Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On age, auditions, and things that go AHHHHH

I sit here after another audition that left me feeling sad, at best. I don't even KNOW if I got cast yet, and I'm already sad! That makes no sense, I realize, but I have ceased feeling hopeful about my chances, particularly if I didn't leave feeling great. Of course, how CAN you leave feeling terrific, when you only get to read two sides, one of which was not by choice (a male role and very dry)? Happily, the second one was a play I was/am interested in, and I was asked to read for it, so that made me feel rather pleased. I have no clue as to how I did (I'd say fair, not great, not terrible), and so I'm hopeful but not optimistic. I am the right age, but there were other women there who could play 40 (though, naturally, far more women who could play 20-30; what's new?!), so it's impossible to say what will happen. I was very proud of my friend A., who was really scared but still managed to read for two roles without collapsing. :-) She had not auditioned for anything in about 40 years (possibly longer) and hasn't taken an acting class in several years, so it was very gutsy of her to try out (I had us practice a side beforehand at Au Bon Pain, which helped, I think). She felt very relieved when it was over; I felt sad, as noted. I keep checking my email, which is ridiculous, since the auditions didn't end til 9pm (or later) and I have no idea when potential cast members will be notified (could be days or weeks, if it's for the November Slams, though soon if for September). I can't care, I just can't, and yet I do. That doesn't make me a shallow person, does it? (That's a quote from from Lyle Lovett, "Here I Am," and I'm just kidding.)

*Brief interlude while I cheer for Trot Nixon, Johnny Damon, and the Red Sox, who just tied the game with the Devil Rays at 6 apiece, after trailing at one point 5-0. You rawk my world, Sox!*

Today was a frustrating one in some respects, as I learned that "Autumn Premieres," the festival that my 30-minute play is part of, has been postponed til March (most likely). I totally understand why: there aren't enough cast members yet, there is no set designer or tech director, no real p.r. done yet, and no audition schedules in place, and the festival is supposed to begin in just over a month. Still, I already invited several friends who said they could make it on September 30th, and of course it was just so exciting to think about the play going up, and now I have to wait another six months. I'm not grousing, because it's probable that the festival will take place, with an additional play (not required but optimal) and lots more time to organize every little thing. However, I am understandably disappointed, and I was also excited at the prospect of being cast for "Toast," and now there will be many more people auditioning, which could significantly hurt my chances (and NO, it's not just about me, not even close, but it's a great play, I had a strong audition, and I'd love to get a chance to act in it). This disappointment also added to my desire (need, whatever) to get cast in one of the Slams this Fall, and if I don't, it will hurt like hell. It shouldn't be about the product as much as the process, but dammit, it's totally about the outcome for me, b/c it's not a lot of fun to audition (although, to be fair, the Arlington Players audition was quite enjoyable, but also unique, in that I was the only one auditioning that night!) and I don't really NEED the experience of reading sides anymore. I need the experience of ACTING IN PLAYS and it's been EIGHT MONTHS since I've been cast. Isn't it time?!

So I try not to care, and there are far more important things in life to be concerned or grateful about. My sister and her family in Florida are in the process of moving, and it's going very slowly (the closing was supposed to be today but because of Hurricane Katrina it's been delayed until who-the-heck-knows when, alas), putting a lot of stress on all of them (plus my nephew just started a new school, which he loves but it's traumatic when you're 4 1/2 to have so much change in so little time, and they are living in a double suite hotel space until their house is ready or the paperwork and house are). My other sister's husband had blood work done, and if God forbid it turns out badly, he will need surgery, though it's probably not cancerous (knock on wood). I had an eye doctor appointment yesterday, where it was discovered that my lenses have started clouding over, the beginning of cataracts (just the beginning, thankfully), and that did nothing but make me feel older. Fortunately, it should be several years til I need surgery--my mother had it in her late 40s, as did her sister, so it must be genetic--and my retinas are in good shape and both eyes are very healthy, so I'm grateful. There were so many old(er) people in the waiting room, and when the doctor said, "You're young, so you don't need to worry," I felt a lot better (compared to 70 and 80 year olds, I *am* young, b/c it's always relative). Still, with my first mammogram two weeks ago (also completely normal, praise God) and now this news of clouding, I'm not feeling as chipper as I might. Why didn't I feel old at 39 but feel impossibly old at 42 (as I did at 40 and then 41)? Of course, it's in my head--I don't LOOK old or ACT old--but I keep waiting for this to get easier, and it doesn't.

