At least I have my health

I have been working for a little while now on a production with a small theatre outfit here on Long Island. Since October I’ve had a sudden reawakening of my desire to pursue these things that make me feel like myself and of course acting is one of those. I came back to New York after a trip to Virginia on Halloween weekend and immediately looked up several theatres on the island. Well I got this gig. It has not been a very professional process. That has been a major disappointment, but the play is good enough and I’m getting to where it’s time to really start pushing and pulling this role. I’m getting to knead the dough a bit, and that is great news. Rehearsals were not something I was looking forward to very strongly until earlier this week when suddenly something turned a corner and my actor-brain turned on. It felt like reviving a long-since still and silent, rusting tractor engine. It clatters to life and you’re not sure whether to celebrate or dive for cover. So far I’m just continuing to work. The important part is that I’m feeling on the right path.I’ve decided to start blogging through my endeavors for a few reasons. First of all, I need something to mark the progression of my days. I have always been a journal writer, but in recent months it has become clear that I need to invite some social pressure to motivate myself. The most important reason why I’ve decided to write this blog is that I’m opening a new chapter in my life. Not just in returning to my passion for performance art, but in a more specific way as well. It is my hope that this blog will record the creation of a beautiful, exciting, and unique undertaking. I won’t go deeply into it in this post, but suffice to say there is increasingly specific talk of a project that could grow to be the first major work of my professional life.
For now it’s back to work on what’s in front of me and enjoying the holidays with family and friends.

Tired, Happy, Counting the Seconds

It has been a very long and exhausting week (so long that it actually incorporated two weekends). And doesn’t time have a funny habit of disappearing? I think I’ll be creating a mindmap not for a project or a goal in particular, but a map for my life. Not because I’m without direction, after all the last time I did this sort of exercise was only a month ago. But suddenly I’m feeling a massive weight of redundant effort. But let me take it back to the beginning.
More than a week ago I alluded to my trip to Virginia Beach. Well I took it. And I’m back. And I have been indisposed since then. You see, most weeks I’m most excited about writing here and taking pictures. This is different. I have been working obsessively since I got back (almost exactly a week ago). And between this newly invigorated project and my “part-time” job, it’s been really hard to get to the other things. Other things like my hobbies, my friends, my fitness, my family, you know… Life. But I have been suddenly transformed into one of those “laser-people” I always wrote to myself about, envious and secretly knowing it wasn’t all I cracked it up to be. So whats all the fuss and delay really about? Well, finding bohemia I guess.

My business trip was to discuss and lay initial planning for the creation of what we are calling Monster Box Theatre and Artists’ Collaboratory. And what exactly is an “Artists’ Collaboratory” you ask? Yes, it’s a place where artists meet and dream up wonderful things to present to the public, but that’s not what’s really important. Most importantly it’s a place where the public can meet their artists-in-the-mirror and their fellow artists. That ’we’ I referred to is comprised of myself and my dearest of friends and most energizing of collaborators, Miss Grace Beach. Time and again when it goes missing I have found my own creative mind, and expressive heart in her. With Monster Box we are planning to bring this same phenomenon to the Hampton Roads/Tidewater Virginia Region. It is my firmest belief that the shared experience of and engagement in art makes us all more alive, more complete, and more truly human. And there is no pretension in this, it is because of the humanity of an audience that I am humbled to do my work as an actor. Too often there are small market productions which operate more in service of the theatre-community and its in-group than the community they play before. So we are setting out to create a place for sharing and collaboration between the uninitiated and the yet-to-be-challenged. First in a small way by inviting audiences and community groups to share in a clearer and simpler kind of theatre. And later through an initiative to create a comprehensive communal artist’s studio and performance venue with a community-center bent. It will be a place to learn, to teach, to display, to view, to perform, always to enjoy, and sometimes to just hang out! But more on this as it develops.

Right now there is more work to be done, and the bohemian dream is coming closer all the time! There are more .PDFs and todo lists than I expected but so far its every bit as exciting. Thank you for reading, keep searching and stay tuned for progress and word about milestones. Please comment with any advice you would be willing to offer.

