Tuesday, February 26, 2008
My mother has a dream similar to this event often during stressful times in her life. During such times, my mother redecorates until she is too exhausted to be stressed about anything. In her dreams her children paint cryptic messages in the carpet, strange gifts fall into her hands, and she discovers rooms that she has yet to paint. She wakes up wondering where that room is and if green will work with the light. Then the curtain of sleep lifts completely and she is back in her three bedroom, two bath, big living room with vaulted ceilings and a large backyard home in San Antonio. But the worry does not dissipate with that curtain and the seed of doubt remains: I have forgotten something...I am leaving something undone...there is a room with no door that I can not get into.
The last days of directing a show often feel like this for me. But my missing room is a missing scene. Often that scene is some variation of the Tax Collector Scene.
Oscar Wild wrote two versions of The Importance of Being Earnest. In one version a tax collector comes out to the country in search of Algernon (or actually Earnest) for unpaid debts. It is honestly an unnecessary scene without much humor and no furthering of the plot. But when I first read it I did so with that scene. And since then when ever I see a production of it, I am invariably waiting for the Tax collector to come out.
In my dreams I am directing the actors during a scene, the Tax Collector makes his entrance, and no one knows their lines or where to move or what to do and I flail my arms up and say "FUCK! I can't believe I forgot to direct this scene!" I try to remember why we've never done this scene before or why we need to do it. I try to find the script to see where it falls in the story. I wake myself with the violence of the dream and try to make a plan for that nights rehearsal involving the forgotten scene. I remember real events from the previous night (the misplaced phone...the forgotten shirt...the broken bottle...and "remember" that it was because of the tax collector scene that all these things went awry. I try to sleep, content with the plan for the scene and the play, only to find myself directing again and again the actors are lost in the forgotten scene. I try to shake it from me. "I'm dreaming." I say to myself. "I'm dreaming." I do all the things one does when they realize they are dreaming. I run from the theatre only to find myself in another. I try to wake myself and force myself into a new dream. Sex with a movie star. Flying dreams. Driving car dreams. Running from bad guy dreams. Working in the office dreams. Any other dream then the Tax Collector Scene. But always I find myself back on the stage, in the dark, before the confused and mournful eyes of actors who are re-enacting a bad scene from an Oscar Wild play. The confusion continues into the morning as I plan for the rehearsal and I try to remember what I need to bring...and what the Tax Collector's lines are.
And I'll wonder at my sanity. I'll even whisper the word "Haunted", because surly this is what it feels like to be followed by a ghost.
And I'll wonder what I've forgotten. What I've left undone.
How do I get into a room with no door?
Below you'll find two articles which basically say the same thing. All I have to say: They should have made room for one more.
Renfro Snubbed at Oscars
Brad Renfro Excluded From Oscar Tribute
By RYAN PEARSON
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blogs were buzzing with discussion of why Brad Renfro was left out of the Academy Awards tribute to Hollywood figures who died in the past year.
The troubled 25-year-old actor died Jan. 15 of a heroin and morphine overdose. Heath Ledger, killed by an overdose of prescription drugs one week later, appeared in a scene from "Brokeback Mountain" at the conclusion of the three-minute video tribute at Sunday night's Oscar ceremony.
"Unfortunately we cannot include everyone," said Leslie Unger, spokeswoman for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. "Our goal is to honor individuals who worked in the many professions and trades of the motion picture industry, not just actors."
Hilary Swank introduced the Oscar segment, which featured 43 people including makeup artists, a stuntman and several Hollywood agents. Unger said it was not required that those honored be members of the Academy or past Oscar nominees.
USA Today blogger Whitney Matheson headlined a post Monday, "Why was Brad snubbed last night?" and Perez Hilton posted a mug shot of Renfro with the words "Oscar Snub."
TMZ speculated Renfro was not "feel-good enough" for Oscar, but public comments left on the site also pointed out that in contrast to Ledger, "Renfro wasn't a big enough star."
Unger shook off the suggestion that Renfro wasn't included because of his history with drugs. "I can't speak to what other people are going to think," Unger said. "We can't include everybody."
