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Abandon every hope...
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in thedouglas' LiveJournal:

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Monday, January 20th, 2014
12:40 am
Low night

It's interesting how a nice morning can turn into a crap evening because of one incident.

WARNING: the following is a self-pitying, superficial wallowing of the kind I detest. Skip it. It's just to get it out of my system. This doesn't apply to every situation or every one, but right now all I can see is this forest and the few wonderful trees...don't feel like enough.

I am sitting on the couch thinking about all the crap that has happened recently and feeling powerless. Worthless. I hear people say that success is all about hard work and if you don't succeed it is because you were lazy. Guess I am just lazy. Thanks, Cleveland. Perhaps staying was a bad idea.

I'm always seen here as something other than what is needed. I am never the first thought. I am always third on the list. An afterthought. Projects are never chosen with me in mind. I am the one who gets approached after the first choices turn it down.

I'm rarely seen as an actor despite the times I have garnered good reviews and surprised people who had forgotten I exist. Yeah, it takes me a while to memorize and dance choreography is a chore, but once those get in the thick skull the scene work is usually pretty good.

I'm not seen as a director even though I have done a decent job when I get a project. Perhaps not a theatrical WOW but usually a pretty solid show with grounded acting choices and many layers. Didn't do a bad decade as artistic director of the Shakes Fest, on a shoestring budget and little or no real support structure.

I'm not seen as a playwright. Despite having some works published and my readings get good feedback... I know I need to send the scripts out to theaters, but why is it so hard in my own city?

Fight choreographer? Only when a director realizes they forgot to get someone.

At best I am see as a signer. Thank goodness that I have a job now that sees the years of work I have put into this language. If only Signstage was still a professional company. That would have been a great home to grow. Now I teach and am trying to find ways to get ASL and theatre to mix. It will happen, theatre after ASL, of course.

But as for my place in Cleveland theatre... I guess I'm ready to do that role in CHICAGO now. "Mr. Cellophane shoulda been my name...."

Posted via LiveJournal.app.



Current Mood: Depressed
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
9:02 pm

So I tried a 4 day hike on the AT and it happened to coincide with a bloody heat wave!

The plan:
Drive from Cleveland to Delaware Water Gap, PA and get a shuttle 40 miles north to Culvers Gap, NJ. Then hike back over the next four days.

Monday morning, 8am I met the shuttle... Edge of the Woods Outfitters- AWESOME couple who runs the place!!!!- and away I go.

An hour later I climb the ridge in the wrong direction! By the time I reach the summit it is 91 degrees and 43% humidity. I reverse direction and meet the southward ridge! It's all rocks and climbing in either direction.

I managed a total of 6 miles with my 30+ pound pack. Dumb dumb dumb. I camp at the top of Mt. Rattlesnake (aaaahhhhh!!!!) and a thunderstorm blows over!!!!

Woke up and found a trail straight down the mountain! By the time I got to the bottom I had hiked through a swamp and a derelict scout camp, and was a couple miles from Stillwater, NJ. A state trooper kindly pointed me to a deli with air conditioning. The temperature was 93 with 66% humidity!

I can't believe I made it. I am sore. My calves refuse to do anything, and my back is in real awful pain.

Had it been cooler (May or October) it would have been amazing. But in mid- July?!

I am no longer the 18 year old Eagle Scout I was....

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008
1:36 pm
Been so long...

Why has blogging lost its appeal for me?

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Monday, September 10th, 2007
5:49 am
did you ever just want it over?
is it so wrong to want happiness?

after all the aching and the tears, all the lonliness,
the empty nights and the near misses,
the moments of sweet possibility and the hot flares of passion,
why is it that nothing is better and nothing is worse than hope?

the fictions we see about romance found
especially on a long night of insomnia
just make it all worse

to realize that you have to be awake in less than two hours
to go to a job you cant stand, where you dread every time they ask you to do the thing you are paid to do because all you ant to do is what is in your heart
and you want to be sure, absofuckinglutely sure that you are doing things for the right reasons
not for a quick fuck, or a kiss, or a moment of sweetness
but for that something deep inside that fulfills beyond all other possibilities?
and still i doubt what i want.
god damn it i see so much unhappiness
i say the stupidest things
i stay true to my soul an sense of honor but everything
every fucking thing seems to peel away of its own accord
or else i tear it away like an old sunburn
and i am left with the red raw humiliation of knowing that i still cant seem to hit the mark.
i have come so close on a handful of occasions
i know i have passed up on people with whom i could have had a very nice life
happiness, laughter, company, children, warmth, passion, stimulating conversation through the night, lust, lightness, travel, old age, and touching moments
a list of names that make me weep for the chances i pissed away or ignorantly tossed aside or downright dashed to bits or unthinkingly hurt beyond all recompense.
in so many instances i have thought there must be more than this
and in every instance i thought he deficit was in the other person
or somewhere in the atlantic between out new world and our old
and lately, oh so very lately i have come to the horrid realization that the lack is in me.
me.
me.
there is something missing in the deepest recesses of my heart that will not let me get close to anyone. it is a fear, borne of some deep lesson i learned that everyone, no matter who they are or how close they are or how much you love them or they love you... will fail you.
parents leave, or judge, or get divorced, or set double standards, friends laugh at you, trick you, steal the one you have a crush on, steal your things, break your things, tell lies, tell the truth when you want it secret, girlfriends toss you aside for boys with cars, or people with something you dont have, lovers grow disinterested, look elsewhere, sometimes nicely and want to stay friends, and other times they heartlessly eat breakfast with your replacement as you carry your stuff out of the apartment. people give you back your diamond ring, people send you back the cd you gave them, people tell everyone they can about the way you were a joke or make up stories to explain why it was the best idea to get away from you. the list is endless. a list of endless cruelties.

