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I only want to say if there is a way
Take this cup away from me
For I don’t want to taste its poison
Feel it burn me, I have changed
I’m not as sure as when we started

Then I was inspired, now I’m sad and tired
Listen, surely I’ve exceeded expectations
Tried for three years, seems like thirty
Could you ask as much from any other man?

But if I die
See the saga through and do the things you ask of me
Let them hate me, hit me, hurt me, nail me to their tree

I’d wanna know, I’d wanna know my God
I’d wanna know, I’d wanna know my God
Wanna see, I’d wanna see my God
Wanna see, I’d wanna see my God

Why I should die?
Would I be more noticed than I was ever before?
Would the things I’ve said and done matter any more?

I’d have to know, I’d have to know my Lord
Have to know, I’d have to know my Lord
Have to see, I’d have to see my Lord
Have to see, I’d have to see my Lord

If I die what will be my reward?
If I die what will be my reward?
Have to know, I’d have to know my Lord
Have to know, have to know my Lord

Why should I die?
Why should I die?

Can you show me now that I would not be killed in vain?
Show me just a little of your omnipresent brain
Show me there’s a reason for your wanting me to die
You’re far too keen on where and how and not so hot on why

Alright I’ll die
Just, just watch me die
See how, see how I die
See how I die

Then I was inspired, now I’m sad and tired
After all I’ve tried for three years
Seems like ninety

Why then am I scared to finish what I started?
What you started, I didn’t start it

God, Thy will is hard but You hold every card
I will drink Your cup of poison
Nail me to Your cross and break me
Bleed me, beat me, kill me, take me now
Before I change my mind

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Stage Combat

Stage combat is perhaps the most all-encompassing tool that an actor can have. It teaches active listening, physical characterization, and the highest possible level of objectives, obstacles, and stakes; moreover, if one feels safe, one can collaborate to create more engaging and dynamic stories. With a firm grounding in stage combat, an actor increases their presence on stage, much the way a confident martial artist does in real life. No actor worth their salt should turn away such an opportunity.

I consider stage combat to be a modern martial art, focused on storytelling, rather than defense, much like many Eastern disciplines teach that, at the highest levels, violence and destruction are set aside in favor of aesthetic creation. A master becomes an artist, as the understanding of violence reminds one of their human nature (the earth, the id, the beast, etc.) but channeling that directionless passion are the creative and rational drives. As artists in the theatre, the consummation of all arts, we have the ability and responsibility to bring this violence as realistically to bear as we are able in order to confront and discuss — and perhaps, to change — the way in which we accept and cope with our natural tendency toward violence.

To that end, it is essential that we as fight directors, give our actors the tools required to tell these stories. By necessity, we begin to help with precautions against harm; after all, beyond the obvious preservation of the actor, if the actor must hesitate because of a safety concern, then we have hindered the story by whatever fraction that hesitation costs. Contrarily, when we instill in actors the knowledge and practice to free them of the constraint of fear, we not only allow that particular scene to come alive, but we bring the actors to a greater state of awareness and commitment, which can only serve them in all aspects of performance.

The responsibility is colossal for fight directors, as with any teachers, to keep this always in mind. We must understand fear, violence, and all of the darkest parts of our humanity in order to create compelling art, but we must be in command of those forces, and teach others to be in command of them, if that art is to be of value.

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In the still solemnity framed by these concrete walls, she begins to dance. At first, the movements hardly stir the air, like smoke listlessly insinuating itself into the sky. Then, her arms start to drift farther from her body, lashing eddies into invisible jet-streams. When her hips can no longer contain each ever-building undulation, her legs extend and her feet land, with tactile, silent thumps against the dark mats left there to collect dirt from outsiders’ shoes.

Even her eyelids join the dance, closing and rolling and widening as her body begins to leap and flicker across this world in her mind. No rhythm but her heartbeat, no melody but synapse boldly building bridges between suffering and solace, until they become the same. Extending, lengthening, then suddenly folding, potential informing kinetic, kinetic releasing potential, and all the while that expanding tension in every tendon that leads to catharsis.

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But, you know… who cares?


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NIN : The Becoming

I beat my machine it’s a part of me it’s inside of me
I’m stuck in this dream it’s changing me I am becoming
The me that you know had some second thoughts
He’s covered with scabs he is broken and sore
The me that you know doesn’t come around much
That part of me isn’t here anymore
All pain disappears it’s the nature of my circuitry
Drowns out all I hear no escape from this my new consciousness
The me that you know used to have feelings
But the blood has stopped pumping and he’s left to decay
The me that you know is now made up of wires
And even when I’m right with you I’m so far away
I can try to get away but I’ve strapped myself in
I can try to scratch away the sound in my ears
I can see it killing away all my bad parts
I don’t want to listen but it’s all too clear
Hiding backwards inside of me I feel so unafraid
Annie, hold a little tighter I might just slip away
It won’t give up it wants me dead
Goddamn this noise inside my head
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Poe fellow.