I'm the second oldest person in my department at work, as I have been for some time (not counting the VP for Student Affairs), and recently one of the advising counselors decided to put our "out" whiteboard in order of age. UGH. So painful to see my name at the bottom of the list, and know that the youngest is 23, and could be my daughter in theory (again, UGH). She sometimes says things like, "You look really good for 40" (never mind that I'm 42), and I want to scream, Can't I just look GOOD? Does it need to be framed by age? Of course, to a 23 year old, I'm 100 years old. Deep sigh. One of the women at the auditions tonight is 25 and is trying out for a theatre company who is looking to cast someone to play 30. She said, "Since I'm only 25, I may look too young." I wanted to slap her (not literally but still...I should be so lucky). Of course, I'm also too old for many parts and yet too young for others. Thank you, Monica Raymond, for writing roles for people in their 40s, because there aren't too many out there doing it (and if you're reading this, feel free to take the challenge).

I'm sure the fact that I'm not in therapy right now and am awaiting the outcome of my additionally requested sessions with the cognitive behavioral therapist is not helping. I see my new therapist again next Tuesday and hope that we can begin treatment and it isn't just another intake session. I feel certain that it will help, once it really gets underway (and I need to start reading the "Feeling Good Handbook" this weekend in preparation for next week). I resigned from book club, reluctantly but definitively, last week, realizing that I'm more than 10 years older than the next member (not counting the woman who rarely has time to come) and wanting to be with women and/or men closer to my age. I don't feel old at the gym, where I can work out hard (and have been), am increasing strength, flexibility, and endurance every week (or I think I am, thanks to yoga and the elliptical machine, along with floor work), and know my body is starting to look better as a result. My re-haircut last night also looks good, and I'm eating less, so these are all positive things I can be proud of. I am feeling stressed at work, but trying to keep it together. (I am beyond happy that tomorrow is the last day of registration and should be relatively mellow.) I'm not writing, but my latest 10-minute play will get a reading at the Write-On meeting in October, so I'm eager to see what the response is, and I really do want to try to write again soon. I'm also seeing a play with A. on Saturday (free, thanks to stagesource), and probably going to Club Passim for the folk campground festival (lots and lots of singer/songwriters for a $20 holiday weekend pass), along with working out and sitting by my parents' health club's pool on Sunday. So I do have a fun weekend ahead, where I can just chill out without spending too much money, and it can't hurt.

*The Red Sox win it, 7-6, thanks to a Trot Nixon single in the bottom of the 9th with two outs. YAY, TROT NIXON!!!*

But I need to get over this age issue (Does it ever get easier?!) and I need to not give a bloody damn about auditions and rejection, for both my acting AND writing. HOW DOES ONE DO THIS? You know how to reach me if you have any inventive suggestions. ;-)

Friday, August 26, 2005

more updates

Once again, I apologize for not writing for a while (and for any typos you might find!). It's Course Registration at my school, and it's been crazy for the past two weeks (and I don't mean in a good way). That's not a particularly interesting thing to write about, however, so I won't, except to say that most students have been great, and so has the staff. The hours are long, however, and I get very fatigued and have trouble keeping it together by the end of the day. Taking breaks and yoga and the elliptical machine have all been godsends. There's only one more day of registration and then we start classes the day after Labor Day. I have no idea how the summer has nearly ended, except that it didn't really begin until the third week of June (so unfair, eh?), so it's certainly going to be a shorter summer than winter (as per usual in Boston). At least I have the weekend free, so I plan to spend some time outside with A. tomorrow and then possibly with E. on Sunday, after yoga and "The 40-Year Old Virgin" (I have a weak spot for Steve "The Green Grocer" Carell).