and the realization that we perpetrate as often as we receive
and start to retaliate, a preemptive strike of presidential proportions
punctuated by pointed alliteration and plosive poetics
shows that we are all "hoist with our own petard."

but it hit me early
and now i know
i can see it
rather clearly

i learned a lesson of abandonment somewhere in the dark recesses of my childhood
that it was me
i was what didnt work
and, no matter how many times they told me that it wasnt me, i know it was
no matter how many times i have seen taht it wasnt working for them
i sill believe it was me

i am imperfect, and i cauused the pain and i was the reason they
stopped being.

on the eve of my fortieth birthday, forty years of trying to find that missing piece
looking in the eyes of every person i see
every person
in the car i just passed, that pedestrian, that face on the screen
all the while knowing that it was a fool's quest
because the problem is inside.
every fuck up has been a confirmation, every line flub or math error,
every failed audition or unwritten letter,
every love i have failed to make work

they were all my fault.

and that is my deep fear.
what i am trying to overcome
why i am working so hard to dig myself out of that hole
pay off my debts, and free my burdens
have nothing owed to anyone or any company
and have freedom at last to stand in front of the mirror
and see my own face
and have that dialogue about what the next step is.
and i know what his two choices are
either step forward or step out.
and i dont want the second, but one cant live without truly facing one's own mortality
and the darkness that dwell inside
that frightened beast that would rather disappear than take the chance of getting hurt again.
because hurt is a choice
we make
and then internalize.

its 545am
i should be sleeping
instead i am sitting at my keyboard
crying silently looking around my apartment
perpetually "in process"
which represents my life, my mind, my soul

soon i will reach a point where the questions ar as simple as
yes or no?

fuck hamlet.

Current Mood: numb
Saturday, September 1st, 2007
12:28 am
that he were here to write me down...
art has the amazing, singular quality to reveal pieces of self that are unwanted--

music can stir emotions we don't even realize are beneath the placid surface,

paintings can resonate in our psyches and give us glimpses of ourdesires and fears,

writing can speak the words in our heads that we cannot give voice to,

and theatre can show us to be assholes.


neil labute seems to be the reigning king with the theatrical mirror and scalpel

i just saw a play that revealed that i am truly an asshole
one of those plays where you are shown a path of destruction and in it you see your own handiwork
well, not mine, personally, but close in so many respects that i am a bit numb inside
the writer, the director, the characters, and the actors stuck the voodoo pins unwittingly into my body

the theatre starts by applying free alcohol, a nice glass of pinot noir in the lobby (plastic solo cup)
i had hoped to have a friend come with me, but no one was free
(to be honest i didnt try hard to find anyone, asking mainly people who wouldnt or couldnt come)
so i was there alone, knowing i would see a play at this theatre that challenges the soul.

five women and one man in the cast and two men at the helm of the theatre
the theatre itself is the flip side of the coin of my dream
i want to run a classically based theatre that is daring and challenging
that makes people think and discuss and argue on the way home, and from then on through life
the difference is that in two years they are doing it with modern edgy works, and i have failed to do that with the classics in ten.
so add a liberal dash of jealousy and respect to the broth of tonight's stew

now the director is one of those intense artists who stirs the soul.
pisses me off, because he is what i always have wanted to be
driven, sensual, sexy, articulate, earthy, foul-mouthed, grungy, etc.

the actor in the single, central male role played my little brother in a play seven years ago
a play where i was dumped and kicked out of my apartment via phone call during a tech rehearsal
so there is always an association by him of a really painful time in my life
but he's still cool, and i like him and his work.

the actresses are a mixed bag
one, whom i have never met or seen, is more a singer than actress
and she clumsily played at a character similar to th ewoman who did the dumping and kicking out seven years ago
her clumsiness helped me stomach the similarity, had she truly embodied the memory i might have run away.

the second is a strong young actress on whom i had a huge crush fifteen years ago
yes that is correct, she was a KID then and i could see what she would grow up into and i thought about a ton of "if only" and "maybe with a time machine," and "why cant she have an older sister," and " maybe when she is legal she will have a crush on me", etc (did i use that right?) and she was playing a dumped (abandoned) girlfriend of the guy and she was great.
she has grown into the woman i always knew she would. gorgeous, intelligent, and she has a passion and sensuality that any man (person) would kill to have in a lover.
and, worse, she revealed to me this summer that at some point in the past she HAD in fact had a crush on me
and yet never said anything. wow that revelation hit me like a punch in the gut. but i kept on smiling and thanked her for the compliment, probably alluding to the fact that it revealed bad taste in men and a good sense of discretion. 
add to that the fact that her current boyfriend, i think, is her director. damn and blast they are perfect for each other! add a bit more green-eyed potatoes, please.

