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Red Letter Day

Finally got to work with my heroes at Red Letter Media. It was a fun day, though as always, I wish folks would catch me in my better days. I was funnier years ago, fitter, and more enthusiastic.

I wish I could donate my life to someone who better deserves it, so that all this free love wouldn’t go to waste on someone like me who cannot appreciate it.

I enjoyed working with them, and I wanted to turn down the money, but I thought it would insult them. I hope they liked what I did. The stunt work I did looked pretty good, and Jay did an amazing job with a prat fall.

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What it is

Just before meditation this afternoon, I had a realization, as I so often do in quiet moments. Unfortunately, meditation was difficult today, and I found myself slipping into sleep more often than distraction. Dreaming is difficult in the noting process used to meditate, so I’m not sure I’ve gained much in that regard in the last couple of days.

I wonder if I am able to capture these thoughts with voice memos. For a while, when I was at UW-Milwaukee, I would use voice memos on my phone to record great ideas, but like dream journals, I found them less useful when I finally got around to trying to re-envision the thoughts. In that case, maybe my epiphany this afternoon was not as ground-breaking as I thought it was in the moment.

I would wager the Germans or the French have a word for that feeling. Something like deja vu in reverse. A strong feeling that eludes remembrance. A thought that has value only once.

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I’m in the middle of casting, that blessed curse of getting to paint with a palette of people. I’m glad to have a lot of talent in the group, but the size of the pool makes it almost impossible to cast. Too many friends, too many promises made by others on the production team, and too many considerations for partnerships.

I don’t know why people get up in arms about auditions. If I don’t get a role, it’s usually because I’m obviously not right for it, it was pre-cast, or I was not given a reasonable chance; however, if it’s none of those things – while I’m certainly accustomed to the taste of sour grapes — I don’t blame people or hold grudges. The lesson is learned, and I often genuinely feel like I wasn’t good enough for the role.

I hope others can relate to this dilemma, but I think I am the exact amount of close to too many folks in the industry, which leads to hurt feelings. That is, I’m their friend, but it would be easy enough to drop me and join the anti-me brigade if I don’t act right. I guess that’s not being friends, but it’s all I have right now.

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Workin’ on workin’ it

Despite my disappointment in my own discipline at keeping my body in working order, in defiance of my depression’s insistence that doing deepens the darkness, I agreed to work with a couple of my heroes on Thursday. The minds behind some of my favorite internet videos will direct me to be a tough guy. I am trying to stay excited rather than nervous.

Every once in a while, I read back the things I write here for my own edification. I suppose that is the purpose of a journal and not only self-indulgence. What I note most, however, is how I only feel connected to the things I write that come from my self-loathing. The times when I make the effort to be positive make my ass twitch, to steal a phrase. They seem disingenuous. Perhaps I just have more practice in the dark.

I remember I once wrote a short piece called “Why I can’t be the bad guy,” for a writing class when I was attending Parkside. It was well-received for its poetic language, but no one really understood what I was driving at. I was in a position then to believe that I had more to learn, but that I had great potential as a writer, if only I would write.

I have more drive now than ever, commitment to purpose and awareness of the waste that most leisure-time activities create, but now I have none of the feeling of potential or interest that would have kept me in love with my own writing. I want to throw up when writers say their characters won’t talk to each other. I don’t like the way they give rational credence to the daemon. Maybe that is why my own soul’s code is so foreign to me. Arcane, even.

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Your Daily Digest: On Target

I feel pretty good after tonight’s Pirates rehearsal, but feeling good made me act a fool, as usual. I deflected compliments and tried to be silly and inappropriate with people who probably aren’t fans of me being inappropriate. Not flirty, just silly, but how are they to know, right?

Tim R. was very kind to Rick R. and me, helping us with the bass parts of the Act One finale with no ego whatsoever. He genuinely wants to help. I mean, it can only make us all sound better.

I want to take credit, but the fight stuff is simple enough. I can’t tell if people are just being nice, and I won’t have that.

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For what am I grateful?

She said — to her, but I heard it — “Some people would love to have to make that choice.”

Deflections followed, the necessary defense. Who would want their problems diminished? We are our problems. I am, I know.

They say you cannot prove a negative, but I am proof. I define myself by what I do not, say not, am not. Each day sears me with decisions that are not mine, but for which I am responsible.

It’s fair.

That’s life.



I burden myself with the dreams of others, hoping they will help in return, but I am not the red hen and they are always welcome at my table. The bread is gone, and I feel guilty I did not make more.

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Some strange race, wrecked

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Your Daily Digest: The Chore of Society

I had to stop at the grocery store before I came home, because we needed things like milk. As I lamented the needless contact and meandering fogginess of the people around me, I saw a new friend of whom M and I have become quite fond. We exchanged brief small talk, but then immediately learned of each other’s projects, and fell to, scouring our work for joy and meaning. She is more together than I am, of course.

She has recently made friends with a big-wig at the Rep, and she expressed his and her feelings that people seem to hate the massive theatre presence, and that they both wish there could exist better mentorship between that goliath and the smaller companies in its shadow. I had been in long talks at the Alchemist just the night before, proposing my takeover of smaller companies in order to provide guidance and a more united front for theatre arts in the city.

My heart warmed some to know that my people do exist out there. It is hard to feel alone. I passed the feeling on to a friend mired in doubt. I do want to help everyone. I will work as large as I can. Some more time for sanctuary is perhaps all I need.

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How it must seem

It’s a pretty brutal job sifting through all that darkness.


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Change is…

I see the unending, uncaring universe,
and my mind spins like a pinpoint galaxy on an angel-head axis,
so I work smaller.

I see plains on fire and bellies swollen with emptiness,
and I hand out my single sandwich and wave away the grasping hands,
so I work smaller.

I see stars and stripes as asterisks to mask screams of profanity,
and my clear voice only adds to the cacophony,
so I work smaller.

I see paints poured into sewer grates from golden pots,
and they run in to runoff, raising rainbow soap bubbles in slippery streams,
so I work smaller.

I see people cloistered so close they are closed,
and, I like them, put my nose to the grindstone, until it peels the irises off my eyes,
so I work smaller.

I see the simpletons in the seats, snickering so they know they have support,
and I point the same way and howl, my finger out as a growl,
so I work smaller.

I see my belly crack as it creaks wide, comfort claiming creases,
and I know the tears will abate for a few hours,
so I work smaller.

I see the tarnish on my silver thread
and the scrubbing only rubs it red,
so I work smaller.

I brush my teeth,
and check it off the list.

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