Renfro was most well-known for his title role in 1993's "The Client," and had his last major roles more than a decade ago. He had appeared in smaller parts in recent years.
Oscar-nominated "Jaws" star Roy Scheider also was not included. His death on Feb. 10 fell outside the time frame of the tribute video, which covered Feb. 1, 2007 to Jan. 31, 2008.
And of course the actual video (also Marcel Marceau is not mentioned, neither is Luciano Pavarotti):
And here is the BAFTA tribute which is a better tribute over all (the Oscars didn't even really give Bergman much time...I mean really!)
And here is the SAG tribute...wow...the oscars one seems really lax. Is it always this bad? (also, no need to stay on for the "extended fan tribute" that some sad sack added on...you'll know it when you see it.)
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Thunderbird Theatre is proud to present the return of last year's Sketch Comedy Show…
"Serve By Expiration!"
Written by Ian Hemenway and Sang S. Kim
Directed by Claire Rice
Featuring: Faith Aeryn, Jacquie Duckworth, Jenni Gebhardt, Matt , Tavis Kammet, Christopher P. Kelly, Nathan Tucker & Wilton Yeung
It's our tenth year and we're starting 2008 with brand new skits o'comedy from the people who brought you last years show…
Shameless Praise from Last Year's Show:
"[a] wry take on weighty social concerns… Serve by Expiration will make your belly ache with laughter…"
- San Francisco Bay Guardian
"…sharp social observations dished up as short comedy skits... provocative and funny…"
- San Francisco Bay Times
Hard to believe all this praise was from a show about crusading lawyers, homeless hobo-espionage and panda molestation. WTF? WTF Squared?!
This time SBE returns to skewer that little crime against humanity known as your office day job because it's the little things that make it suck… overbearing bosses… unrequited office romances… that coffee waitress who thinks she's Che Barista starting a Worker's Revolution and then there's that part-man, part-plant co-worker who's threatening your job security. It's the nightmare job told in bite size portions of comedy.
"Serve by Expiration" is the comedic pumice stone for the callus on your soul. Is that imagery too high brow? Don't worry – we also got pudding in our boxers and sex with office furniture. Sweet on that!
Not enough? Wait. There's more! How about a phenomenal cast… an Ensemble of Eight. Some familiar faces. Some new faces. Come shower them with unconditional love… the kind of unconditional love you can only find at the
and the Latin Grammies.
No job is worth hiding under your desk and crying! Come see the show dammit!
"Serve By Expiration"
Produced by the Thunderbird Theatre Company
Presented at Exit on Taylor
, San Francisco 94102
Curtain: Cost: $15-$20
Tickets & Information:
Contains adult humor. Leave the kids at home.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Update on my life: I visited my mom in San Antonio and on a delay in Las Vegas mistakenly bought Matt a pack of nude playing cards that I thought just had showgirls on them. I'm directing Serve By Expiration for Thunderbird Theatre Company and right at this moment I think it's going well. Ask me tomorrow and who the F*%K knows what I'll tell you. I've taught to classes so far this semester and that doesn't feel as if it is going as well. I feel unfocused, but it is very early in the semester and I think the mood will improve. I think it will be noticeably more energetic after we read The Devil and Billy Markham and get into the concept project which are fun to teach and fun to do.
Brown Bag is doing my first play Once a Boy this week. It's been a good experience. I think they've done well with the show. It did make me wish that I had done some rewrites. I have to worry now that I may not get the opportunity to because I can't find the computer file for the life of me. I need to get a copy off the director. Which is odd. To rework my own script I need to get it from someone else. And I will need to rework it. A lot of it is all wrong and doesn't flow. But, so many projects so little time.
Speaking of which, I've been Jack's procrastinating mind recently. My lectures aren't the only things that have been unfocused. In general I've been spacey and without much drive. Blah blah poor poor Claire.
And in closing, Matt and I will be getting internet in the next month, so you might be seeing one or two more blogs out of me a week rather than a month. Hooray!