ironically the third actress (not in order of appearance, but in a joycean chronology of theme) i had just directed in a show
she was a fiery shrew, and her fierceness came from the smoldering sexuality of a woman who is more attractive than she perceives herself. and sadly there are people who cannot see it either. so in my head, as i am trying to sculpt the desire between her and her rival/lover, i had to look at that aspect of her and cultivate it. and i could recognize it and enjoy that flame.
every director has some amount of love for his actors, on every level. so, add the essence of the figmet of sexual tension that only i can taste.
she played the younger sister of the guy's friend. the main guy kissed her on her 12th birthday and sparked the fire of her sexual drive at an age too early for her to handle. hmmm, so glad i never gave actress #2 a kiss way back then, given the result and its violent mood swings.
in each of these caes the guy followed his heart/gut and ended the relationships and has returned to mend fences, hoping he has not caused much lasting pain.
he has. he did. all pain lasts, i think.

the fourth actress was an acquaintance. she read a part in a reading of a screenplay i wrote. also in the cast was a guy she was dating. she is very attractive and talented. she is so different from anyone i have ever dated, blonde to begin with, which i think is single digit territory for me. and most importantly, after meeting her knowing that there is no way in hell she would ever look at me twice or have any interest in either dating or doing anything remotely intimate with me. 
humbling, but sour grapes make one's daily wine.
her character is the one who wants revenge. nice, simple, in-kind revenge. she was cold and driven, and pushed the guy well, although i think the director didnt really tap the vein of the effect of her revenge. i think she gets what she wants, but it didnt happen in this production.

and the last actress i directed. months later i dated her briefly. and there was something there. something really cool.
and right after those few dates was my trip to los angeles that changed me. it started to cut the roots which were my foundation.
i came home broke and rudderless. the three things i had were (1) debts beginning to take on legal ramifications, (2) a skill i could exploit in the business world to make money, if i would swallow my pride and pursue the work, (3) and a woman across the internet/phone for whom i had carried a torch for 20 years. everything else in cleveland was nebulous
and i didnt go out with her again. i dont know if it was mutual. i threw myself into my work and started paying off my debts and using the unintimate phone/internet to explore my feelings for this past person that i DID hurt, of so badly, two decades ago.
i had a dept to repay to her. i know i was unfair, and she gave me a chance to heal some of those wounds.

so, tonight i saw this actress, this person i felt a spark with briefly and then dropped away from and she was onstage as the pissed, off, grudge carrying ex-girlfriend who got dumped and never got past that anger/humiliation. and i wondered... do i deserve that too? from her, from others? from how many?

i think about how many friends have done people wrong inadvertantly, purposefully, cheated once, or over long periods.
they always want to reveal the truth. come clean and tell their loved one everything.
and i always think that they should not. i know that "honesty is the best policy" but guess what?
i truly believe that these people dont want honesty. if they did they would not have lied in the first place. and how long before they lie again?
do they truly expect forgiveness? it would take years to rebuild any trust after a betrayal like that.
if you have the agreement of monogamy and fidelity, and you break that... thats a big fuck up.
if, however you have an open relationship where sex is sex and love is love, then you still have to be careful, because the nerves of the genitalia route themselves pretty deeply through the heart.
if you fucked up, and you know the truth will hurt someone you love... scratch that, SOMEONE WHO LOVES AND TRUSTS YOU shut the fuck up! keep it to yourself!
afraid it will eat at your soul like acid? good, guess what? you deserve a little pain. maybe it will be a constant reminder to honor your loved one and the promises you made. 
think about it from their point of view... do they deserve the pain of forever wondering if you are telling the truth. was it really a business trip? are you spending cash the way you said? am i truly loved?
a lifetime of wondering is more painful than i can imagine. they have every right to say, right away or at any time, its over. get out. i never want to see you again.

perhaps this is why i have remained single. perhaps i fear, deep down, that i might fail somoeone i care about or that someone i care about will do the same to me. and so i seek the perfect one. the one who wont do that, or let it happen to hr.

i know that i am not worthy of a perfect love because i am nowhere near perfection myself.

"Hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. " Hamlet

Current Mood: cold
Thursday, July 26th, 2007
10:38 am
been 17 weeks, i see...
well, if LJ says its been 17 weeks, then who am i to question that?
its been busy time for me, and while i feel that i have been busy
i still get the sense that i have not accomplished very much.

well, looking at the actual accomplishments for the year its not bad
lets see:
1- wrote one full play
2- adapted a movie into a first draft of a musical
3- rewrote the first half of that and submitted it to the music goddess for her to start on
4- directed a shakespeare show
5- produced that and another in rep as well as producing two smaller shows at the medieval faire
6- wrote a grant report for last summer and an application for this year which increased our funding by 33%
7- interpreted my butt off and managed to pay off two of my three credit cards, and get back on track with the third
8- working on getting my school loans out of default and paid off
9- paid off random bills that have been in collection, some for years
10- wrote a screenplay for a historical action film
11- lost EVERYTHING on my hard drive in november!
12- started rewriting the historical screenplay
13- revised a screenplay about a theatre company
14- started a novel and two short stories
15- spent months at mom's bedside when she was in the hospital and then nursing home recovering from a horrible staph infection
16- helped mom start to get her house ready to sell
17- repaid 10% of the car loan from my aunt
18- got my own health/dental/life insurance (equity health care is too ridiculous to maintain)
19- acted in beauty and the beast for the second year in a row
20- sang 'be our guest' another million or so times
21- had the single worst audition ever
22- preparing the full play for its first (partial) reading
23- preparing the abridgements of shakespeare for publication
24- watched the first season of 24
25- watched all of Smallville (so far)
26- watched all of The 4400 (so far)
27- watched all of Slings & Arrows (so far)
28- watched all of Billable Hours (Season 1)
29- didnt think about my ex-fiancee once (darn, just blew that one)
30- wrote a stupid list of accomplishments!


how is that for lame, hahahahahahahaha
(dont give me that LOL stuff)

there is more, i am sure, but its taxing me to think about this at worki actually have also been able to have a social life, albeit a strange, sporadic one. reconnected with a few dear friends, made a few new ones

all in all , a pretty good year

(what the good year, my lord?)



Current Mood: chipper
Saturday, March 24th, 2007
5:32 pm
so many thoughts...
what is it with inspiration?
when i have plenty of time the muses are nowhere to be found.
but overwhelm me with work and deadlines and family crises and the ideas flow like something that overflows copiously from some mysterious source!

i finished the script to a stage play and need to set up a reading to know if its worth sending around,
i finished the first half of the book & lyrics to a stage musical adaptation of one of my favorite camp, low-budget, cheesy scifi comedy films,
i am almost finished with the screenplay i have been tooling around with for the last few years,
i still want to rewrite the hitorical/action screenplay that i lost (but probably as a novel this time)
and last night my brain started on fire with the idea of a pair of novels about elves and humans in the modern world, an adventure romance.

ummm, life? can i please get the work done that i have to, first? please?
or at least drop a large sack of cash that i can use so i dont have to terp anymore and can focus on this art????

is that too much to ask?

Current Mood: artistic
Monday, January 8th, 2007
12:51 am
religions, shmeligions...
so why is everyone so needy? why do we, as a species, so desperately cling to the idea that we are superior to someone else? why can't we just be content to 'be'?

does it really matter if you look across the table, street, yard, state, country, continent, ocean, or even galaxy and see someone/something that appears better than you? is it ever anything other than an illusion?

good, better, best
never let it rest
till your good is better
and your better's better best!

it was a nice idea as a kid, but what exactly does it mean? that we should all keep improving? sure. but it never really explains how we are supposed to measure these improvements. we are left to decide for ourselves, and that is the real quandry.

we humans suck at making decisions.

and don't give me any crap that 'you' are any different than anyone else. if 'you' are able to make decisions easily then you have bought into the delusion that what you think matters in the grand scheme, and that you have all the facts, and that you must be right because you made a decision.

well give a kewpie doll to the freckled kid with the cowlick and now scram, you bother me! and wipe that brown stuff off your nose. its been there so long its dried up and i have a sandwich here to eat.

look, its simple:
a human is insecure by nature.
we live in packs, but want to be independent.
we desperately crave reassurance-
       -that we are attractive (to someone/anyone)
       -that we are smart (and capable)
       -that we have value
       -that we are likeable
       -etc. you know what i am talking about.

but that desire can get out of whack when we obsess about those things. when we NEED to be attractive, intelligent, likeable, organized, talented, etc. and we are still without an internal measuring stick to tell us how we are doing. all we can do is compare ourselves to others. others who are different, with different strengths and weaknesses. who, while appearing to be the same, are actually quite different.

and the one big problem is
'competition'.

now, dont get me wrong. there are times where competition can drive someone to improve themselves, and it can be fun to compete. but its become the central driving force of mankind. everything, and i mean everything, is judged by competition.

i grew up in buffalo... anyone follow that little game called the superbowl? how many times did buffalo lose the superbowl- meaning they were the second best team in the NFL?  and yet they lost the game... which made them losers. how does that work? i dont follow sports,  and i was in cleveland at the time, where i heard all about how lame the bills were. the cleveland fans did not appreciate my pointing out that the bills had a better record than the browns.

now lets look at the facts about sports... players, fans, and owners:
-the average fan either "used " to play or "dreamed" of playing but now can only watch other people and imagine themselves in the thick of the game,
-the average player has spent more time developing his physique, reflexes, and game-rage than his intellect or interpersonal skills,
-the average owner cares little for the game, the players, or the fans, and only for the profit margin of the team (and every tiny aspect of that business venture.)

now, calm down, smokey. none of these are meant as insults, they are pretty much just the facts. maybe you know a guy named steve who breaks these little rules, but the majority holds pretty solid.