As far as the theatrical world, it's been an interesting couple of weeks. "Autumn Premieres" will debut the end of September, and the Arlington Players have a cool website up now (www.arlingtonplayers.com). Part of me still feels a bit, I don't know, guilty about being part of the festival. I'm not really sure if "Uncharted Territory" is worthy of being produced, but I just have to trust that if it sucked, Rich and company would not bother putting it on. That said, two directors DID pass on it, and man, that hurt. There could be all kinds of reasons why they each said no, and I'm not sure why, nor does Rich think it would be useful to find out (it's all subjective, after all). But it hurt because the director who said no had said yes until he actually read the script, so there's no way to take it personally (though he doesn't know me, so I can't take it as as a personal reject, but rather an artistic one). Happily, another director did say yes, and since she was already directing another play, I'm sure she did so because something in it intrigued her, or she liked the challenge of directing it, or wanted more experience. Whatever the reason, and I don't know yet, because I haven't spoken or written to her yet, she does want to work with the script, and that is definitely something that excites me. The Arlington Players also have a set designer, a stage manager, and are looking for more tech people, so it feels professional, and I've never really been involved with an elaborate production before (not since I was 15 and had a minor role in "The Rimers of Eldridge" at Phillips Exeter Academy, a disastrous experience, as I hated the part, hated myself, disliked the director, and basically stopped acting for over 15 years until I started taking classes again in my early 30s).

Additionally, I auditioned for the third play, "Toast," on Monday. It was an interesting experience, as I was the only person who showed up, given the late posting of the casting call. This worked to my advantage, as I had the whole audition to myself. ;-) I got to speak to the playwright, Monica, whom I know from the Write-On group, as well as executive producer Rich and the director, and I not only got to perform an original 2-minute monologue but also got to read for three characters. All were interesting and I think I did pretty well, though I don't have high hopes that I'll be cast, as the notice has now gone out to several groups, and I expect to have some significant competition. Nonetheless, I feel good about the job I did, and all you can do is give it your all and hope for your best. If I do get cast, I'll put off my trip to see my sister and niece and nephew in Florida a few weeks; if not, I'll keep the trip in early October, and see the productions (since my play still is being produced, of course) Friday, September 30th. I am trying not to get my hopes up (I think the play is very strong), and instead am focusing on my audition for SlamBoston (through Another Country Productions) on Tuesday. My friend A. is coming with me, and that's really cool, as she has not auditioned for a role since high school, and we also met in Mari Novotny-Jones's theatre class at the Boston Center for Adult Ed about 12 years ago (God, I'm getting old!). It would be a tad ironic if she were to get cast and not me, but if that were to happen, it would be because she had a great audition and was just right for a role and I was not. Let's hope we both get cast!

I also am continuing to send my new play "Accept This!" out, and today sent it off to The Theatre Cooperative. It's impossible to tell if the play works or not, since I've received mixed reaction (and have made some, but not all, recommended changes as a result of the feedback). I might bring it to Write-On this fall to get the group's response, but I'd like to move on to a new piece (not that I have one, but I do have a couple of ideas stirring). It's fun to be involved with a number of projects, and I haven't done any new writing for a couple of months, so it's time. I'm usually too tired to do much, but it's almost Labor Day Weekend (deep sigh...I need more summer, as noted, and I fear the return of SAD), and that will give me some time. I think I'll ask A. to see the Zeitgeist Theatre's new production of "The Story," since I have two comps through stagesource, and God knows, two comps should never go to waste (nor should one, or three, for that matter). I remember when the audition notice for that play came out, and I was disappointed to see that there were no parts I could audition for (that is typically the case, as many companies want 20 and 30-somethings, and in this case they were seeking an African American woman, so that ruled me out immediately). It sounds like an interesting play, and I'm excited that the theatre season is beginning, because I miss my theatre weekends.

