Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

31 May 2006

Movie Post

A movie post is sort of overdue. I still haven't posted about Art School Confidential, which is a movie still in theatres and really worth posting about (though not worth seeing, guys: don't do it). I've also seen Breathless and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul since we last talked, and yet... I am too tired to post. My workdays are too long and my ass is too tired after they are over to write about anything or watch any more movies of read anything or do anything. Sorry. The weekend is on its way and perhaps it will rejuvenate me slightly before the long slog that is going to be next week.

So... sorry, friends, but I'm tired. This is better than disappearing, though, right?

And omigod. The party on Saturday, thrown for Rebecca Vigil's twenty-first birthday was easily one of the best birthday parties I have ever attended.

More soon. Tomorrow I will be seeing Without Walls at the Mark Taper Forum. Perhaps I will have the energy to post about that when I get home. It will star Laurence Fishburne and hopefully will rock my world.

30 May 2006

Um... Yeah. Could you?

Did you say something?

Um. No. I...
Oh. I thought you did.
No, I just. Sorry, ok.
I'm sorry. I've just been kind of busy.

Actually I'm busy like I'm going out of my mind. I feel like there isn't time for anything anymore.
Is it just Brittney's show, or...
Yes. Yes. No. There's just a lot to do—I mean including Brittney's show, which is going fine, but...

I wish I had scheduled time to sleep in this last weekend. I'm running myself ragged. Sorry you asked?
No. Well, yes.

29 May 2006


I am a pisces and I can see into the future.

It doesn't always happen, but it's always true.

25 May 2006

The Voice My Mother Gave Me Set Me Free

Here is the poster for the show. It is by a Dutch artist whose website you can visit here.

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Personally, I think it's gorgeous. A few minor changes will be made to the poster very soon, but this is pretty much what it will be. Tell me you love it!

Work Ennui

I AM IN SUCH A BAD MOOD. I am at work and I am bored and tired and frustrated with everything in my life right now. I know this will pass and I know I mostly just need to get some sleep and I know the weekend is on its way, but I FEEL LIKE I CAN'T TAKE THE NEXT TWENTY MINUTES.

On the other hand, Brittney sent me the poster for The Voice My Mother Gave Me and I think it's lovely. I will post it later tonight.

23 May 2006

Nothing in Particular

I just finished reading the energy-filled, insane, memoir by Dave Eggers called A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The best word for this thing is "energetic." He's so obsessed with youth: his own youth, our youth, the youth of his wonderful, magical younger brother. And the book is so everywhere-at-once, ten-thousand-feelings-in-a-single-instance and the hero is so endearing, so special, so important in his own mind. In short, he reminds me so much of myself. Every bit of it, really. I even feel like he talks too much (soooo like me.)

Justin, you've read this book, right? We should talk about it. I'm going to call you.

22 May 2006


I rented a movie based on the recommendation of a boy. It's called The Hudsucker Proxy and it's a mid-nineties Coen Brother's movie with Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Newman. And it's hilarious. I loved this movie. It's clever, has its own voice and I laughed out loud several times.

I don't feel like writing anymore; I feel like sleeping.

*Addition from this morning.

I was thinking... Hudsucker came out the same year as Forrest Gump (a movie I dislike very much, my dislike made worse by its nabbing of the Best Picture Oscar that year). The movies are kind of similar in their main character, hardly similar at all in any other way, really, but both have a central character who is (mostly) an imbecile. Except that the Coens allow room for the development of character. Hudsucker's Norville Barnes could easily be a character you hate—you do hate him some of the time—even though he's the hero and you're, you know, mostly going to really like him. Ditto my feelings about Paul Newman's Sid character: he's the villain, but I never hate him, not at all. Good and evil are ever-present forces in Hudsucker, even having a midnight clock-showdown, but they never make the story into a mish-mash of feel good nonsense the way Zemeckis makes Gump into this steaming pile of sentiment on the kitchen floor of a cold world.

Chalk one more up for the Coen Brothers and their brilliance.

21 May 2006


I'm having a (hopefully momentary) lapse in courage.

Get it together, man! You can handle anything.

...There ain't no gold and there ain't nobody like me.
I'm the number one fan of the man from Tennessee.