Sun Bleached Brain

Ninety degrees all week. Those days when the sun seems determined to put you to sleep. I took a few days off, trying not to worry about my currently slogging projects. I went fly fishing in the early morning before the day got too steamy. Wet wading in a small river and catching nothing, but loving that experience. Not 100% sure if I was allowed to fish in that spot, and feeling the current coming up just to the backs of my knees, dense foliage making the railroad overpass above me seem ancient, distant and wholly unclear. There is a certain clarity of mind that flows from this narrowness of physical experience. The shallow sun and rain heavy trees conspire to collapse the world to a quiet dome 40 or 50 feet across. Soon this in-town location is its own corner of the world, and I can begin to drift away, sand between toes and cool river water. Putting mind at ease and body to work is bringing relief and reviving my brain so beaten by the heat. Escape, in truth, is always inward.
Summertime is difficult, I work best before 1pm, but the clarity of slow summer days does not come until the sun is long since down. Starry or even cloudy nights, darkness on the parkway, windows rolled down. The moment when a pair of headlights appears in the rearview and I have to think “I wish I were alone” is when I realize this is the most active my mind has been all day. And yet, with hands on the wheel and my bed drawing me on, there is little to accomplish. Images will dance, words will come while I am confined to the driver’s seat but I can do little more than try my best to jot them down when i arrive home and hope they pick up well in the morning.

Today, after a few days of rain and the coming of 70 degree days in its wake. I can feel the pull to make returning. This time not so simply, not so naked or so empty, this time the pull to build has arrived, kernel in hand, and with a twinkle in its eye.

Tommy Joad, Running, Funerals

This piece is one thats been gestating for quite some time, and like anything I’m really not sure if its ready to stand on its own, but thats always been my resistance talking before, so now here it is. It is ready enough to be called whole and therefore I suppose its time to give it to the universe.  

Its a meditation on giving, in that same sense. All things are at their core a matter of social responsibility. And finally who are you not to share your pain? For it is the strength and hope of the world.

Listen first, but the text is here for you if you’re interested. I hope you enjoy this:

Tic tic tic tic tic I love to run, To Float like a ghost makes me feel like nowhere. Tic tic tic tic, I thought that I was really into it, I always felt like going Meditate on form, and soften up my footfall Ever more an apparition. Teh teh… Teh teh teh…

Turns out there are some things you can’t run from

Cause they’re everywhere.

 That’s when I learned to give. Hum bump humbump humbump

There is no amount of cardio that will give my heart the strength for what I have to lift

I was once offered as evidence of the speed of prayers. 

Instant. But there is nothing instant in me, I am pretty slow over land, but I can always keep going. there is only the swell of the hundreds of miles before and the forever yet to go there is no touch there is no hope of leaving this body changed or satisfied. 

I hear no prayers, I hear only my feet. 

tic tic tic tic

I need to learn to tell people that no one is going to save us. 

Like maybe there was no god and were all just a part of some big soul

And still I can’t lift the weapon of my heart with just two hands.

Tic tic tic

I floated past a cemetery once, a few black coats around a stone, They watched me ramble past. And knew I carried them with me. How nearness breeds responsibility, And everything I need to know of Jesus I learned from Tommy Joad who only ran when it was his only way to take a stand.

We all have our own wilderness

I feel them on my shoulders, standing, sullen, on the shoulders of the earth they are weighing on me. there is only one way to carry them THERE IS ONLY FORWARD, THERE IS ONLY UP, 

THERE IS LIFE IN THEIR WEIGHT AND I know why my skin has never been my own. there is trust and there is love in all things that turn over themselves and make the rise of the sun the terrible thing that makes the world continue on is in me. 

humbump humbump humbump

I cannot lift that weapon, humbump humbump, 

not with just these two hands,

so I’ll just keep going, just keep floating, 

Running from my given task

tic tic hum bump tic tic teh the hum bump 

keep disappearing into the distance, into the future. into the sunrise, humbump

Into the night, and I’ll be everywhere you look ma

I’ll be all around you in the dark

teh teh teh, **trails off**

In the way guys yell

In the way kids laugh

hum bump hum bump 

ive gotta go now ma hum bump