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2/5/2016

Writing Prompt: I look away from…

I look away from people in the theater when they change. Is it a bar against temptation, an attempt at maintaining polite civility, or simply fear of a bad reputation?

I look away from my code at the series I’m watching so infrequently. Why have it on at all, or at least visible?

I look away from my costars onstage when the eye contact gets too intimate. I look back, but the moment’s broken. Am I afraid? I don’t think so. It’s those moments when I feel like I’m too still and thus, somehow, uninvested. I need training.

I look away from my dogs on purpose when I enter the house. This supposedly makes me their alpha. It has not worked all that well, I don’t think.

I look away from the screen where I’m writing in the vain hope that some thing on my desk will give me inspiration.

I look away from The Witcher when I play it, during the conversations. The story is engaging, but there’s not much reason to watch the automatons onscreen go through looped motion capture which belies no actual acting. It’s interesting that bad movement is everywhere.

I look away from people when I dance with them. I cannot be free in their eyes.

I look away from fights I’ve choreographed to listen to them, but I should do it more. I’m so focused on storytelling and audio, yet I don’t score my fights very well.

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2/3/2016

Your Daily Digest: My Crowd

Programming websites, when I can make progress, satisfies my itches quite well, I find. Unless I can show some kind of flashy, remarkable animation or something, no one cares about the progress. Which is the correct response, I suppose. I shouldn’t want praise for shoveling the driveway, and that’s the equivalent of making a computer understand a logic puzzle.

I got to learn from the outstanding Marti last night about call and response and Stanislavski and basically how to let go. Guess how well I did at that, noble reader? Yes, good guess. Quite poorly. I exhibited too much control, which is not the point of exploratory work. Ah, well. At least I am aware of it.

Tonight, I get to work with Jamie on some choreography for the Fireside’s Peter Pan. I hope to be able to give him some good ideas. If not, at least I won’t embarrass myself too much. I also get to teach a shred weight experiment class tonight, for which I am poorly prepared. Too much going, as usual, to clear my head for conceptual stuff. Also, the actors have received so much meta-information that I wonder if adding more fooferah to the pile would be a great idea.

Nevertheless, living the dream as they say.

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2/1/2016

Your Daily Digest: The Happy and Where to Find It

Sent the evening in one of my favorite places, The Alchemist Theatre, with some of my favorite people, including my favorite stage manager from A Lady in Waiting. I also caught up with the prominent director of Penelopiad. On top of that, we were proposed a brand new festival for Shakespeare, and I finished a good number of marketing tasks for many different theaters.

What I found strange, or perhaps strangely predictable, that even when we were deep in discussion of what is needed to solve the widening gap between theatre for fun and theatre for art, we drifted more often into nostalgia and shared frustration with past shows and, worse, people. But it’s par for the course and it’s easier than solving the problem than to blame it on someone. BUT IT IS THEIR FAULT.

Nevertheless, all of them felt the same way as I have often intimated here and elsewhere, which left me with whose conflicting feelings of “Yay! I’m not alone!” and “Boo! I’m not a unique snowflake!”

Still, I’m taking what happiness I can from being simultaneously challenged and inspired to create great collaborations again.

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1/28/2016

Your Daily Digest: Mood doom

From circumstance, I made a short appointment with the shrink yesterday and renewed my prescription for my SSRI. Is it irony that understanding how much the chemical imbalance in my brain affects my behavior somehow makes me less existential? That is, when I have my drug, which I know has only the minor effect of dampening the howl of the void within me, I feel more like I’m in control of my own destiny. When really, the bulwark of the drug simply stops the downward slide into the reality that is our meaningless existence and lets me enjoy the banal.

Stranger and stranger.

Still, if one must live a self-aware crumb on the unforgiving tabletop of the universe, one might as well enjoy it, no? Struggling against the concept that life only means enjoyment doesn’t change its truth.

So, I’m enjoying the praise given o me from others today, even if their praise is meant for their own validation. I’m enjoying the sense of freedom that comes from having no appointments, even if I have a million niggling tasks to achieve. I’m enjoying the feeling that comes from anticipation of a great board game or tabletop role-playing experience, even if I know my expectations put such any actual joy beyond the threshold of possibility.

Much love. Rational, cautious love.