20 May 2006

Grand Guignol: a Definition

I used this term in reference to the recent production of Little Shop of Horrors I saw at my old stomping grounds Cal Poly Pomona. Watching the show, I started to wonder at Cal Poly's tendency toward the gruesome. The last good musical Cal Poly did was Sondheim's Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I sensed a pattern. At any rate, I used the term "Grand Guignol" in post-show discussion with the set designer, but after I did I began to ponder its origin. I looked it up on Wikipedia, and—whaddya know?—it's fascinating. To wit:

The Grand Guignol (Grahn Geen-YOL) was a theatre (Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol) in the Pigalle area of Paris (at 20 bis, rue Chaptal), which, from its opening in 1897 to its closing in 1962, specialized in the most naturalistic grisly horror shows. The theater owed its name to Guignol, a traditional Lyon puppet character, joining political commentary with the style of Punch and Judy.

Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol was small and intimate, seating no more than 300 people. This intimacy added an extra piquancy to the goings-on on stage, because the theatre's stock-in-trade was special effects made from the by-products of the butcher's shop. The gouged-out eye trick was a perennial favourite.

The principal playwright of the Grand Guignol was André de Lorde, who wrote at least one hundred plays for the venue between the years 1901 and 1926. His plays focused on the horrific potential of household objects, the suffering of innocents, infanticide, insanity, and vengeance. The plays were typically short, and several were staged in the course of the evening. Occasional sex farces were thrown into the play-lists, partly for their own sake, and partly to keep the audience guessing whether these, too, would turn out to have gory climaxes. Original plays were also written by Pierre Bauche and Maurice Level.

Grand Guignol flourished briefly in London in the early 1920's under the direction of Jose Levy.

The Grand Guignol theatre closed its doors in 1962, unable to compete with motion pictures.

The Grand Guignol theatre was recreated as Théâtre des Vampires (on a sound stage) in 1994 for the film of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire.

A typical modern production of this genre can be found in Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street," which originally appeared in 1979 starring Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou. In 2005, a revival production of this gruesome story about a barber who gives extra clean shaves was staged on Broadway with Patti Lupone and Michael Cereveris.

I Keep Thinking About Him

Neil Patrick Harris is probably my favorite stage actor working right now. I would see him in anything. He's such an exciting performer. I keep thinking about his work in All My Sons. It was such a powerful, quietly brilliant turn. And that makes me think of his stellar work in The Paris Letter: a play that I think still needs a bit of fixing, but in which Harris did the most amazing, intricate work.

I wish I could meet him. He might be my new favorite actor. Maybe I'll troll the streets of Westwood on show nights...

Overdue Paul Mazursky Post

I find Paul Mazursky's films fascinating. This is due, I think, mostly to the fact that I have no idea what he's quite getting at. His films are meandering, multi-character dramatic comedies full of miscellania and charm. They possess a committed liberalism and explore the new freedoms of the 1960's and 1970's (not uniformly, of course, but I've seen three of these movies recently and he seems to be interested in this topic.) About a year ago, I finally saw his 1969 breakout Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, which I really admired (though this film confused me as much as anything), and this month I decided to watch two more of his movies. So a couple weeks ago, I rented An Unmarried Woman from 1978 and this morning I saw Harry and Tonto from 1974. The films are so hard to categorize. I'm not even sure what they're about, even. They're not what I would call experimental films in any way, really, but they seem to grasp something about everyday life in the 1970's that I just don't know about (being younger than that decade.) I find this fascinating, not to mention educational. He seems to really understand the loss and restlessness that came with the (partial) abandonment of the rigidity of the (phoney) moralism of the 1950's in this country. I mean, I truly think that these films are a schooling of sorts: like some kind of time capsule into the life and times of the generation before me.

An Unmarried Woman stars Jill Clayburgh (the poor man's Diane Keaton) as a woman a happily married woman who becomes a divorcée over the course of the film, is thrown off-balance by this (naturally) and finds herself adrift and wandering in New York City, searching for happiness and trying very, very hard not to be angry at everybody and everything (and not usually succeeding). It's a very interesting exploration of womanhood and singlehood and the trials of the recently divorced. "Interesting" seems like faint praise, but the thing is, this is a really good film with some excellent performances and a wonderful script. The trouble is that it is not about me at all: it's about my parents' generation and though it's about something many of that generation experienced, I can't relate emotionally.

