kick it

my science is too tight

What a weekend.

What a week to come.

Friday night we had a couple of good shows with a small crowd at the early show. Afterwards we had friends over and made more tiny wooden hand jokes. The mileage on that small toy is incredible. I had shed that funk I was in by the end of the night, and had a really good time with my friends.

Saturday morning Eric declared we were “kicking it old school.” This is something that he had been doing on Friday nights when I was performing, so I was anxious to see what it was. I found out that it is lying around on the couch watching television, and only leaving the house to have lunch or dinner. Every time you eat you must take a nap immediately afterwards. It was great.

“You know,” I said, “this kicking it old school thing I used to do but you had another name for it.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, you called it… what was it? Oh, yeah. ‘Laying around the house not doing a damn thing being a lazy ass.'”

“I don’t remember that. You must be mistaken.”

We also chatted with Eric’s brother, who had the audacity to say that he originally came up with the jokes for the tiny wooden hand. Seeing as how he was nowhere near this time zone on the evening in question, I find that his allegations are beyond ridiculous. Now, maybe when he was alone in my living room with the tiny wooden hand he found some uses, but as for sharing them with us, we never heard a word…

Did I mention the other night we went to a friend of a friend’s house to play poker and he had not one but two tiny wooden hands in his kitchen? We were freaking out. I swear, the six of us look like idiots, grunting and hooting every time we see a piece of wood with a curved end. This guy’s tiny wooden hands were nowhere near our caliber, Eric pointed out, since his did not retract, nor have the evolutionary tiny wooden opposable thumb perfect for holding money to the pizza guy.

We are becoming tiny wooden hand snobs.

Anyway, after kicking it old school all day, it was then time for me to do the late show.

Ask any actor you know to tell you stories about theatre. Ask about their own personal experiences. Usually, the first stories that you hear are not tales of adoration and perfect line readings. They are stories about times they screwed up, or someone in their cast screwed up, and the show went horribly, horribly wrong.

The good shows blend into your thoughts on why you love to act.

You rarely forget a bad show. You remember the precise second where you think, “Oh my God, we are going down in flames here.”

Most shows fall somewhere in between. It was pretty good, not too bad, you feel alright about it. It’s only terrible when someone tells you it was awful when you thought it was just alright. Because then, you see, your radar must be off. You have lost the ability to know when you are having a bad show. And for an actor, it makes you reevaluate your acting skills. Your talent. If you can’t spot a bad show, how many of them have you done already without knowing it?

So, what I’m saying is this weekend we had a bad show. And I realized it wasn’t going well. But I didn’t realize we were going to be called on it. We were told we were unprofessional. We were bad performers. This wasn’t a review, it was by someone in the troupe. It caused an angry backlash, understandably. This person was not performing in the show, so the general attitude was, “Hey, were you there? If you wanted the show your way, you should have done something about it. We are not psychic.”

I’m having a hard time finding the words for how I felt that night. I was livid. I was made to look like an asshole in front of my friends and troupe members. I was given a job and then it was ripped up in front of my face. I was given control (that I didn’t want) and then told how poorly of a job I had done. I was angry. I was so angry I was nauseous. I was tired. It was everything I hated about theatre and comedy and the whole business wrapped up in one. It made me tired. I was tired of alcohol and bars and being crowded and I was pissed off because I had been having such a great day up until then.

I went home very angry.

Eric did his best to cheer me up. We played a little cribbage; he beat me twice. We went over some new sketches I was writing. I put on some Fatboy Slim and danced around the house. He showed me how to block a punch if I was ever in a girl-prison fight. I tried to get Lillith and Taylor to be my backup dancers. I smoked two cigarettes. Yeah. I did. You know what? They sucked. I hated it. I kept thinking it would just be a second before I enjoyed it again. One more and I would find that relief I always found in them. I didn’t. I hated it. I hated the way my mouth tasted. I hated the way my lungs felt. I forced myself to have another to remind myself how bad they tasted. Then I put it out. And that was it.

So, I guess that’s it. I don’t think I’m going to have any more cravings. And maybe when I do, I’ll just let myself have one, because I quickly see that it doesn’t do for me what it used to. It didn’t calm me or comfort me. If anything, it angered me more, because it tasted so damn nasty. I guess it’s a relief. Before I smoked the first one I was looking at Eric questioningly.

“Go ahead and do it,” he said. “You’re going to hate it. It’ll taste terrible.”

“What if I like it?” I asked.

“You won’t.”

“But what if I do?”

“You still won’t be a horrible person. If you think you need a cigarette, go ahead and have one. You’ve been really good. I’m proud of you.”

“Okay.” I lit the cigarette.
“How is it?”

