Happy Holidays! Some musings on the holidays and the arts.
I've actually managed to fill the time better than I had feared. I worked til last Friday, and then on Saturday worked out and joined the Hollywood Movie MVP club, which means I can take three movies out at a time for five days (intro offer of $9.99 for the first month, then $14.99/month). I rented Hotel Rwanda, which was very intense and well-worth seeing, In Good Company with Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace, which was light but better than I'd expected, and A Very Long Engagement, which I DID find very long and turned off after a half hour. The nice thing about this plan is that I can return movies and not feel guilty about spending $4 or $5 for something I didn't want to watch or didn't bother with. I returned the movies and picked up three others: 21 Grams, which I've wanted to see for a long time, Mad Hot Ballroom, about the students in NYC learning to dance, and Off The Map, an indie film that got good reviews. You can't rent just-off-the-shelf movies, but I don't mind waiting a few weeks, since I am always behind, anyway. I hope to watch these by Saturday, and then pick up a few more for the New Year, since I have nothing to do Sunday or Monday. The location is close to work, not home, but it's easy enough to get there, and I'm typically at work, anyway (I think there's one in Coolidge Corner, but I suspect you have to go to the home store to pick up/return).
I saw my parents on Sunday, and we had Chinese food and saw The Family Stone, which I thought was pretty mediocre but they liked (it's a good holiday film, kind of corny and heartfelt). I did finish up the Santa play, for good or for bad, and sent it to Poco Loco Players (I'm not sure Doug would consider another play by me, but he said he'd read it, since the deadline is December 30th) and a couple other places. I've now sent four plays to the Dragonfly Festival at the Devanaughn. I do not feel confident that Rose will pick any of the plays, b/c she never has chosen my work or cast me, but you don't know unless you try. I feel the same way about her as I do about Lesley at Theatre Cooperative: nice people who just aren't interested in me or what I have to say or offer. I could be wrong, of course, and hope I am, but that's just my gut talking. I sent a letter to Lesley last night asking if she could give me any insight as to why the Ritalin Readings rejected both of my places--I honestly thought that "Not A Competition" would have worked well, given what I know about some other plays they took, but they clearly felt otherwise. Anything specific she could say would help, but I suspect I'll just get a generic letter, saying they got over 100 plays and couldn't take all, just 15 of them (yep, already know that). Oh, well.
You really do have to ask, I think, if it's a local company. If she concedes not liking my work (as the director at Rough & Tumble did when I inquired whether it was worth my while to audition for his latest production; he said no, though he wouldn't be more specific than that, though I asked him to be), I will know not to try there again. It was a hard decision, but I have decided to see D. and A.'s play at the first night of the Ritalin Readings. I feel as if they deserve the support, so I will swallow my pride and just enjoy the evening and take notes on the plays and how they are presented. I'm particularly looking forward to D.'s play, as I was one of the readers when she presented the work at Write-On a few months ago. (Of course, I was asked to be in D.'s play, so I need to keep that in mind. If asked today, I'd probably say yes, but I was hurting too much at the time.) Then it will be put on at Theatre One in Middleboro in February, the same afternoon as mine, so it will be cool to see the differences. I am really eager to see how "Peanut Butter Sandwiches" goes over. Peg Holzemer loved it, and I have a fondness for it, but we'll see if it works as a short piece. I hope so, of course. :-)
I haven't received any rejections or acceptances lately, but some of the deadlines were at the end of December, so I should be hearing something from at least a few places soon. It's just so tough, but still easier than audition rejections. I am holding firm to not auditioning anymore. If it doesn't work, then why keep forcing it? I will certainly try out for the Arlington Players' summer festival again, but that's it. I have an in, so that helps. :-) I can't help admitting that I check my email far too frequently to see if any acceptance emails have arrived, very dangerous. I need to stop thinking about them and just focus on the present (and on writing). I try to integrate them from yoga (which I miss, as the Sunday classes have been cancelled til the week after New Years--damn you, holidays falling on Sunday!!!), where Shannon urges us to to not worry about the past or the future but remain focused in the moment, in the present. I haven't done any writing--yet--but I hope to start tomorrow, and maybe pick it up Friday and over the weekend. (I worked yesterday, so I had an excuse not to write. Monday, I worked out, watched TV, and read, so no excuse. ;-)) I find I really need to be motivated to write, so it's tough, and will be tougher this winter, when I have to work on Fridays again, alas (though I will manage to take off days here and there, and do have the trip to Florida in early February). I don't expect to get much, if any, writing done in January, when I'll be too busy trying to survive portfolio review hellweek and registration! If I can just stay well, I'll be doing fine.
