Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fun news from afar, but feeling blue just the same

The good news--been in bed before 11:30 for the past two nights. Hope to be there soon tonight.

The fun news--Sir Ian McKellen is touring with a King Lear featuring Sylvester McCoy as the fool. Good to see Sylvester working and in a suitable part.

Neil Gaiman has this interesting link to an interesting speech (or commentary) given by Clive Barker.
I'd go with that.

The weird news--a friend I haven't heard from in yonks sent an email announcement of a show he choreographed off-Broadway. Yet another example of someone doing something good. Is this the universe's way of saying "Get off your ass," or "Give up, you sad F*#k, you've wasted your life." He and I were best friends in junior high and we used to talk about taking Broadway--he as dancer/singer, me as serious actress. He's been the dance captain on a touring company of Mama Mia which has evidently been so long running it's close to a career. We were not friends our senior year of high school. We wrote our first few years of college, then lost touch and then last year a directory of our high school came out and we reconnected briefly by email.

News--I keep thinking of writing about it but haven't, but I did that show in the fall. I was an actress and I designed sets and costumes. We got good reviews but no audiences. I loved the play. I liked the other actresses. I felt the director was hard on me and particularly difficult given the three hats I was wearing. He stood me up one time so I wasted hours and lost money by not working. He didn't want me to act in it, and I felt like he punished me for it. That said, we stumbled through. Then he didn't want to pay me fully for all three jobs and when I asked why he attacked me and insulted me. I just didn't answer his last email--it wasn't worth it, but it haunts me just the same. Did I not stand up for myself, did I take the nobler path, etc. It's been three months--get over it already. I've tried the Buddhist technique--observe the anger, let it pass, do not engage with the anger--and it works for a time, but I'm still angry and I'm still hung up. His newest show just opened to good reviews. On the one hand I have friends in it, and I'm glad they're getting praise. On the other--well, I'm still angry. He likes to insult people who angered him (so in some ways I know I have the consolation that I'm not the only person on whom he's turned--many of them I know to be nice and decent) but I wonder what he's telling people I thought were my friends. What I fear is that he's telling people it was about money when it was actually about his lack of respect for me as an actress, as a designer, as a person. The money was minor (it was a stipend, hardly paid for gas) and if he had just said, I can't pay you as much as last year because the box office was low I would have been fine with it, but he didn't. I feel what I fear most--unheard and unseen. I'd actually like to see the play, but I don't want to see him. I thought about sending him a congratulations, but I doubt it would be taken in the spirit it was given, and then I wonder if maybe I only want to do it because it would look more noble. I am quite sure that were the situation reversed he would never congratulate me. It's really made me question whether I want to be in shows ever again, because theater is such an incestuous little world. I'm not thick skinned enough to just not care. Now I'm trying telling myself, "You're a good actress, a great designer and a nice person" whenever I start arguing with him in my head. If I had more self-esteem it would hardly bother me at all. I hate making someone horrid the star of the story of my life, and I do it again and again.

All in all, a downer of a week.

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