I’m back from a rather whirlwind trip to NYC. It’s the longest I’ve visited there since I moved away back in 2008, and as I poke my head up from under the covers of  the “no I’m not here don’t look at me” feelings I’ve been living the past few months, it feels good to have traveled and returned.

A few highlights from my trip include:

1. The main reason I went – to audition for the national tour of War Horse. The original play, not the movie. I went with the intention of showing them that I could be a 5’11” puppeteer and female-bodied and strong enough to manage the 120lb horse puppets unscathed. I was the only female-bodied puppeteer to show on the day I auditioned.

If you have only seen the movie, check this out, and imagine me as either the head or the hind of the beast:

2. One of my dearest friends from the Prestigious Women’s College recently ended her ten year relationship, and to show solidarity I went with her on her weekly sojourn to the latest gay lady bar in the city: The Dalloway.  And let me tell you something, folks – NYC needed a place like this. Good – no, great food, if a bit small on the plate and pricey, really good drinks – if only they had craft beers on tap. But the general attractiveness of the clientele made up for any shortcomings behind the bar. The cute bartender didn’t hurt either. Thank you, New York, for having a classy place to go to be with other queers.

3. And along the lines of cute bartenders, the bartender who complimented my new rockabilly haircut while I waited for friends my last night in Bushwick was also delightful. We lady-loving-ladies/etc should speak up more like this – it’s so nice to be seen and recognized and even flirted with a bit. I smiled all the way back to LA.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi folks. It’s been an interesting time out here in lala land.

Thanks to those of you who wrote me over the past month, the words of encouragement were a great boon when I was grasping to pull myself up from the downest of down places I’ve been since 2008.

Have I talked at all about 2008? No? I’ll leave it be then. Let’s just say it was the worst time of my adult life, as in post-college-living-for-real life.  And yet, I easily/painfully learned more that year than in the previous ten combined. I am grateful for it. I am not yet grateful for this year so far – although I’ve well-chronicled my troubles with gratitude.

These past few months have rivaled that year, to be sure. I wish I could say hey, thanks guys, you were totally right and my last post about being in over my head was just my fear talking and nothing more – everything turned out fine and dandy. Which, I guess on one level, it did if only because the show happened and is generally fine, but not without doing me some heavy emotional damage. That musical basically broke me. Broke my spirit. Broke my confidence. Broke my health. Somehow it even broke my queerness – which was the weirdest thing. I wasn’t gay enough for the stupid gay musical.  I kept/keep waiting for the time when the satisfaction of seeing it through to completion would wash over me, when I could step back and heave a well-deserved sigh of relief and say, “Wow. I’m glad I did that.”

Not gonna happen. I wish I had these three months back. Hell, I wish I had these three years I’ve been attached to this project back. I’ve never been so beaten by something with no return to show for it. Even my wise, wise lady, ever the voice of reason and diplomacy in my turbulent life, can’t figure out what I was supposed to learn from this one. Don’t do projects you don’t feel passionately about? I guess, maybe. Although that’s already a tenet I live by fairly successfully.

I think – I have just the barest glimmer – that maybe this lesson has something to do with my tendency to make decisions seeking glory instead of truth. Apparently I have just violently informed myself that I’m (cough) too old for that shit.

The best thing is that I never have to do it again. So I’m going to try and sleep it off – my exhaustion has reached new-found depths. And I do realize the extreme first-world nature of this crisis – boo hoo, I directed a musical and it didn’t go well, yikes. I have food and love and shelter and abundance. I just seem to have misplaced my spirit – I’m sure I left it lying around here somewhere.

It’s times like these I wish I had a good gay buddy to hang out with. Someone who would buy me a beer (or four) and take me accessories shopping and compliment my hair. Because damn if my hair doesn’t do well in a crisis.

First preview showing tonight, opening night tomorrow:

BP_postcardFront_web

I’m in over my head with this one. I’m directing this new musical, this project that I’ve been working on for three years – half-heartedly, I admit, for at least the last year.

And somehow the self-fulfilling prophecy, the prophecy that I’m not good enough, not creative enough, not strong enough to do this is playing out as planned.

We’re a month into rehearsals. We just got a stage manager this week – something unheard of in the world of professional performing – the stage manager is usually the first hire, before even the actors. And this stage manager’s brilliant assessment of the way things are going: “The cast totally doesn’t respect you.”

Thanks, thanks for your support. As if I didn’t know that.