I was also pretty disappointed when C. from Buffalo enthusiastically wrote about coming to see me from Friday-Monday, and then when I called her Sunday to confirm, told me that no, she and her husband WERE going to Florida, since they had the tickets set and a friend's house to stay at. I don't blame her AT ALL, but I did get my hopes up, though my sister Laural had warned me not to (of course couples want to be together for NYE). Sigh. Another new year sans partner. Sometimes I think it really is utterly hopeless. I will spend First Night with D. and her husband and maybe a friend of hers, who is single and sounds nice, and I'll manage to fill New Years Day and the following one with video watching, working out (though no yoga :-(, sigh), and reading and writing, but it would have been far more fun to have a friend with me. It does suck to be single over the holidays. The other thing I wanted to note is how much I've been binge eating lately. I can't quite understand why. I am working out as much or more than ever, so the damage isn't as bad as it could be, but it's bad enough, and I have to watch it. It's been Tostitos, Goldfish Crackers, and lower-fat chips, but why?! I am fairly busy. What's up with this? The cold? (And it hasn't been as bad lately.) Just the general sadness I feel this time of year? Deprivation? I don't know, and it worries me. I feel like an alcoholic or other dependent personality at such times, as if it's something I can't control. Of course I can--just don't bring the stuff into the house! I've gotten better with spending in general, but eating; lord, that will be a life-long problem. I know if I ate less, I'd look good, b/c of the exercise. Dammit, stop taunting me, junk food!
Today, I am off to see my sister in Western Mass and my three local nieces today for lunch at Bugaboo Creek and then hanging out at my mother's for the afternoon. That should be nice. Tomorrow, I will eat lunch and dessert with D. and then see Brokeback Creek (excited to see it) with my book club friends (there are now four active members, including me, and I like the other three a lot; the new members didn't really work out, so Angela will have to invite more people, including some men, I hope! ;-)). Friday, I will see either my friend K. or my parents in Boston, and then of course it's NYE. I enjoy First Night, especially when I get to do it with friends. Oh, annd one more thing before I sign off. I read two packets, 10 plays each, for the Boston Theatre Marathon. The first packet had a surprising number of strong plays, which was both encouraging and a bit discouraging (the more good plays, the less chance one of mine or D.'s will be chosen; yes, it's all about us ;-)). Then I opened packet two, and wow, nearly ever play was horrible! I even gave one play a 1 and two others a 2 (meaning dreadful). They were pretentious, precious, and nearly unreadable. Any time a play has "existential" in the title or has characters named "man" and "woman" or two parts of a heart (seriously, left and right ventrical), run as fast as you can! One play was even written in the style of a Roman piece, but with Biblical references! Why oh why would someone do that?! Do you think you can top the Romans? I think not. I am pre-disposed to naturalistic plays, no question, but I try to be openminded. Still, these plays tested my patience, and with one exception (and of course it was modern), there were none I could recommend. I guess that was a bit of a relief, and of course it's always helpful to see what others are writing, not only to get ideas but to see what works and what doesn't. I think the chances of my plays being taken are slim to none--it's a very competitive festival--but even to be a semi-finalist would be an honor. And yes, I know, stop thinking about it, right now! D. and I can compare plays tomorrow when I see her. Meanwhile, someone, like my plays and offer me a spot in your festival! I won't disappoint! :-)