I feel the same way about Harry and Tonto (for which its star, Art Carney, received a Best Actor Oscar): it isn't something to which I can really relate. Harry and Tonto (and An Unmarried Woman—and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice for that matter) has the same effect on me. These Paul Mazursky films are—I don't want to say "stuck" or "trapped" because I don't want to sound negative—specific to the 1970's in a way that, say, Woody Allen's 1970's films aren't for me. Mazursky's explorations are smaller or more decade-specific than Allen's, I guess. I'm confusing myself. Mazursky confuses me. I feel confounded by his abilities, which are numerous, and his choice of topics, which seem to me to be a variation on the idea of drawing-room dramas from the early part of the century: dealing with contemporary problems with contemporaneous solutions or not offering solutions at all (a favorite artistic solution of the 1970's.)

I don't know where this post is headed really, but a lot is running through my head about Paul Mazursky.

I should also say that nothing in this post relates to my favorite of Mazursky's films: Enemies: a Love Story from 1989.

Hm. OK. I'm going to go do something else now.

16 May 2006

All My Sons

I'm not a voracious Arthur Miller reader or anything (mind you, I have his complete works sitting on my desk, but have I even cracked it?), but I just had to see All My Sons down at the Geffen Playhouse. It's Neil Patrick Harris (whom I love) and Len Cariou and Laurie Metcalf and the ads are everywhere and it's getting fabulous reviews and it was sold out on a Tuesday. So everything was set when Ashley said she wanted to go and Elizabeth said she wanted to go and we had a party.

The show is brilliant. It's wonderful and powerful and timely and deeply moving and all of those things you say about really good theatre when you're lucky enough to catch some (it's hard, I find, in this city, though you'd think it wouldn't be.) I totally loved it and I thought it was profound and human and masterfully directed and performed.

So get a ticket if you still can. You will not be sorry. I promise. And if you love theatre and you're in Los Angeles you really have to go. Shows like this don't happen here very often.

14 May 2006


Boys' Life is over now and the post-partum depression is already setting in. It's been—what?—twenty-four hours? I'm psychotic. Luckily The Voice My Mother Gave Me Set Me Free will still be in rehearsal for another three weeks, so I will at least have a project going even if it's just a once-a-week thing.

I did get to see Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows yesterday. IT'S AWESOME, by the way.

And I went to the 9:00p, 10:00p and 11:00p shows last night at Ultimate Improv and laughed so hard I was literally in tears four or five times throughout the evening.

I'm off to bed. I wasn't in the mood to watch a movie today, so I just did laundry and repaired my deadbolt. I read a play, too: Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp (who I love.) It's really fucked up and I liked it a lot.

This entry is all over the place. Sorry. I'll go to sleep now.

12 May 2006

This Weekend

I won't get to see that many movies, so you should go for me and post comments telling me how they all are...

Out this week: Army of Shadows, by Jean-Pierre Melville. It's the first time it has been released in this country and I'm so excited!

Also out this week: nothing else I'm interested in.

There is still a lot of stuff currently in theatres that I haven't seen (Thank You for Smoking, Water, Art School Confidential, Friends with Money, Hard Candy.) Hopefully I will get to go to the cinema soon.

11 May 2006

Boys' Life Cast Party

There will be a soirée at my place tomorrow night after the show (that's circa 10:00p for those who won't be attending). If you haven't seen the show, Friday night would be ideal. You can come witness the brilliance of all the actors and then you can hitch a ride over to Pasadena for a little fiesta.

Becca, what should I pick up for you?


10 May 2006

New MySpace Message

I received this one tonight.

Subject: Damn! (I'm already excited. He has a clever and intriguing subject.)

Message: You look sexy i wouldn't mind fucking you!

Okay. You sound like tons of fun.

09 May 2006

High School Exit Exam in California

I heard a lot of news reports about this thing on the way home and I started to think... you know, I have to honestly say I have no sympathy for these students who can't pass the high school exit exam. Evidently, 89% of all California high school students passed the exam and are good to graduate, but there is an 11% minority that didn't actually pass the test and will not be receiving their diplomas in June unless they do. Ten of these students are suing in State court, saying that because education is not equal across the state, a uniform test should not be given across the state.