I keep waiting for the time in my life when I get to do the things I KNOW how to do already. The time when I’m not constantly racing to keep up with what’s going on. I mean, sure, learning is always awesome. I love it, I love reading, I love classes, I love improvement. I’m kind of an improvement junkie, my gf says.

But this kind of running, this kind of expectation from others that I can handle it all, that I’ll “just figure it out”, that I know already what I’m doing is exhausting. It’s unsustainable.

Yesterday was my partner and my 1st anniversary of our domestic partnership. I forgot entirely. I ended the night sitting alone on the front porch, eating fast food and crying, because my cast doesn’t respect me. My lady brought me tulips. She’s a good one. She knows I’m in over my head, and she’s the only one who doesn’t say “Oh, you’re just saying that” when I state my fears aloud. Because she knows I’m right. I’m nothing if not observant, and I can call people’s energy and emotions from 50 feet.

I keep waiting for this endless free-fall to be over, so the oblivion of the crash can overtake me. Three weeks.

 

My office job ended last week, and with it the last of the feminine pretensions I had to keep up to play the game. It’s not that the office would have fired me if I didn’t wear a little makeup or women’s boots instead of my usual – it’s just that I made the decision to keep my boss very, very happy, and she’s a “looks matter” kind of woman.  Although she never said anything about my dress (a rotation of three very masculine yet still women’s suits with men’s collared shirts), I knew from the way she spoke about, oh, everyone else in the office that I’m sure she made many a comment about my appearance. However, I toed the line and all was well.

Now that I’m working from home I am back to my usual appearance – and with this small switch has come the return of me getting sir’d at every store and restaurant in town. Which is, quite frankly, awesome. I hadn’t realized how much I missed threading myself between the walls of gender perception.

Along those lines: I have a confession to make. When left to my own devices, I am not “dapper”. I know there’s a huge community of butches and androgynous and other-identified folk who happily sign on to the dapper banner, but really, I’m not one of them. I make the effort for my acting appearance, sure – but I’m most comfortable in a uniform of sorts, so I’ve collected my vests and ties and shirts and basically just swap color schemes on the same outfit anytime I need to go public.

But at home – comfy sweaters, old t-shirt, jeans. I wear grandpa slippers all day long inside.

I started noticing my non-dapperness recently while at rehearsals for the musical I’m directing. My cast includes one queer girl and one woman who has mostly lesbian friends (read: most of the people who worked on the L Word. Hello, Los Angeles). And the queer girl has a definite style, look, vintage dapper-ness all her own, even though she’s neither butch nor femme. The woman talks about her lesbian friends in a way that lets me know that they’re all impeccably coiffed all the time.

Meanwhile, I’m sitting on the dirty floor in my dirty chucks and cozy sweater, with my faux hawk not quite hawking, looking a mess as usual. Many people would Dress with a capital D just because they do every day – I can’t seem to muster the energy, or else I just have too many other things to think about. It’s like I’m the single mom of my own life.

Anyway – all the more reason why it’s nice to be sir’d again. Even in just a sweater, with my hair kind of in a weird/bad state these days (does anyone else have curls that suddenly decide to curl the other direction?), I can still go through an entire conversation at Target without the checker calling me miss. Dig it.

Hey there friends – I’ve been laying kinda low on the technology front for the past few weeks because that buzzing thrum that has been following me since October exploded as the Gregorian calendar year came to a close. Strangely enough, the turnover of the Mayan calendar year on December 21st made a much smaller blip on my radar than expected, since the world didn’t end and all (Tangent: I’ve actually followed the Mayan calendar for the past 12 years, and it’s one of the methods I use to interpret my purpose in this world. Also, astrologically speaking, it’s badass – in the Zodiac system, I’m a double Capricorn (goatish, indeed) but in the Mayan I’m a Blue Magnetic Storm. BOOM…. but I digress…).

I can barely keep up with the changes I’ve been dealing with, starting with my new agent that I signed with back in October, and then passing through the fact that now every waking moment of my life is consumed by the (gay!) musical I’m directing (that I wish were over already), and finally crashing to a not-even-close-to-stopping-point at the fact that I quit my survival office job in a moment of craziness and as of next week I’ll be out on my lonesome, trying to make money on my own again.

I don’t feel better yet, but I think I will soon. I have to.

My current mantra, said over and over all day, is “I can do this.”

I’m trying not to worry about believing it, and just focusing on saying it. Repeatedly. Until it comes true. I can do this. I can do this. All of it.

 

Bad Behavior has blocked 44 access attempts in the last 7 days.