I should add that I'm doing only so-so on the spending front. I did exchange a pair of Gap jeans I didn't need for a chocolate brown pocket book/briefcase, but I also bought a deep red/maroon fleece jacket (40 percent off! What could I do?!) at Patagonia on Thursday. I'm trying, honestly, and I'm eating out less. When I was with book club last week, I only had a bagel and a diet coke, since I was still not hungry after the delicious barbeque at our company picnic (complete with bumper boats!) and didn't want to waste the money, and I really have been frugal on that end this week. Buying clothes, though, is so damn tempting when you work on Newbury Street in Boston and all you see are pedestrians with shopping bags. I do spend most lunch hours in the gym (today was a great Ashtanga yoga class), which is helpful, but I see the "sale" sign and my heart goes thump, thump. Maybe cognitive behavioral therapy will help. Maybe another meeting with the financial advisor. Maybe I will get a decent raise at work. Maybe I'll win the lottery. Maybe someone will commision one of my plays and I'll get royalties off it, like, say, Israel Horowitz. Maybe I'll just be even more disciplined in the future. And maybe it'll be all of the above.

Anyway, that's what's been going on with me. I'm doing okay with eating (though not losing enough weight), I'm doing better with spending, and I'm sending out plays and auditioning, despite the possible (probable?) rejection. I was part of a salon reading of D.'s screenplay in progress last night, playing two roles, and despite my fatigue after Late Registration at work, aka Hell Day, I did reasonably well and enjoyed it. I can only hope to find more roles that I'm suitable for, can only keep writing because I have something to say (and keep seeing and reading plays that inspire me, as Monica's "Toast" has), and have to keep developing this so-called thick skin required to remain in the arts. (A co-worker has stopped writing and sending out his plays, despite previous success, due to burnout and some residual bitterness, I suspect, and I don't want the same to happen to me.) I know I won't make money off my writing or my acting, but that's really not why I pursue either (though I wouldn't complain if someone offered to pay me sometime for something!). I do believe, however, that success is necessary, meaning getting casted or getting plays chosen for festivals, and if you continue to hone your craft and do not obtain quote unquote success, there has to be a time that you say, I need to hang it up and try something else. At least that's the case for me (and why I stopped doing improv, amongst other reasons). I'm far from having that happen to me with playwrighting (not as sure about acting...yet...but we'll see), and will continue to remain as optimistic as I can.

Plus I always have the Red Sox and the Patriots. Escapism can be very useful and should not be underrated. :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Some updates...

Hi. You may have noticed I haven't posted for about 10 days (or maybe you didn't...). I've been mad busy and I finally have a few clear-headed minutes to write. It's been fairly tough for me over the past few weeks (actually, over the summer), or certainly a mixed bag. I won't go into all the details here, but suffice it to say that I haven't just been lounging on the beach all day. The biggest blow--or really, most difficult thing to contend with--was meeting with a financial advisor last Saturday. He was very nice (and cute to boot!), but after three painstaking hours, we discovered that I'm about $700 over my budget each month and that I'm in some pretty serious debt. It's not undoable to beat this thing, and I will, but it's going to take a long time and it's very discouraging. I work in the Back Bay in Boston, and there's nothing but stores (and sales at the moment) at every stop, and to not buy is going to take every ounce of strength.

Spending has always been a kind of salve for me, a way to relax when things seem too tough, or, as my (now former) therapist has said, a way to avoid sitting with uncomfortable feelings of anxiety and depression. Since I'm not bingeing on food anymore (tough as hell, but I'm slowly losing weight--not that I'm fat by any means, but I'm getting thinner and feeling better about myself), and don't smoke, drink, or do drugs, and don't have a boyfriend to help soothe the feelings, what the hell do I do?! Fortunately, I do have friends, of course, and there are always free things in Boston to take advantage of, or two-for-one (or very discounted) plays through Bostix and Stagesource (the arts organization), and I will continue to seek these out. Movies will primarily consist of those on TV (yes, I have cable and Sundance and IFC, so I rarely rent DVDs), and eating out will be infrequent at best. No more shopping, no more trips anywhere, except occasionally to see my sister and her kids in Florida, and keeping every receipt to see where the money goes will become a habit, not a choice.

