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Let's Go on With the Show

2005-01-30 - 8:27 a.m.

To clarify, my birthday happened a while ago.

Also, the more I listen to The Beekeeper, the more I enjoy it. I've been reading Tori interviews to begin the decoding process. Tori's been foregrounding the engagement with patriarchy and Christian tradition (Gnostic Christianity--it's the new Kabbalah) and saying that this is about a woman who eats from the Tree of Knowledge and the experiences that follow after. "The Beekeeper" itself is about the shamanic aspects of beekeeping itself, how the hive is a microcosm for the power of the goddess over nature, and how Tori has come to the point of being content to be a worker bee (those who know "Humpty Dumpty," a very old Tori b-side that she has played in concert maybe once, know that she once posited murder as "What it takes to be Queen") . It's a response to the reign of the Christian right in the U.S. and the depiction of the war as a crusade. Of course, this is all what she's willing to admit. I'm coming to love the album, but I think a couple of the songs could have been left off, and that a shorter album would have been stronger. It has, however, been one of the best things about this week.

Yesterday was actually very good as well, a very lucky day. See, I'm going to this conference in NYC, and planned to spend a long weekend in the northeast seeing loved ones that I haven't seen in nearly a year. However, it meant that I had to miss the Ani concert here in San Francisco, even though I'd already bought a ticket. However, I looked online and found out that Ani would be in Columbia Missouri the following weekend, which is where and when I'll be presenting my paper on Arundhati Roy! Woo-hoo! Not only that, but I might manage to score tickets to see Carson Daly in NYC. Now, I actually despise Carson Daly--I find him stupid and gross--but the guest on that taping of the show will be none other than Tori Amos! So I might manage to get little extra dashes of my favorite singers this year, while still having time to go see my friends from Penn that I've been missing like crazy.

Today, on the other hand, was just excessively busy. I woke up and went to Wheeler to take the Spanish proficiency exam at 8:30am. No one should have to translate at that hour. The test seemed pretty easy, and I'm 90% sure I passed (knock on wood). I'd done a few translations uring the week to bone up, and usually managed to translate the passages and rewrite them with better handwriting and idiomatic expression within an hour, and I would have 90 minutes for the passage. I did a good translation in about 35 minutes and decided to just hand that in. Hopefully, all will be alright.

After that, I had to go photocopy my reading for my Rhetoric class. I nearly cried when I saw how much. I will now be spending the weekend reading the Republic and the attendant criticism. Lugging all that paper around was work enough.

Next came the EGA meeting, accompanied by pizza and drinks. It went, I hope, relatively well. We managed to find people to do most things. Pizza got eaten, and I think enough people signed up for me to get reimbursed for all the friggin pizza I bought. I realized why no one would necessariy want the job, and I wondered exactly what had motivated me to take it. However, it is a chance to get to know a lot of cool people in the department that I would probably have never met otherwise. It's also a chance to be DRUNK WITH POWAH AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Just kidding. Well, kinda.

After that came time to do the thing that's been keeping me sane, something I got to start on today: a new show. Yes, I will be assistant directing The Stories of Eva Luna (based on the works of Isabel Allende) for the performance studies department. The Directrix is a very cool girl I met in my performance studies class last year, as is the Art Directrix. We entered the theater to find the Art Directrix near tears over the creation of the fabrics that we intend to use at sets and props in the show. When I see a techie near tears, there's only one thing I can do: massage.

My massages are famous. Everyone who knows me learns about their power and their glory. Nay, their majesty. I have gotten people to be in shows with my massages. I have gotten people into bed with my massages. I have never been trained, but strong, large hands and good circulation make me a natural wonder. A friend of mine once said, "I pity the man insecure enough in his sexuality to turn down a Notorious RRZ massage." I, of course, pity the man so insecure in his sexuality that he doesn't realize that, if can do that with my hands, I must be able to work miracles with my tongue . . .

Hee hee hee. Sorry, needed to get a bit spicy there. Usually I'm just satisfied with knotting cherry stems. But yeah, I already have my Art Directrix marvelling at my skill. This is how I've managed to have the theatre career I've had, folks: by letting my fingers do the walking.

Anyway, after the necessary massage, planning began, It felt so great to be working on a show, to have a few hours where I was not allowed to think about Plato or Milton or Faulkner, or even faculty colloquia and orals workshops. All I had to do was calculate how many chairs we could fit int the space, and where we needed to put rehearsal blocks, and what to do about the swaths of fabric that will be the centerpiece of the show. I wound up on the floorr at onee point with my legs in a position usually limited to Pilates videos, attempting to demonstrate how I felt the fabric should be arranged when the audience entered the theater. Suffice to say, good times.

Speaking of good, I had forgotten about the beauty of that most divine of theatre beings: the stage manager. I haven't had a stage manager working for me since the year 2001. I have had some amazing stage managers in my time. They are gorgeous people who exist to make sure thing that need to happen happen so that you can get on the job of making the actors look good. I've had to be my own stage manager on my past two shows, and when the stage managress of this show began to talk about scheduling the first production meeting, I nearly wept. When she said, "Is there anything else you need me to do?" to Directrix, I think I did cry, just a little.

I didn't realize how much I'd missed theatre. It makes me wonder if this whole English nonsense is worth it. I'd certainly happily give up a class before I gave up this show. As the song goes, "Even with a turkey that you know will fold/ You may be stranded out in the cold/ Still, you wouldn't trade it for a sack of gold." Of course, I say that now. When it's tech week and I have two papers due, I may be quoting Elaine Stritch's famous response to the line: "Try me."

For the moment, though, the show is underway, the EGA events are starting to take shape, and I am going to go home and commune not only with The Beekeeper, but with Ani's newest and a couple of other albums I picked up yesterday. I've fucking earned it.

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previous - next

The End - 2005-02-11
Let's Go on With the Show - 2005-01-30
The Curse, and This Bee's a Keeper - 2005-02-01
Sisters Lolita and Matronic Explain It All for You - 2005-01-31
Cowboys and Medievalists - 2005-01-30

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