let me ask you this: why does anyone care? we've been told over and over again that its the most exciting thing on television. we see minor celebrities and players (past their prime) explaining how deep and intense and complicated the on-field decisions are-- comparing them to Caesar's little run-in with the Gauls. they all have a 3-d view of a 2-d game. there is very little depth perception afforded on the playing field, and only the time to blink to make a snap decision as to running or throwing and to whom.

football's a nice way to burn off thanksgiving calories in the front lawn. but the game has grown into a mockery of itself and the love of "play". what was a thrill to those young boys has become a political pecking order to earn more than any other person.

an ex-fiancee (there has only been one, so shush) tried to convince me that professional sportsmen played for the love of the game, not the money and fame and that they were actually much smarter than we think they are... yada yada. i countered that if any of them were truly smart they would have figured out a way to get a BA in Football, so that the million annual 'scholarships' actually weren't actually misnomers.

so, yet again, we all get convinced that the profits of a minority are worth the efforts and passions of the vast majority. we believe this because we are told exactly that. we spend money to cheer for a team to win because we think that will make us better people, because we backed the winning team. however, the team is trying to win because it will increase their salaries. slight difference, yes, but enough to throw the bets off on all sides.

the bottom line is who wins, not who plays well, not who improves. only who takes home the trophies and rings.

bill o'reilly challenged david letterman in an interview (their second, heated debate) -- for a transcript: (http://farleft.blogspot.com/2006/10/david-letterman-v-bill-oreilly-part-ii.html)
 
O'Reilly: ... Do you want the Untied States to win in Iraq?

Letterman: First of all, I don't -

O'Reilly: It's an easy question, If you don't want the United States to win -

Letterman: It's not easy for me because I'm thoughtful.

throughout the interview, O'Reilly doesn't contest the fact that its about oil, that innocent people are dead, that the president went in with erroneous "intelligence", or that the policies were inadequate. all he cares about is if the US will win.

WE always have to beat THEM, no matter who THEM is ('they are' for grammarians). keep that in mind.

I quit little league baseball because Mr. C. would yell at his players if they made mistakes that cost them runs or, god forbid, the game. i had more important things to think about... like if Cheryl L. liked me and would let me kiss her at the next birthday party. and he wasnt even my coach (Mr C, not Cheryl).

Fundamentalist Islamists are no worse than Fundamentalist Christians. They are rabid in their views that 'they are chosen by god* to fix the world. their rules are the only ones that count.' that accounts for about 10% of the world's population (don't ask me for statistics... i am an artist.) the other 80% of us would rather sit down to a great pot luck dinner of kebabs, pizza, sushi, samosas, and falafel. (with fava beans and a nice chianti.)

bottom line is:

WE don't care about winning a war.

WE don't care about beating THEM.

WE want to be safe and live next door to THEM.

WE want our kids to play nice with THEM.

THEY want the same things and WE do.

Its the 'OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAIN' people that keep screwing this all up.

Hussein, Hitler, Kim Jung, Castro, Stalin, Khaddafi, the Bushes (the shrewd one and the dumb one) and even the Pope (sorry mom) all have agendas for making THEMSELVES and their posses more powerful.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs dont do the dirty work.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs dont die on the battlefield.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs don't honor the embargos
(cigar, anyone?)

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs don't get laid off without huge severance packages.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs never lose their health care.

OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs even meet with enemy OH-NO-NOT-THEM-AGAINs all the time to plan their strategies on how to fight each other.

WE sacrifice, die, pay, hurt, cry, pray, work, atone, grieve, lament, bicker, and try to find some solace in stupid things like Tom Cruise movies, Britney Spears' underwear status, and Dennis Rodman's court stats because those things are the grass in the pasture that we have in front of us.

WE, the sheep, eat grass so we don't have to look at the ranchers who profit from the mutton.


It is time we look up at what we have become and take some control back.

*ps I put god as lower-case, because i have yet to be compelled to see it as much more than a concept, a belief. and those are objects, not entities. if you believe differently, i respect that. picture it, in your own mind, as capitalized.


Current Mood: anxious
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007
2:11 pm
a new year...
so its 2007

should i be more excited about that? i am booked to work most of the month interpreting. will be able to get ahead on bills... sweet.

was asked about a possible role in EQUUS this weekend, but i think with only a month to get into a shape that can be hairless and clothless onstage might be a stretch... beyond the fact that my "fish-belly white skin would be a hazard to retinas everywhere...

i saw a good dvd over the holidays and saw a guy i worked with five years ago... he was really bad then and is really not very different now. the difference is that he is eighth in the credits of a film that is making the buzz everywhere. how does that work? we was himself and he gets nice money while i work my patoot off trying to become other characters and i find myself everyday putting on greasepaint to resemble Prince George and strap a candle to my head.

i must have really fucked people up in a past life.

lets look back on more of the moments from 2006, shall we?
why the hell am i asking you? you are reading and are only a click away from something really entertaining, like porn. but still i am trying desperately to make this a dialogue so i dont feel like i am completely lame. i am sitting at work waiting to be made useful. its a living.

hell, what is there to look back on 2006? who cares? read my old blogs if you wanna know. hmmm... thats's an idea....