In the meantime, N., the financial advisor (pro bono, thank GOD), suggested I move, but it's not gonna happen. I have lived alone for a very long time, and I need to. Roommates caused untold stress, as my studio nearby did that I lived in for 5 1/2 year (broken into twice, car stolen once, very loud neighbors), and this apartment I rent is clean, in a nice neighborhood, with considerate neighbors, and is comfortable, though not extravagant by any means. The location also allows me to take the subway to work without a problem, and safety is so important. Boston is ridiculously expensive, but my job, family, and friends are here, so what can I do? I'm consolidating debt wherever I can, have almost paid off my used Kia (November marks my last payment), and am just going to be careful and then more careful (happily, there are libraries, for one thing). I don't mean to sound whiny or narcissistic, but I've never lived a larger-than-life lifestyle, and yet I have found myself in this situation before. Now that I'm on a budget (and will meet with N. again in September), I will just toe the line and see how it goes. (Clearly, I won't be buying a new car anytime in the near or not-so-near future.)

I'm not a student, and it's killing me to have to live like one again (been there, done that), but the alternate is unacceptable. I chose to work in Education, rather than sales (which I could have done, had I pursued the publishing path), or IT, or finance, and as a result I will never make a lot of money, despite my master's degree. That is a pretty unfortunate reality, and even working two additional part-time jobs is not enough to put me in the black and may never be (and living sans significant other takes away any chance of financial stability). Additionally, with diagnosed health issues, I have to find other ways to relieve stress and anxiety (fortunately, I have the gym a block away, and it really does help). I can only hope that the new therapist, who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, will help me understand and find alternate ways to act on my thoughts and feelings (that's the point of CBT), and now I just need insurance to agree to cover additional sessions through the year (have I mentioned how much I despise managed health care? and I have a PPO through work!).

As far as the theatre world, there's little to report. I am still trying out for SlamBoston the end of the month, will read two parts at D.'s presentation of her abridged screenplay in two weeks, and am going to see my 30-minute play "Uncharted Territory" presented in late September/early October at the Arlington Center for the Arts (now THAT should be very cool). I have sent other plays and monologues out to some groups/festivals and am waiting to hear (no positive news on that front, just a few rejections in July and August), and need to work on my 10-minute play "Peanut Butter Sandwiches" or just bag it (no pun intended) and try another. I am still uncertain about whether to make additional changes to "Accept This!", but I will probably give it a go this weekend and see which version I prefer. (I'd rather move onto something new, but I suppose I owe this a final go-round.) It's been insanely busy at work, since Course Registration is in full practice this week (and leading up to it was not easy or fun), but for the most part I've been able to keep it together (Monday was the most hellish day I've experienced in at least five or six years at work, but we all survived and made it to day two, which was quite a bit easier). I'm not meant for 10-12 hour work days, but you do what you must, and knowing I'm helping students means a lot (and most appreciate it). I had hoped to relax last weekend, in preparation for this week, but after meeting with N., I was too depressed to do much but cry and worry. I did have a nice day on Sunday with my mom (it was her birthday Monday) and that helped.

Besides that, I just had to get through the weekend, but I'm gradually accepting my situation, and that's key (I guess I'm past the grieving and anger and certainly the denial, so I'm on my way). It's clear to me that there will be no festival trips (Good thing I don't do improv anymore! Oh, the money wasted while pursuing a craft I wasn't much good at...), no more $30 play tickets (not that there were many, b/c there weren't), no concert tickets (ditto). And I might add that this meeting with N. helped me to realize how much I do love my apartment, to appreciate what I have more than I had, and to realize that getting cast or having a play produced would be wonderful, but not the be-all, end-all. Perspective is key. Oh, and let me add that when you don't have expendable income, you are a lot more careful about what you spend on food, which isn't a bad thing for me! I have one more tough day at work, as we spend another 3 1/2 hours registering students (and many hours before getting them ready to do so)--tomorrow we do this during the day, so it won't be nearly as bad--and then we can breathe a sign of relief til we do it again two more times next week. I see summer beginning to slip away (it's been pretty chilly at night, which makes for comfortable sleeping, but also reminds you that Fall isn't that far removed) and it's tough to fathom or accept (considering that it didn't even start to get warm til the end of June this year!). I guess I'll just have to continue to spend as much time as I can outside, as I've tried to do. Sunday should be fun, as work has its annual company outing and then book club at 5pm nearby. I just need a more relaxing weekend!