I asked my mother the high school counselor about it when I went to visit my folks tonight (I was blessed with free food and a free haircut: hooray!) Mom says that CAHSEE (that's what it's called for short) is easy. She says that the public schools offer classes to help specifically with CAHSEE. She says that the students start taking the test when they are sophomores, and that they have numerous chances to take the test in their senior year. And even if they don't pass the test and graduate with their class, they can stay an extra year (or more often a semester... sometimes even just summer school) and pass the test and then graduate.

My thought is this: there is no reason to have a standard if you don't hold everyone to it equally. Plenty of people in all walks of life and in every school in the state passed the exam. Who are these students who didn't pass the exam? They might be lovely people, but they didn't work hard enough to pass the test and that—as they say—is that. Why didn't they pass? Were they ditching class? Were they not doing homework? Because many, many students—an overwhelming majority, in fact—did pass the test.

And I heard that the president of the state teachers' union was out protesting this morning with whomever else was there and I thought "what nonsense!" The teachers' union, as usual, wants no accountability at all. Of course the teachers' union doesn't want anyone evaluating the job they're doing. But a test that says that each student with this specific piece of paper (a high school diploma) has a certain level of knowledge and a certain level of reading comprehension and critical thinking seems to me to be a very good thing.

Mom says that no one has done a study comparing the SAT and CAHSEE, but she ventured to say that a passing grade on CAHSEE was probably somewhat equivalent to a 750 on the SAT.

08 May 2006

I Pulled a Darren Today

One of the pilots comes in and bets me I haven't seen his favorite movie of all time and he's right. It's The Man Who Would Be King and I haven't seen it (though it is in the Netflix queue.)

So I'm like... "What is that: 1975?"
And the CFO says "Richard Burton?"
"Right, Richard Burton," I say.
"No," says the pilot, "It's Michael Caine, and..."
"Sean Connery," I say. "Richard Burton is in The Man Who Came in from the Cold."
"It's The Spy Who Came in from the Cold not The Man Who Came in from the Cold," says my boss.
"Oh yeah, it's The Man Who Came to Dinner," I say, laughing ...and then I say "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?"

And I knew I had taken it too far.

The Promise of More

Tonight I wasted my time on yet another Chinese epic promising bold visuals, acid color palettes and fabulous swordsmanship. This one was called The Promise and is an entry into the genre by Chinese master filmmaker Chen Kaige (who, you may remember, directed the brilliant Farewell, My Concubine.)

I have to learn to talk myself out of going to see films from this spectacular Chinese genre. Their trailers lure me with the promise of visual panache, eye candy and good actors but I am inevitably let down by the film itself, which always lacks substance and more often than not is chock-full of totally ludicrous sentiment and nonsense. I speak to you of Hero (a film I did not appreciate) and House of Flying Daggers (a film I appreciated only slightly better.) The Promise is one of these: a lovely film on the surface, but a film without real characters and a film completely devoid of honest emotion.

The Promise is much worse than both Daggers and Hero, though, because the director, Kaige Chen, doesn't have the will to pull his film through the way Zhang Yimou did with the other two. The costumes for The Promise are gorgeous, stunning things, and the art direction is pretty if boring and lacking wit. Unfortunately, the visual effects are not good at all and though the costumes are lovely, Chen doesn't use them to their advantage. Using a beautiful costume is something Yimou knows how to do brilliantly, and both House of Flying Daggers and Hero use theirs to full effect: the costumes and colors signifying emotion, vacillating loyalties and freedom. The costumes in The Promise signify nothing at all, even though a certain set of "crimson armor" is all anyone talks about for a good forty minutes of the film.

The actors are good enough in The Promise: Hiroyuki Sanada (The White Countess & The Twilight Samurai) especially and the villain is a gorgeous young man by the name of Nicholas Tse, but this film is terrible.