Current Mood: calm
Thursday, December 14th, 2006
7:09 pm
rules... schmules...

my friend tzeitel posted this in her LJ blog and she was quit upset by the sexist list that follows. (not that she swears, but her liberal use of CAPITALS really shocked my delicate sensibility.)


Here are the rules as they are posted
(with my comments after):
0. But... there are exceptions to these rules, if she REALLY wants to do something... you have to let her. See rule 32.

1. Open doors, whether it be to a building or a car, that's just a given.
   
(can't we just apply this to everyone? open doors for any person.)

2. When in a place of worship (or other places that have aisles and pews), if a man is at the end of the pew, when exiting he should stand in the aisle and let all the females go before him.
    (oh christ that's dumb. just get up and hold the freaking church door open for them.)

3. A man should tolerate the occassional chick flick (or musical, or opera, or ballet.. whatever her preference is) *without* bitching about it!
(let's just all expand our filmic horizons. stallone and pacino can really suck, and sometimes we all could use a good cry. guys, learn to love a film like TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY and most of us should realize that the best action films DONT make the women look like helpless morons-michelle yeoh in that Bond flick!!!!)

4. Play one of the songs that would make any woman weep like the little girl she once was (but in a good way). A brief list includes, but certainly isn't limited to: "You & Me" Lifehouse, anything by Frank Sinatra, any rendition of "Everything I Do, I Do it for You", "Collide" by Howie Day, "Out of my League" Steven Speaks, and MOST IMPORTANTLY "Question" by the Old 97's (if you propose to a girl with this song, she is putty in your hands).
(oh give me a freaking break. sob songs? that wins a woman's heart? {the sound of me vomitting} like with the film limitations of morons... start to appreciate the talent in all styles of music. except maybe britney spears and justin timberlake, they just suck. but getting to like country, rap, opera, and jazz takes very little effort and actually there are a great amount of talent in every )

5. Talk! The strong & silent bit goes from intriguing to boring quite fast.
(good point. you have to talk, but by talk you also have to talk honestly. i am sick of one friend who constantly complains that her boyfriend doesn't say anything, while she, herself, rarely tells him the whole truth about anything. so start talking you kids, and tell the truth! as Twain said 'you don't have to remember as much.")

6. Find out what her favorite flower is & buy them for her randomly (or if you're in the doghouse...). Good rule of thumb: a single rose says more than dozens of anything else. 
(yeah, flowers are nice, but plants are better. lets give a person a gift... a symbol of our undying love... and make sure the thing only lives for a few days. and, no matter what your football coach told you, gifts don't get you out of the doghouse. not being a dog is the only way to avoid that! give gifts when you think of the person. let them know you think of them, that means a lot to everyone.)

7. If you miss her, or love her, TELL HER! Even your friends like to hear it every now & again. 
(see above. if you are thinking about someone... tell them.)

8. Re-enact Zales commercials (the ice is nice but certainly not mandatory).
(trying to buy your way out of the doghouse again? bad move. each time you will need to add an ice cube.)

9. Remember: the best gifts you can give are usually free of cost.
(and if free doesn't make them happy, then chances are you are screwed. get out before the bills start to pile up.)

10. Leave a note (or send a message) just to say "hi".
(could we say it ONE MORE TIME??? jeez, the horse is dead, stop beating it with a fine tooth comb.)

11. Ask her questions about herself.
(gee, did anyone really need to be told that? i guess some people need to be told that football is not interesting to everyone. and American Idol and Loius Vuitton can kiss my ass, too.)

12. Dress nice every once & a while. Any girl likes to see her brother/friend/boyfriend/etc. in a well-ironed button up with some nice slacks.
(oh, why not.)

13. PRIDE & PREJUDICE ...that's all I have to say about that (I mean, that should speak for itself).
(everyone remembers the first line

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

But how many people remember the second sentence?

"However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters."

so how do you feel about possession?)

14. Tolerate small children as best you can. Meaning, put up with the things that can get annoying. They're children after all. Show them love and care, teach them how to become a better man than you.
(tolerate? kids are cool. they see the world untainted, and they are just plain fun. are they possibly be more annoying than adults?)

15. Learn to dance! There is nothing sexier than a man that can dance really well. If God did not bless you with the grace of Fred Astaire, at least put forth the effort, it will be greatly appreciated. Always slow dance (even if its just like you danced in middle school). Also, men, sing to a lady. Even in you're terrible, suck it up! They love to listen to it and will not care what you sound like. It's the thought that counts on this one. Unless you're just downright terrible, nothing sexy about that. haha, thanks Jade!
(isnt it more to the point to try... whatever it is that your partner wants. and sometimes to surprise them. dancing, yes, singing, sure why not? i had a girlfriend who wanted to try racing cars, sure why not? experiencing different cultures and foods is great. but thats just a good lifge lesson in general.)