So, I think I've caught everyone up on my doings and can head off to work now. Please put in some good thoughts regarding therapy (and hell, regarding another play getting accepted by someone, somewhere!) and I'll continue to take it one day at a time. I guess I'm lucky that I really love Wendy's chicken strip salads!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

On risk and rejection (and success!), part 16

I apologize for not writing for a while. I've been mad busy, tired, and not motivated. As I've noted before, I want to keep my posts to issues regarding the creative process, b/c I don't think you really care whether or not I had advising or went to the supermarket or any of my dail tasks, and I'm not so keen on posting them, anyway. However, there have been a few developments recently in the writing/acting world, so I thought I would share.

Before I do, I'm going to repost an entry from the YESAnd improv board, www.yesand.com, that I submitted a few minutes ago. Shaun Landry, a wonderful actor from San Francisco, recently had her 40th birthday, and I stopped by the board to send her a happy birthday message. she graciously responded, and said the board missed me and to please return. *Awww.* Then I read a post there that talked about being burnt out on improv, and my name was mentioned. I thought, Well, this is as good a time as ever to come back and post, so I did. Here is the post, edited slightly:

It actually wasn't really burnout for me. It was my lack of success, I guess I'd say. I mean, I don't think I'm a particularly good improviser, and yet I really enjoy it. What killed me was the constant rejection and the feeling that I was hitting my head against the wall and didn't seem able to stop. I think you guys are AWESOME--I don't always think the improv scene is. For example, an well-known improviser and director in Boston a couple of years ago told me not to bother auditioning for his troupe b/c he had performed with me before and didn't think I would have success with them. (He wasn't quite as nice in the way he put this, though we get along fine now, b/c the past is the past.) I also auditioned for a cool actor/director in the recent past, thought I had a VERY strong audition, and still didn't get cast. That last audition was the straw that broke my back; I just couldn't hack the rejection anymore. In the meantime, I was starting to have some success (albeit limited) with my writing, and thought, Let me focus on something I know I do well and put the improv behind me.

Interestingly, this week I was contacted by a woman who wants me to work on project involving improv. So perhaps by putting improv on the backburner for a while and exploring other opportunities, I actually opened myself up to some success again. I think the key to ask yourself is, Are you having fun? and if you aren't, STOP DOING IT. JUST STOP IT. Giving up improv freed up lots of time for me to write, see scripted plays and movies (I actually do the former about once a week now, thanks to stagesource and bostix discounted tickets), and just have more time for myself (along w/ less time bemoaning how unsuccessful I was).

I am starting cognitive behavioral therapy in a few weeks, and am excited about it. My key goals are to work on anger management, depression, anxiety, and some self-loathing, so I can be more present and in the moment. I am sure that can only help my scripted and improv acting work (as well as change the quality of my life).

I need to add that I can be a pretty jealous person, so it was eating me up alive to see all the success you fine people were having while I couldn't get a callback audition. As happy as I was for you and everyone else who was succeeding, I was sad and bitter that I couldn't achieve any semblance of success, and I had to take a break. I feel better now. I just finished a 12-minute play I'm pretty proud of that I'm shopping around, I'm going to act in a friend's screenplay salon in a couple of weeks, and I'm auditioning for SLAMBoston at the end of August. Clearly, I'm back on track.

That said, I still think there is a lot of politics and bullshit in the improv world, but there is everywhere. What is tough is how competitive it is--in Boston, in New York, in tons of cities (let no one tell you it's easy in Boston, b/c it isn't, and you often have to make your own opportunities)--and that can be a real deterrant. But again, I'm rethinking goals and my sense is that I do better with scripted material and with original writing, and of course my beloved monologues, so I'm concentrating on those.

Love you guys. Hang in there (especially you, cindi, b/c I understand your self-deprecation, which I have in boatloads!). And enjoy what you do or don't do it.