“When shall the artist assume his proper situation in society— in a society of thinking beings? How long shall he be enslaved? How long shall mind succumb to the grossest materiality? How long shall the veriest vermin of the Earth, who crawl around the altar of Mammon, be more esteemed of men than they, the gifted ministers to those exalted emotions which link us with the mysteries of Heaven?” -Edgar Allan Poe, 1836

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Prompted $Number = rng

We built a ship. I had little to do with it. Somehow even though I had little to do with it, I thought it was meant to send me away. It hasn’t done that.

I search for a way to remain positive. I know I can make this effort. I want to be free of it, but I must make the next two weeks count first. Then… freedom from the ship becomes the freedom the ship was meant to be.

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Journal prompt: Write the words you need to hear.

People see the kindness in you, but don’t think you’re weak.

You’re the kind of director that every actor wants to work with, because you have vision, ambition, drive, and unrivaled ability.

You’ve helped me so much. Thank you for putting things aside so that you could make my life easier.

You’re really very sexy, and not just in a “for a big guy” kind of way.

I can tell how hard you work, and I know you do it because you believe in the project.

People take advantage of you, but we can see that you’ve done more than anyone could expect of one person.

No one thinks you’re a joke, or a failure. In fact, most people really look up to you.

You’re a good leader.

I like the way you do things; you let people be themselves, but you challenge them to be the best version of themselves.

I like the sound of your voice.

I’ve never felt like you were incompetent or scatter-brained.

You’re a supportive person, and I feel like I can do anything when you’ve got my back.

You’re smarter than you let on. It’s kind of you to let people feel like they’re on your level. Still, I can tell you’re a few steps ahead.

I love the way you do things.

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What I should say… why won’t I ever say this?

People on this team seem to believe, maybe not all but enough people, that I am a scatter-brained goofball rather than a competent director who is managing all the threads necessary to keep this show afloat, if you’ll pardon the phrasing. Let me address that now.

As part of my commitment to this project, I answer all of my email every day. My inbox typically contains twenty or more new important email threads daily, and is always completely empty by noon. I have not seen this level of commitment outside of Marcee and me. It is part of what makes our company the success that it is. It is rude not to answer correspondence and questions, and it is rude to make people wait on something so that their emotional energy is partially dedicated to an open question, so we both take time to be on top of every thread. It is also rude to expect that they will put things on hold for you when they see you, or take a call when you decided something is important. Respecting people’s time means posing a question at their convenience, and answering within a reasonable time frame.

Marcee and I answer every email from the production team, every email from the outside for marketing and borrowing. It is exhausting and sometimes frustrating, as sometimes the answers have to wait for approval from so many people, but we do it. Then, I come into the theater every day and answer more questions, and offer help working on the set, or to stage management, or to anyone else who asks, so that we can provide an easier environment for actors and other creatives to do their job.

When that’s done, I try to clear my head for the limited rehearsal time so I can attempt to solve all the myriad blocking problems and sightline issues and acting beats and plot threads and character arc questions that the actors have. Yet, despite my repeated requests to the contrary, people still ask questions in this dedicated three-hour period about things they could hold until after rehearsal or email about instead. I answer this with a smile and polite professionalism, even though I will need a moment to re-center and focus on the actual task at hand which is rehearsal. Typically, no less than ten people ask him questions that could be asked outside of rehearsal. Stage management should be the only people asking me questions during rehearsal; all questions should go to Julia first. If you’re worried that she’s too busy to answer, then you should extend that same courtesy to me. Hold your questions.

With all these things in mind, occasionally, I need to ask questions about where we are and what action comes next, but then have to suffer the judging eyes of people in the room. I may come off as a goof in rehearsal, but I assure you there is a reason for that which has nothing to do with lack of commitment or understanding of the play or of what needs to be done. Rather, it is a defense mechanism. So many people assume that because I look like a bully, I am one. If I act in a straightforward manner, I am perceived as rude or intimidating, and that is not the environment I prefer. I prefer collaboration and openness and forgiveness, but that does not mean there is no authority structure in place.

Since, however, this approach has been greeted with disdain for the structure necessary to ensure that it all runs smoothly, you may see a different approach from now on. If what is preferred in order for me to given the respect I have given all of you is for me to be more of an authoritarian, I assure you I can create that environment instead. If what you need is to be treated like children in order for you to act like respectful adults, I can provide that.

I will not allow this show to suffer for the sake of egos any longer. Do your job, and I will do mine.

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