16. Kiss her on the forehead.
(ummm, okay. i think there are important places that kisses can be placed. guys, you need to love that. not tolerate, not begrudgingly pay some attention to get to better things... LOVE it!!!!! pray at the altar, speak in tongues, make her kick you in the head to stop. and, of course, kiss every inch of her skin to find the places where she is sensitive- inner elbow, back of knee, eyebrow... simple attention is good. as Linda Loman said, "Attention must be paid.")

17. When she's sick, stay up with her. If you can cook (which is *always* a plus), make her some soup. If you can't cook, there's Campbell's soup at hand for you.
(well, duh, again. isnt that good for any friend to do. nurse them, hold their hair when they vomit, be willing to take on the most disgusting tasks to help them through it. its so romantic to both throw up together.)

18. Pretend to throw her in the pool (or fountain/pond). She'll fight you, but secretly she loves it. If you really do throw her in, you better jump in yourself.
(wow. now that's love. i also recommend pulling her pig tails, too, or dipping them in the inkwell. i think the key is to be playful, full of play. but dont be a dick. if you are much bigger than her, dont throw your weight around. and dont try to push her into the fountain in the wrong place or at the wrong time. childlike play and sage wisdom hand in hand. putting a red rubber nose on her grandfather as he lies in the casket might not be the best move... unless you are in MY family. and always be willing to take the fall, whether its for yourself or to save her.)

19. Hold her hand while you talk, drive, or just for the heck of it (it's the small things that win you big points).
(don't that just feel so darn good anyway?)

20. LOOK IN HER EYES, NOT AT HER CHEST!!!!!
(most of the time, yes. but when she has taken the time and put in the effort to look wonderful... i think she would appreciate catching you admiring her. i think this applies to getting her to date you in the first place, right?)

21. Stupid jokes= awkwardly adorable moments.
(WTF does this mean??? depends on the joke. know when to use a bad pun, when to use a suggestive reference, and when to show you are bold enough to risk offense.)

22. Tickle her, tease her, let her tease you back with out getting all bent out of shape about it
(yeah, no shit. dont get bent out of shape about anything. upset, angry, hurt, fine... but 'bent out of shape' implies that its out of proportion. keep all in moderation.)

23. Don't call her hot, or pretty, or cute, call her beautiful because that's what she is.
(jeez, lets limit our language why dont we? its bad enough we only have one word for 'love'. like, adore, respect, lust... we are so limited by english. see her, and see what she looks like. how does she want to be seen, and say it. if she looks stunning, tell her that. if she looks hot, tell her so. if beautiful is the right word... say it. just make sure you are honest and appropriate to the situation. "yes, Mrs tucker, I think your daughter looks wonderful in that dress. in fact, i think she looks pretty hot. i mean, look at the cans on that!" yeah, not really a good choice.)

24. Offer her your jacket/sweatshirt. (Note: you may not see that particular item of clothing for a while, if ever again).
(but doesnt she just make that piece of clothing look so much better? i have lost a teddy bear... how can i get that back? she can keep my UR sweatshirt. oh, and let her wear your tux shirt... trust me.)

25. Don't be too proud to apologize.
(duh... life lessons.)

26. It's not stalking to watch her sleep if you fall asleep watching a movie. It is stalking to watch her sleep if you're standing outside her window with night vision goggles.
(what? )

27. When she feels at her worst, tell her she looks her best.
(so where is that fine line between telling someone you love that you truly love them for who they are, and thus find them beautiful, and flat-out lying to them? even if someone looks like shit, you still can see the beauty in them. look for it, dont just lie and say they look beautiful. they can see through your bullshit. see the vulnerability and embrace it. anyone will appreciate that.)

28. If you're trying to get more than friendship out of the relationship, take it slow.
(and if you are only out to get laid, just walk away. wow that makes a lot of sense. if you want friendship, be a friend. if you want more be a friend, and be open for it to develop into more. it might, it might not. but you both have to feel that spark for it to become more. now  question for the gals reading this: why the hell is it that 90% of you don't ever consider the "nice" guys in your life sexy? they are always there, they are always dependable, and they think of you first. why is it that you only are interested in the guys who treat you like shit and will be unfaithful?-- guys, you need to answer the male version of this yourself .-- being a 'nice guy' all my life means watching so many attractive friends hook up with hot guys who fuck them over again and again and again. and the times when these ladies do decide to give a 'nice guy' a chance, they find that they make great boyfriends and lovers. "wow, someone who actually cares if i am satisfied!" dont accuse me of stereotypes... you know i am right. now... discuss.)

29. Because you're a guy doesn't mean you are completley incapable of calling when you say you will; it just means you are highly incapable of it. There are few acceptable answers to, "Why didn't you call?" & being male is not one of them.
(and what is the excuse when a woman doesnt call, or email, or text back? i have been guilty of letting three months go by before i called someone. it was awful, but hell, my mom WAS in the hospital, and I did go out of state for a theatre season, so i was busy. and i noticed that she never called me either. so why was it 100% my fault?)