I have debated a lot with other movie lovers about style over substance: when it is okay and when it isn't. It is a rare film where the style is enough to make up for a lack of substance. I, frankly, can't think of one. My aforementioned boredom with both Flying Daggers and Hero is a testament to my preference for substance. I love Douglas Sirk (who doesn't?) but then I think he was still a really good storyteller... and the thing about Sirk for me is that even though everything was so contrived, he was trying to get at something serious: some deep human truths. For me, though, The Promise is this year's Star Wars: Episode III. It's a movie that is completely and totally about style and isn't any good at style. In a word: pointless.

07 May 2006

Religion & the Theatre

You probably knew this, but I quite frequently ponder the non-existence of god and all of its implications on the world.

My mother (and several of my Christian friends) have suggested that I am only an athiest because I am a homosexual. (This is a patronizing viewpoint to take about a person's beliefs, in my opinion, but they have told me this.)

Anyway, I was watching Stephen Colbert's George Bush Roast and looking at all of the people laughing and thinking that I don't know how you can be a student of the theatre and remain a Christian.
What I mean is, though I trace my conversion to atheism to my reading of Lewis Thomas's Lives of a Cell in 2004, I discarded Christianity as early as 2000. This coincided with my change of major and my total immersion in the study of the art of the theatre. The theatre, see, was older than Christianity... and they had conflicted so much over the years that it seemed impossible for them both to be right. So I chose the theatre.

Another Novel Without a Hero or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Barry Lyndon

I am in love with Barry Lyndon. I have been waiting on watching this 1975 film from the great auteur Stanley Kubrick for years (I believe I even have it on videotape somewhere, recorded one night off of Turner Classic Movies.) Mostly, I've been held back by its length and the warnings I'd received about its slow pace, but this morning I answered the call and promise of its costumes and cinematography and succumbed to the charm of the work of Kubrick, Ryan O'Neal (the film's star) and William Makepeace Thackeray who wrote the novel. The story is powerful and resonant, with as much of an understanding of human nature and the consequences of greed as Thackeray's other very-famous novel, Vanity Fair, and its course follows a similar trajectory to that book. Redmond Barry (O'Neal) is a young Irishman deeply in love with his cousin, who is engaged to be married to an officer in the British army. Barry, a most headstrong young man, challenges the officer to a duel (there are several in the film, of many varieties), kills him, and must run, immediately, from the law. This first fifteen minutes of the film, sets Barry on a course of wandering all over Europe. Through an endless series of coincidences and mistakes, he joins the British army and then the Prussian army, becomes an agent and spy in the service of the Prussian military police, and subsequently finds himself a valet to a very wealthy cosmopolitan Irish gambler, eventually marrying into wealth and an English title.
The film is unquestionably long (185 minutes), but I found it extremely rewarding, emotionally sincere and politically astute. Add to this that Barry Lyndon is, I think, the most beautiful film I have ever seen. The costumes, by Milena Canonero and Ulla-Britt Søderlund are stunningly gorgeous, covering the military forces of England, Sweden and Prussia and dressing all of the nobility of England and France. It's really something to behold. But the true find of Barry Lyndon, for me, is John Alcott's cinematography. I really don't think I've ever seen anything so beautiful put on celluloid. Barry Lyndon had me from its very first shot: a wide view of a duel that never zooms in and gives us all the backstory we need on Barry's father in the first 45 seconds of the film. From then on, the film is absolutely filled with breathtaking vistas and lush panoramas of the European countryside, never venturing once into the interior of a dirt-ridden city. At one point early in the film, when Barry heads off to Dublin, I thought for sure I had seen the last of Alcott's beautiful compositions, but luck stepped in and (thankfully) sent Barry and me in a different direction than the city. The infinite variations of sky that Alcott is able to capture with his camera boggle the mind. His interiors, while less breathtaking, still contain an other-worldly feel to them. They are all lit by the candlelight of the period and the photography is warm and inviting. The photography is so powerful that at times my heart ached at its beauty.
Kubrick lost the Academy awards for directing and writing that year to Miloš Forman's One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, but Bary Lyndon's costume designers, art directors, cinematographer and composer were all rewarded on Oscar night with little gold men for their work and any other result would have been unthinkable. The story and acting in the film are wonderful, but it is the look of the film that makes Barry Lyndon an absolute masterpiece.

06 May 2006

Promises, Promises...