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1/25/2016

Your Daily Digest: Habit

Why do I care so much that my friend is “cheating” on Habitica? I mean, I’m not tracking his progress directly, so maybe he’s just actually that busy, or doing that well.

It’s my problem with any socialization of games or martial arts or art or anything of joy. People compete with me. They want to either beat me or impress me, and it makes me stumble from my path. What should be private, and thus perfect, transmutes itself into the abhorrent.

He’s my friend and there are no stakes. If he passes me in level, it could not conceivably mean less. As always, it’s the principle, and the loneliness that principle brings which at once sharpens and dulls all emotion.

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1/22/2016

Your Daily Digest: Crash and Boor

Today, I came of as a complete ass in my opinion to people whom I respect greatly. They are kind to me and listened as I talked about what amounts so heavily to White People Problems. I have many friends who I feel have to do this. When did I become so arrogant? My family thinks of me as a narcissist, who can’t stop talking about himself. Really, I’m just bored. most people’s lives are boring to me. Is that the same as being self-centered? Or is it simply a matter of being on the right-leaning end of the bell curve of human intelligence? Does that statement make me egotistical? Or sociopathic?

I want to cure sources, not symptoms, so to hear someone drone on about their problems only prompts a response that probably seems less humane, even when it would do the most good. I don’t want people to settle for a life that makes them comfortable, but from my position I am safe from most of the aches that others live with. I am white, male, healthy, tall, well-liked, and, most of all, my wife makes enough money that I essentially never have to think about it.

Hopefully, people recognize that I attempt to use that privilege to help as many people as I can, but I doubt that is what they see. I think they see softness and weakness instead of kindness and thoughtfulness. I miss my muse, but that is the one place I’m no longer able to go. The restrictions come from me, as much as anyone, but to know that the rest of my life is justification for my own comfort makes me cringe.

Complacency. Compromise. Commitment. All the same word to me.

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1/21/2016

Your Daily Digest: Snug

Performing in Bug in a Rug is still the most rewarding part of theatre for me. The director knows what she wants, but gives the actors plenty of room to play. The actors take that space to play with one another, while keeping their eyes on the ultimate goal of entertaining kids while making a lesson that does not preach, but appeals to the better nature even in the sociopathy of pre-adolescence. The audiences appreciate the work on all the appropriate levels. The pay exceeds most professional acting standards, excluding union work.

Most of all, I like it. I genuinely enjoy my time spent in that company. I will do it until I can’t.

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1/20/2016

Your Daily Digest: The Horse

I got back on my meds, for the time being. I don’t know if I had bucked off the intense backlash that came from being off of them, or if they have evened me back out, but I feel a little closer to normal. I am still far too overbooked, which makes me a little scared, but I do a little every day, climb one more stone of the well’s belly, and reach for the light.

It’s sad how metaphor sounds sentimental. I let it slide, but only the ugly satisfies the literary mind. I find peace in Eliot, Dickinson, Bukowski, Waits, while I push away Yeats, Keats… others.

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1/17/2016

Your Daily Digest: Great. Full.

Describing the warmth of the fight family borders on impossible. I relish contact with them, despite that I haven’t been able to spend much time with them, and seem to have less and less in common with them.

Similarly, being around the team for Bug in a Rug lightens my heart and pushes back the darkness considerably. I had a lovely afternoon running lines with Merkin, among the first times that theatre has made me like my fellows, rather than stealing joy and empathy. The right people, I suppose.

Additionally, the new Theater RED show started with a bang and not a whimper. Surprising, considering I am only overseeing. I might be good as a producer, after all, if I can clear my schedule to work on one creative project at a time.

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1/12/2016

Your Daily Digest: Tears in reign

It seems like I might actually have simply been a slave to brain chemistry, after all. My SSRI prescription ran out just before Winter Wonderland, and I spent a good deal of my day weeping, after a day of coding problems, and a night of less-than-stellar mass battle choreography.

I nearly lost it on a kid who tried to “help” me by writing things for himself, and whom the high school teacher / director insists is “so good.”

“Of the two of us,” I said, “which has 23 years of experience.” He demurred, but actually less than humbly. I railed at the traffic. I sniped at my wife. I slept poorly.

Back for more tonight. Maybe I can sleep tomorrow.

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