Peace out for now. And thanks for letting me ramble. :)

So, there you go. I think I summed up a lot of feelings I've had about both the board and especially improv (and success doing same), and it felt good to really come clean. I suspect I'll get a few responses, but that's not why I wrote. I just needed to explain my situation, both for the board members and for myself. I do miss improv, but less and less as time goes on. Since I'm focusing on scripted material and my own writing, I have far less of a void than I feared I might. I have stayed away from seeing improv--when you break up with someone, you need to have a total break, I think--and I'm not quite OVER IT yet, so I think I will remain a friendly stranger. Who knows what the future will hold.

As to my own recent developments, I sent a letter to the AYTB Theatre folks, asking if they had received the latest copy of my play, "Accept This!", since Karen Weeks is usually so wonderful about replying. She got back to me within a day to say that yes, she had received it (and the revision), and that their festival was being pushed back to the Spring. However, she also mentioned how much she liked my monologues and would highly recommend them to their new literary manager, as he went about choosing what would be selected for the festival. (I hope she likes "Accept This!" too, of course, and think she might.) That was very promising, and I sent the email along to D., who wrote about HER plays. Karen said she liked all three of them, one in particular, and would suggest they be accepted as well. Hurrah for both of us! In the meantime, I have sent "Accept This!" to a couple other festivals and can only wait and see if someone likes it enough to produce it. One of my co-workers with a theatre background liked it a lot (more than I thought he might, actually), and my friend A. liked it as well (or said she did...who knows? ;-)).

Aside from that play, which is basically finished, I am going to read two parts in D.'s screenplay, as part of a monthly salon at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline in two weeks. That should be fun and I'm eager to see the response she gets (it's a fun script). I am also auditioning for SlamBoston in two weeks, and am very hopeful, since I got cast last go-round. I try not to put too much pressure on D. to cast me in the play she's directing, though there are potentially two parts I could see myself taking on, but it's hard, b/c it's been SO long since I've been in a role (January, actually). I am contemplating trying out for a play this Wednesday that sounds fun, but I know nothing about the company (I think I'll write to get more information). And one of D.'s friends is interested in having me work with her, improv-wise, in her development of a script, which I'm looking forward to (something I haven't really done, nor has she, so it will be an experiment). Also, as I mentioned above, I am hoping to begin cognitive behavioral therapy in a few weeks, after I wrap up w/ my current therapist (of nearly four years), and think the hands-on, results-oriented approach is JUST what I need. And I saw a play, "The Syringa Tree," last night with A. and D. at the ART in Cambridge that left me thinking a lot. The playwright had been starring in it, but she injured herself--it is a very physical performance--and another actor stepped in, who had performed it a number of times in the states and abroad. While she was very good, she was also very THEATRICAL, and it was hard for A. and I to feel connected to her, despite her proficiency and the intensity of the story.

The experience of watching the play (which cost me $30, killer for me) made me wonder about future projects I might want to work on, and also the connection of the playwright with the actor (we both felt the playwright was probably more...well, REAL in the role). I don't have any ideas in my mind, and don't have much time to read this weekend--I want to finish Nick Hornby's "A Long Way Down" this weekend, and A. and I are going to the Newport Folk Festival tomorrow, anyway (I won tickets, booyah, through The River), plus seeing the new Bill Murray film later this afternoon (and the Red Sox are on tonight), so I will put off writing until next weekend, unless I feel moved to begin something.

So things carry on, and often, when you are convinced that there is nothing left for you, and that nothing good can come to you, you are pleasantly surprised (or I am). I cannot tell you how much it will kill me if I am not cast by Another Country for SlamBoston, and that's not a good way to go in, I realize, so I have to find a way to distance myself from the process before the audition (fortunately, it's not til the end of the month), b/c I tend to suck when I go in tense (no surprise thereof), and if it means so much, no matter how good I am, I will end up devastated if the results are not favorable. So I need to look at it as another experience on the acting road of life, and nothing more than that. Fortunately, work is going better than it was earlier in the week, when I wanted to rip out my hair and throw things at the walls and hit people, so I am more relaxed (having a nice weekend with comfortable weather certainly helps), and maybe I can achieve a good perspective before I go to Vassar Street at MIT to audition. I hope so. And just maybe one of my plays will be accepted soon. All I can do is keep writing and submitting and keeping busy and crossing my fingers as tightly as I can.