October 14th, 2000

Chalkboard

(no subject)

Hello My Glitter Love Bug Darlings,

Just got back from the market. God, it always feels so good to get it over with and have the house full of our favorite foods. Is that a compulsive-eater's kind of thing to say or what? It's just that we haven't been to a real market since before leaving for Burning Man. I've been kind of limping along, buying a few things at a time from Pink Dot, who have inexplicably changed their name to PDQuick. As if that's going to make up for their poor service, minimal selection, high prices, and never having anything you need in stock. My guess is that it must be an internal management problem of gargantuan proportions, a major disaster of stupidity coming from the top on down. Kind of like Century Cable. I should know because I worked there. We'll save those stories for another day.

I wonder what makes companies think they can hire the most backwards people and put them on their front lines? How can they expect customers to remain loyal? I mean why would I care about their survival in an increasingly competitive market when they are surly and rude, and okay I'll say it, stupid on the phone? Plus they never have anything I really want in stock and don't care. With Home Grocer bringing just what I want to my door at lower prices why should I bother with them. I picture them sitting around reading magazines and waving each other over to listen in when they get a frustrated customer like me, ha ha ha, get this, she wants...milk, bwa ha ha ha ha ha. But wait, they've changed their name to something less obscure, and it's so catchy too, oh what the hell I'll keep giving them my business.

Sorry to go off on a marketing tangent there, I just couldn't help myself. We went to Ralph's tonight because it's less expensive than Pavilions and has most of the things we like. I get scared though when we fill two carts with everything we want while I'm operating on a set credit card ATM daily limit thing. I hate adding things to the conveyor belt bit by bit, while nervously eyeing the subtotal. It didn't help that our checker was a cold hearted bitch. Sometimes I feel like Debra Winger in Terms of Endearment but there never seems to be a John Lythgow around when you need one.

That reminds me that I have to go see Death Of A Salesman at the Taper with Brian Dennehy. I heard he's amazing, and I'm still really pissed off at myself for missing Cherry Jones in The Heiress, so I have to go. Plus my friend's play should be opening soon and I want to see that as well. I don't think he took it too well when I decided to be honest and tell him that the reason I missed the last one was because it hurt too much to see something I wanted so badly to be in. I think it's hard for directors to understand actors sometimes. I don't think they know how much we love working, how much we yearn for it, and how hard it can be to watch people we love, working together again, and not being up there with them. It's torture. It's impossibly hard to find really good collaborators, so when you find the perfect theater, the perfect director, producer, stage manager, and an ensemble of actors you love, God how it aches to not be working with them again.

I don't really know what went wrong and why they won't consider casting me again, but they could have and haven't. It hurts. My guess is that I became scape-goated. I'm good at that. I tend to stand out and people don't always like that. I'm so emotive and open and unique that I stand out like a nail that is begging to be hammered down. Plus I lived farther away than any other cast member and was going through the death throws of my marriage, my father was losing the last remaining lucid fragments of his mind, I was in the middle of a major house remodel and I had a little boy to raise. So I was occasionally late, and in the theater being late is just not done. You can be a prima donna, a bitch, a schemer, a bad actress even, but to be late is unforgivable. Plus I was in a dressing room with two of the most, shall we say ambitious, women in the cast. One of whom managed to seduce the director and have an affair with him, throwing the whole back stage climate off balance politically, and the other well, what can I say, the other was incredibly volatile and competitive, and simply the most difficult actor I've ever had to work with. Kind of like a viper really.

But the rest of the cast was wonderful. I loved them and miss them. Plus the role I was playing was so, oh hell, I don't know how to describe it, racist, charactery, unlikeable, and the director wanted it extreme and humorous so I dove in. I liked my work. I thought I was good, I got compliments from wonderful people. Sandra Bernhardt told me I was fabulous. Other actor's whose work I love, pulled me aside and told me I was the best thing about it, but I just don't think the producer got how dedicated and generous I was. I think he singled me out for some kind of blame and scape goated me. Maybe I'm wrong, but things got really political. The bitchy cold woman I was dressing with, went out of her way to judge and blackball me. In fact she went so far as to say to me that I simply irritated her. God how rude. And in the end at our final cast party, she got drunk and had the nerve to hang her lush, boozy self over my shoulders, and slur something horribly patronizing about how far I'd come, and God knows what else. Oh man I hated her. Part of the problem was that she had wanted to be my friend from the first read-through, had come on strong, and I held back. I sensed something cold blowing around in that hollow abdomen of hers. She was awful, mean, judgmental, insincere, an ice person who thought way too much of herself, and who was stupendous at getting people to feel about her, the way she felt about herself. It's funny because the other actress who was truly a demon was manageable, but this one, well, it's just something I don't want to ever have to go through again. I can't tell you how hard it is to watch people who you love fall for someone so obviously manipulative and scheming. The only people who these types ever show their true faces to are the ones they're through with. My ex used to date women like that. Amazing.

For tonight though, I'll just stay right here where it's safe, eating my spaghetti with tofu slices, and my French bread and hummus, typing my thoughts to you. I don't have to blow my energy out into a darkened theater. I don't have to feel that amazing connectivity I have with an audience and my beloved fellow actors on stage. I don't have to live anyone's words, or act out their passionate intentions. It isn't life or death, I don't have to listen or try to be heard, I don't have to glow from within, I don't have to carry the energy of a play, rescue anyone when they blow their lines, or put on makeup or change costumes between acts. But God how I wish I did! Sometimes I feel like I'm only really alive when I'm on stage. More than anything else in the world I'm alive there. More than singing, or writing, or acting for film or television, which is a whole other piece of weirdness. On stage, buried inside a role, deep inside someone I've grafted on to myself, living in another world, with other people, for just a couple of hours, that is my heaven, my greatest joy. Greater than making love even, acting is my passion.

Wow that was intensely depressing and personal. Hmmmm. Okay I'm goign to go back and finish watching a really bad sci fi film with my son, Mosquito. Big huge squishy half alien mosquito things and really bad acting. That'll make me feel better.

Night
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