I know I promised myself I would write about every movie I saw... but I've been so busy. I saw Paul Mazursky's An Unmarried Woman last Saturday morning and I still haven't written word one about it... and it's six in the morning and I have to leave pretty soon if I'm going to make my call time in Fullerton for the Twenty-Four Hour Theater madness. I cannot believe I am awake this early on a Saturday morning. The universe is out of harmony and the world is coming to an end.

Boys' Life performances are going excellently. Both shows have been very funny. Did I mention that the show is very funny? It is. It's hilarious, in fact. I sit in the back giggling to myself the whole time. You should definitely come see it. There are four performances left: tonight and next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Peace out. I'm off to get a doughnut.

02 May 2006

The Best Gin

Thank you Marcos Tello for turning me on to Tanqueray Ten. It is the smoothest gin I've ever tried. I love it.

I am enjoying some right now, as a matter of fact. Yum.

I'm Also Doing THIS This Weekend:

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Boys' Life is a comedy about late twenty-somethings in the late 1980s coming to grips with growing old and trying to make real, honest connections; mostly it's about boys—how we grow up, if we grow up, and what we have to leave behind in order to do so.

Our production of Boys' Life will be at the Ultimate Improv Theatre in Westwood, located at 954 Gayley and very close to UCLA. It will star Justin Abarca, Danny Lampson and Darren Lanning and feature performances by Rebecca Vigil, Elizabeth Triplett, Ashley Opstad, Wahima Lino, Amanda Pyle and Kevin Brian.

Performances will be Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, May 4th through May 13th at 7:00p. you should come.

Directing Weaknesses

I saw two shows recently that have made me think about my strengths and failings as a director (again.) It feels as though I am constantly evaluating myself—probably because I am constantly evaluating myself. Plus, I'm directing all the time nowadays (two shows at once, no less!) and saying the right thing all the time is constantly on my mind. Why don't I know the right thing to say to this actress, and how could I make this show better, and how do I get him to be subtler? Often I feel that I fail at these tasks—at least momentarily—and I long to be better at what I do.
I recently saw Ubu Roi at A Noise Within. The play is over a hundred years old and the director's interpretation brought such a new approach to the material that I was blown away. The show was brilliant and I left the theatre that night humbled. That vision! That ability to see something so unique and guide into becoming a reality! I feel like I approach moments of uniqueness like that so rarely. Sure, I occasionally create moments—only moments, mind you—unique and special and new, but for the most part I discover them rarely and remain surprised when they show up. Perhaps it's lack of training, or maybe that the material I normally work on doesn't require it, but I mostly blame a lack of personal vision. The way I see things just isn't that unique. Or maybe I just need more training.
This isn't to say I'm not a good director. I think I am a good director, I just often wish I had a different kind of vision. Where I think my talents lie is in communication with actors, designers and crew. I have the sensibilities and sensitivities of an artist, and this allows me to excel in being clear with the people who work for me (most of the time.) I also tend to be good at understanding human nature (i.e. character motivation): finding reasons for characters to say and do things comes naturally to me and I have no trouble justifying a character's actions, no matter how outrageous. I also tend to be good with language and figuring out the meaning of a play. This gives some directors a lot of grief (or at least appears to), so I feel lucky that it isn’t something with which I usually struggle.
This brings me to the other play I saw that got me to thinking about this topic in the first place. I went to a production put on by my old fraternity (ΑΨΩ, baby!) this weekend and I was sort of stunned. It was Naomi Wallace's brilliant One Flea Spare and it was my impression that the director didn't understand Wallace's (rather obvious) attack of upper middle-class prejudices, mostly missed the boat on her tension-creating devices and completely avoided her exploration of assumed sexuality and the effects of poverty on the sexual choices of her characters. I started thinking about the plays I choose to direct. I would love to direct One Flea Spare, and, often, when given the choice of what to direct, I do choose something totally outrageous like a Naomi Wallace piece (see Gross Indecency or Valparaiso or Pterodactyls). The reason, I think, is this: being mostly lacking in personal vision, as I believe myself to be, it makes sense for me to attach myself to someone else's rather outlandish vision and interpret that as best as possible. If my strengths are human nature, language, meaning and communication, perhaps I don't totally need vision. I can let the playwright have all of the vision and I can concern myself with the minutiae.

Just a thought...