sigh! hic! snarf!

it’s good to have a breakdown, right?

First off, I would like to say that I have a really hard time spelling the word “February.” I constantly want to spell it “Februrary.” And every once in a while my brain does so much of that “You know there’s that ‘r’ in there you always fuck up,” that I actually spell it “Februrruary.” I’m very excited that this month will end.

And, really, that’s just the start of the month.

The weekend, however proved three things:

I am not the “Best of the Fest.”

I am not the “Rightest.”

I am not the “Best of the Fest Wildcard.”

I lost all three. Can you believe it? As I’ve been repeating, “You can’t win ’em all.” But I’ve been losing quite a few, lately. And yesterday, when I was finished losing all of those things, I just went ahead and lost my mind a little, too. Eric and I started the morning with a terrible fight, which by the time was resolved I was exhausted and miserable. It was one of those fights where you are both asking, “What are we doing with our lives? Are we doing this right?”

Then I did my taxes. I am getting 1/30th of the money taken from me on my return. That depressed me.

Then I went to rehearsal. I shouldn’t have gone. I wasn’t mentally ready to direct all of those people. I just watched them come in late and chat and leave and come back and goof off and talk over me and then ask me to repeat what I said and then say they want to do something only to try to find someone to take their place–

I started crying.

Like a big dumb stupid girl. I cried and left the building to stop my stupid crying.

And all I could think when I was sitting on that curb was: What am I doing, really? You know? Is this where I’m supposed to be? What am I doing with all of these people and how am I going to put together a show that doesn’t exist yet and what do they all think about me? Should I care? Should I start being one of those asshole directors just so things get done? How much structure can I put in? How many friends am I going to lose to make this show good? Why am I directing again? After that puppy peed on my rehearsal floor I swore all of this stuff off and now here I am again. Why am I not one of the cast members in there rolling my eyes because my director is just so full of herself? Why can’t I stroll in late and not care? Why do I have to care so much?

Get over myself. That’s what I’ve got to do. I have a job to do, and I’ll do it. If they aren’t coming along, they aren’t coming along. Some of them will be there, and some of them will be wondering why they aren’t in the show so much. Fuck it. Just do my job like I’m supposed to, right?

And here I am, director of the show, trying to find another sketch to write before the writer’s meeting at my house this Thursday.

When you are in “straight” theatre, when the show that you are putting on is over, it’s over. You go home, and maybe you work with some of those people again, maybe not. In a troupe, you go home, and the next day you are back with the same people. Nothing just “goes away.” It gets stored up for future use. Future fights, arguments, power struggles. You are in a family away from your family, and it goes through its own struggles. Sometimes it is really hard. You just want to run away. Go on a vacation. Go off to college. Spend the night at a friend’s house. The director/writer/actor cannot do that. I can’t go anywhere.

And I love these people, I really do. I love them so much I just want to smash in their faces sometimes, you know? I just love the shit out of them. And I just want to pinch them right on the inside of the arm until they yelp and then go back to work. I can take the ones that obviously don’t like my work. I can take the ones that cooperate and work and honestly do a good job. I can’t take the ones that look like they are enjoying themselves, but then roll their eyes and tsk and task and you know they just bitch about you when you leave the room. I just want honesty. If you don’t want to work with me, don’t.

But you know, this isn’t my troupe. I’m in charge of people who have been here longer than I have and who the fuck am I to tell people what to do, right? I’m not the owner, I’m not the producer. I neither hire nor fire people. I just tell people where to stand on stage, how to fix the timing, who’s in what sketch, what sketches we do– do you see where people start getting upset? Who am I to call the shots?

And to tell you the truth: I don’t know.

I’m just trying to do what I’ve been told to do.

I’m being whiny, I know. I just feel stupid about crying yesterday in front of all of them.