“Terrible.”

“I told you.”

Sunday morning I made breakfast and kicked it old school while Eric went to rehearsal. I had a meeting at a theatre in the afternoon. This company is doing a play in a couple of months, and they wanted me to play a small part. They were having auditions over the weekend. I showed up that afternoon.

“Oh! Pam’s here! Pam’s here!” one of them said.

“Okay, here. Come meet the director,” the other said.

I had a couple of friends in the room, and we said hi. The director came up to me, introduced himself.

“Hi. I just want you to read a bit for me so I can hear your voice, okay?”

So I read part of the scene and then he said to me, “Great. Uh, that’s it. I’ll call you in a couple of days so we can get together, and have a full read-through with the cast, and figure out scheduling conflicts, and that’s it. Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to working with you. Nice meeting you.”

And I was cast. That’s it. I’m in a play.

I walked out with one of my friends. “That’s what I want to happen if I move to New York,” I said.

“I know, right?” she said back.

“Just, ‘Here, do you have a script? Here’s one. Could you play that part for us? No, you don’t have to audition. I’m sure you’re fine. The show opens in two months. We’ll see you then.'”

I felt like a real actress.

And I’m really excited about doing straight theatre again. Even if it’s just a small part. I will be able to work it around my rehearsal schedule for the festival, and then it runs after the festival and before the summer, when Eric and I have some travel plans… so it should all work out really well. Oh yeah, and Eric is in the play as well. We don’t have any scenes together, but I think it’s kind of neat that exactly two years after we met on a play together, we’re doing another one together. It’s that circle of life, I guess.

Afterwards we had rehearsal. It went well, with a lot of new stuff brought in. I brought in a sketch I was playing around with, called “Pam is a dork,” which I think made some people wonder what I thought about them. “This isn’t a sketch,” someone said, “this is therapy.”

Whatever, it’s cheaper. Leave me alone.

The big news of the week is that Eric’s dad arrives this afternoon for a week-long visit.

I’m terrified.

Eric’s dad is one of those “grown-ups” that I never know what to say to. He’s like a real adult parent and I’m so nervous around him. I feel like a big dumb girl. We often just spend time staring at each other. I feel like whatever I’m going to say will sound really dumb, and I think he just has no idea who I am because I never say anything. It’s great. We just sit really quiet and wait for Eric to say something. So, I’m here at work, knowing that I have to go home in seven hours and when I do I have to talk to someone who I kind of know for the past two years, but only sort of.

But I’m not upset that he’s coming. Quite the contrary. Because I don’t know if you’ve been near my house lately. Actually, if you just happen to fly over Texas, or if you live quite close to the border… just take a sniff. Smell that Lysol? That’s coming from my house! Eric cleaned everything. He did all the laundry. He cleaned the kitchen twice. He cleaned the bathrooms, people! This is better that when the Steelers lose! I just looked around my house this morning and I was like those women in those commercials that finally found a floor cleaner that they like. I had my hands on my hips and I did one of those inhales that exhales through my nose while I nod and smile. My man can clean a house.

Now, he has no more excuses. He knows where everything goes.

Part of me wants to go to Aspen next week with a camera and a note pad. I think that I would be kicked out. But how funny would that be? I’m wearing a Mr. Show t-shirt, walking up to David Cross and going, “And you are?” trying to play it so cool. And then I’ll be like, “Do you need a drink?” And he says, “Yeah, can I get a–” click! “Ow! What the fuck was that flash? Jesus!”

Probably not the way to play it cool in Aspen. I should try and look like I’m just as successful and funny as the rest of them. “What’s your name? Carly? Oh, Carlin. Oh. Well, anyway, could you move over? I’m trying to get a latte.”

So cool it hurts, eh?

I’m not updating on the weekends, lately, but my Monday entries are epics, you know? Is that enough of a trade off? Thanks to everyone that sent me cheer up notes for my little pity party on Friday. It wasn’t necessary, but was very nice to see when I got to work.

This just in my e-mail inbox:

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
Richard Feynman

Man, screw the quote of the day. Leave me alone. I hate getting that e-mail message that something is in my inbox and then it’s just the quote of the day. Oh, speaking of, I saw Office Space last night. I liked it a lot. We knew a lot of people we knew in the film, which begs the question, “Why aren’t any of us in this film?” It was one of the few films shot in Austin lately that none of us were offered. It was just here, and then it was gone. Anyway, despite its rather predictable ending, it was a really good time. The more I laughed, however, the more I thought, “Oh, this does make me a office-drone-computer-geek, doesn’t it?”

But, you know, that’s okay. This week, I like myself.

You know, it comes and goes. It’s fun being a girl, isn’t it?

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