No I won’t bore you with how much I adore being back in NYC in the fall, or how last week the weather was the perfect mix of rain and warmth specifically designed to tear a hole in me, or how my final evening there was spent wandering from karaoke bar to karaoke bar singing my own greatest hits until 4am, or how amazed/excited I am that the play I’m writing seems to *actually* be working. Instead (and apologies to folks who get this via email without images) here are some pictures from my week in the city followed by a gif of me falling off a mechanical bull because YOU DESERVE IT and YES I AM TOTALLY FINE and YOU ARE VERY WELCOME…
I powered down in mid-May due to some pretty gnarly personal stuff, but I think I’m back online now. Partially. For those of you who happen to reside in NYC or SF, I have a couple newsy things to report. But for the rest of you, nuttin’ but a muffin.
If you wanna know I feel about muffins, click this.
So. NYC! What are you doing next Friday the 13th, besides feeling spooky? I have a reading of my new play SO UM THANK YOU directed by Kip Fagan, but you gotta RSVP because space is limited. We are doing two presentations, one at 12PM (audience will be seated in chairs) and one at 3PM (audience will be taking a yoga class). You can be a total beginner. It’s not a hard class. We’ll be in the Robert Moss Theater at 440 Lafayette St. on the 3rd floor. BYO mat! But we have some too.
And. SF! Or Berkeley, to be precise. My play ELEVADA directed by Susannah Martin will be running from Oct 17 – Nov 17 at Shotgun Players. I just rewrote the whole dang thing top to bottom. It’s a romantic comedy. Kind of.
Hopefully I’ll see you on one of the coasts at one of the gigs. Otherwise I’ll be in a cafe somewhere getting churlish around baked goods for no reason. xo
I used to make a living designing graphics and websites back in the 90s. As a playwright who often needed to create her own promo materials, it was a very handy skill. I totally enjoyed doing it, and I still leap at the chance to dust off the ol’ vector program excuse oh OK I am I need to OK sorry I’m in 20C 20 we’re in 21C OK needs an I’ll aisle seat it’s a who ha situation it’s like Tetris[i was proofreading this while boarding a plane when a row of folks realized they were in the wrong seats, one of which was mine… I accidentally hit the microphone button and now I can’t bring myself to delete our convo]
Anyway. These days I leap at the chance to design stuff. Even when no one asks me to. The last thing I designed was an ID logo for my son’s Irish dancing gear (I was on deadline and fighting it as usual). I made stickers, labels, iron-ons, vinyl patches…
… and I also designed T-shirts with cheeky phrases only Irish dancers would find funny.
Last Wednesday my 10-year-old reported that after four years of lessons twice a week and multiple competitions per year, he was done. I was crushed. Partially because I spent all that time on his design– which, by the way, is not something any other dancers have and is frankly kind of weird– but also, I loved being a dance mom. I loved traveling to hotels the night before, ordering room service at 6am, suiting my kid up in his sharp purple tie and crunchy precise hair, then heading down to the lobby and getting sucked into a swarm of glittered lip-sticked curly-wigged pre-teens smacking their heavy heels together to the music in their earbuds.
And while the multiple conference rooms stuffed with underslept parents fretting over their tense tanned children can get a little JESUS CHRIST, THIS IS FUN FOR LITERALLY NO ONE, WHAT ARE WE DOING, all that pre-performance thrill/terror/fuss is exactly what got me addicted to theatre years ago. At the time I didn’t understand that even a successful career in theatre involves long stretches where none of this is readily accessible. No performances. No opening nights. No pre-show jitters. Just dogged determination and heavy emotional labor that often has very little payoff. But even if I had known, I believe I woulda gotten myself sucked into the swarm. An addict is an addict.
My son also seemed to enjoy all the lobby chaos, and he loved the performance aspect. But he hated the oppressive grueling nature of competitive dancing– especially in a genre where technique is favored over expression. So he pulled the plug, and I almost did that old-school parent thing where you demand your child stick with something in order to build character. “You can’t keep quitting things just because you don’t like doing them.” Except actually, yeah, that’s exactly when you should quit: when the thing you used to love starts digging holes in you that it will never re-fill.
I don’t feel that way about theatre. Not yet, anyway.
In the meantime, what do I do with all the branded materials?
(answer: take pictures)