When I was in high school I had two theatre teachers. One was very friendly and open and would talk to us and would get upset and emotional. If we pissed her off, she would cry in front of us and tell us about her failed suicide attempts. The other wasn’t interested in being our friends, she just wanted a good show. If we pissed her off, she’d go outside and smoke many cigarettes. The students never listened to the first teacher, they just wanted her to stop crying. They’d be quiet for a little while, but when she left, they’d laugh and make fun of her. No one ever gave the second teacher shit. She had all the respect.

And I tried to always remember that. Don’t let them know they can break you. Always look like you knew that was coming, and that you are past all that. But I broke yesterday, and I just crumbled into my first teacher. And I’m having a hard time forgiving myself for that.

I had a quiet evening with Eric. We watched lots of Mr. Show and had a great dinner.

later, in bed.

[scripty]
ERIC
I can’t even remember some of the stuff I said to you this morning.

PAMIE
Do you want me to repeat it?

ERIC
Not really.

PAMIE
I really didn’t think you were going to come home after you left for work.

ERIC
Where would I have gone?

PAMIE
I don’t know, a hotel?

ERIC
That’s crazy.

PAMIE
I’d really never seen you so angry.

ERIC
I’ll always come home, sweetie.

PAMIE
Yeah?

ERIC
Of course. I love you.

PAMIE
I love you, too.

ERIC
Oh, I was mad, though.

PAMIE
And you know, you always have those thoughts like, “I bet that’s the last time I’ll see him.”

ERIC
Even if I stayed at the hotel, I’d come get my things.

PAMIE
No, like something would happen to you and you’d get in an accident or something.

ERIC
That’s terrible.

PAMIE
Yeah, and the last thing I ever said to you was you were an asshole.

ERIC
Racked with guilt.

PAMIE
Yeah.

ERIC
I’d feel terrible if something had happened to you.

PAMIE
You should, you were mean.

ERIC
I’d be sad.

PAMIE
For a little while, I would hope. Before you moved on.

ERIC
Oh, I’d never move on.

PAMIE
Bullshit.

ERIC
You’d want me to move on if you died?

PAMIE
You mean find someone else? Eventually.

ERIC
Really?

PAMIE
Yeah, of course. Like I want you for the rest of your life moping around the house pining for me.

ERIC
I don’t want you to find anyone else if I die.

PAMIE
Ha.

ERIC
I mean it. I’ll haunt you.

PAMIE
That’s it? Just you?

ERIC
If I die– that’s it. No one else for you.

PAMIE
Sweetie, you haven’t made the commitment to me that I shouldn’t see anyone else.

ERIC
Commitment?

PAMIE
We aren’t married.

ERIC
Yeah. No. Listen. If something happened to me… of course… I’d be miserable… if you ever, ever saw anyone else.

PAMIE
I don’t believe this.

ERIC
Just me. That’s it. I’m not kidding. I’ll haunt you.

PAMIE
But then you’ll be around, if you haunt me.

ERIC
This isn’t Ghost.

PAMIE
Well, then I take it back. If something happens to me, you can’t see anyone else.

ERIC
If you die, can I have the cats?

PAMIE
Of course.

ERIC
You can have all my stuff, if you want.

PAMIE
Thanks.

ERIC
This is sad, let’s not talk about it.

PAMIE
You’re right. No more.

ERIC
Good night, sweetie.

PAMIE
Good night.

ERIC
I mean it. I’ll haunt you.

PAMIE
I got it.

ERIC
Move shit around and make his life a living–

PAMIE
No more men. Understood.

ERIC
Like Poltergeist, and shit.

PAMIE
The Headless Horseman. Reading you loud and clear.

ERIC
I am not kidding here.

PAMIE
Good night.

ERIC
I’ll trap that guy in the television like Carol Anne.
[/scripty]

Oh, and Jeff’s the Rightest, for those of you dying to know. He cinched the votes when asked the question, “What’s the worst line in an otherwise great film?” He stood up, wavered back and forth and said, “Dad?” and fell on his face in a perfect Sophia Coppola impersonation.

Chuy and I tied for least rightest of the three. Jeff killed us. He kicked us in our lesser right butts.

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