I was told we were headed to Islands. [WTF?]
My heart did a whizz-bang-flip-flop; Heaven for a minute.
The Taming of the Shrew closed this evening and I attended the after-party at Nick's flat in Long Beach. It was nice. The show ended up being successful (it even made money!). I got paid, as well, which was nice. Thanks for the check, boys. Too bad I've already spent all of the money. Broke-ass motherfucker that I am.
So coax me; implore me. I promise you won't bore me. Jimmy I might say yes.
The after-party was nice. I hugged pretty much everyone. Katie hugged me begrudgingly. Whatevah. Maria and Barbara thanked me very much for putting them in the show. Sachi was very grateful as well. I will miss some of the people, but then as the director, I never get to be truly social with the actors. There is always that barrier. I kind of hate it, because I'm excluded, but I suppose it's important. It's funny: having Ashley read this blog every day wasn't the least bit of a problem. It's just an example of having nothing to hide from an actor, and being able to have a socially easy relationship with an actor with whom I was working. So cool. I mean, imagine, being able to share everything every step of the way with a company of actors: not having to keep anything secret and quiet. This won't be possible with too many people, but with her it definitely was.
Why am I such a fucking cruel jerk sometimes?! I said some things to Kevin that I shouldn't have today. I feel like shit about it too. I'll probably call him tomorrow and talk to him about it: maybe have a longer conversation about what I really meant. We did have a great conversation about Sanford Meisner, and it was awesome. I don't think I've had that long of a conversation with Kevin about acting. It was so cool. I never knew he was so much like me in this way. I totally insulted him, though, and I feel like a jackass. Wow, I've been a dick lately at large gatherings. Keep me away from the keg!
Life is a holiday / I'm talking June through May / A nightly sell-out show / And baby I'm front row
The World's a sugar bowl / It's sevens every roll / Sneak peak at paradise / The view is mighty is nice.
I watched Scorsese's Cape Fear today. I loved Jessica Lange, mainly. The movie has a lot of problems but is fair. Jessica Lange is incredible, though, and there is one scene with De Niro and Juliette Lewis that is totally cool and hot and creepy and all about child molestation. Ew. This movie is the reason Nick Nolte should have won the fucking Oscar in '92 for The Prince of Tides. He did Cape Fear and Prince of Tides in the same year and they didn't hand him a fucking Oscar? What the Hell? Oh yeah, it went to Anthony Hopkins for Silence of the Lambs.