30. Don't check out other girls in front of your girl friends/sisters/mother, unless you are sincere when you later ask them if you think she could introduce the two of you for more reason than you "want to get some". Pull this in front of your girlfriend/fiancee/wife, she has every right to clock you in the jaw.
(thats only if they have reason to think you might actually pursue that other woman. if they know that they can trust you you have no real reason not to notice another woman. if they know you are a dog and will jump whatever you can get away with they will be pissed. and you would deserve to get clocked. and she/they had better not comment on how hot george clooney or the bartender might be or i will blow the 'double standard' whistle and give them a yellow card.)

31. Guys- Always pay for the date. No matter how expensive it gets or how much money you DON'T have.
(what happened to equality? offer to pay, sure. if she wants to split it, don't force her not to. if she wants to treat you, be gracious. like opening the door, times have changed. if she wants a man from the 40s, give her your grandfather's phone number.)

32. Always do everything in your power to keep her as happy as you can. And cheer her up in any way possible.
(especially if she is a selfish, manipulative bitch. that way you can completely lose yourself in her psychoses. i will agree with the idea that they should be in your thoughts all the time, and making them happy should be a high priority. but make sure that it is reciprocated, and also make sure that the goals of happiness on both sides are not unrealistic. any woman who will only accept a diamond engagement ring that is a certain size or larger will only get worse. start making payments on the completely unnecessary Hummer she will want in a few years.)

33. When walking on the sidewalk, always walk on the outside near traffic.
(why, so that the horses don't hit her with their tails or the carriages don't splash mud on her? gimme a break.)

34. At least do everything in your power to keep cursing to a minimum while around her. If you can, cut it out period while around her, or cut it out of your vocabulary. Women don't want to hear it, guys don't care about it, adults don't want to hear it, it doesn't impress employers, and you sure won't want your children or someone elses to hear it!
(it's just fucking language, for christ's sake! whatever this cocksucker means by this absolute bullshit is beyond my motherfucking grasp. suit the language to the situation, or at least only swear 80% of what you think is appropriate. if the first time you meet her parents is sunday brunch and church, the chances are you didnt sleep with her that saturday night, and her family wont swear. time to look elsewhere if thats not for you.)

35. Sometimes you have to take the initiative. don't always wait for her to come to you, because if that's how it always is you're going to lose her.

(and, conversely, if you have to initiate everything then she will lose you. well, if you have any self-respect. then again, she might just be really too good in the sack for you to pass up. who knows? all i know is that Wendy's Vanilla Frosties are pretty good.)

36. If any lady is walking alone to her car in a dark parking lot/garage, or is carrying a heavy load, always offer to help walk her to her destination and carry things, if not the entire load. **This may work a lot better and come off non-stalkerish if you at least know the girl you're trying to help. haha Thanks to a LOT of people on this revision.

(and if a guy is in the same situation laugh at him or call him a pussy. because only women need help. here's a good time to hold doors for people, and then they might let you help carry things.)

37. If a woman says no, let that be her final answer. Do not pressure or force her in any way. Don't make her give in to something she doesn't want to do.
(and if she changes her mind when you back off, make her stick to her guns. "no" has to mean "no", not "later, just let me lead." we guys are too predictable and manipulated. if she says "no" then STOP. if you need to excuse yourself to the bathroom to cool off, do so. and ladies, if you think you dont want to... dont get in a position where it looks like you do. especially if alcohol is involved. if you are alone in a frat guy's room, it may already be too late. where did you go wrong? hmmm... you want attention, you are dressed to accent your curves, you have drunk everything anyone gave you, and Tommy here is pawing at you with no opposable thumbs. still want to be an adult and show your parents that you are responsible? you let things go too far and now he is wound up. if he doesnt stop when you tell him, you have to use pain. make it good, make it solid, then get the hell out of there. and then realize that the 'nice guy' whose shoulder you will be crying on later would have been a better choice to be alone with.  wow, that sounds kinda harsh on a re-read, but its truth. so suck it up. the name has been changed, but responsibility starts the moment you decide to do something, not when you decide that you have painted yourself into a corner.)

38. Always be honest with her. No woman wants or likes a dishonest man. If you can't be honest with her she can't trust you, and shows you don't trust her enough to be honest. Trust, honesty and intergrity are just as an integral part of a relationship and just as important as love.
(just be honest in general... hey who said tell her she is beautiful always, even when she is sick? honesty? as Mark Twain said, "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."

0. But... there are exceptions to these rules, if she REALLY wants to do something... you have to let her. See rule 32.

(so just turn belly-up and let her rule you. you will be much more content. trust me.)



Current Mood: exhausted
Sunday, October 22nd, 2006
11:49 pm
my blog's worth...
well, i am certainly a cheap online date...


My blog is worth $564.54.
How much is your blog worth?



well this is exciting.
Monday, October 2nd, 2006
11:56 pm
this god-awful mess in amish country...
a man exits his life, enters a school, and executes young girls.
he says he is making a statement,
retribution for 20 year-old injustices done to him

whats the use in blaming him? he ceased to be long before he entered that school. what kind of punishment could possibly approach justice?

i pity not only the children involved, their families, and his family, but also the children who now are even more afraid of the worl we have given them.

what kind of society are we where people make "statements" without communicating anything? hell, at least the 9/11 terrorists made a statement. they had a purpose. look at the growing number of events like this school shooting. lives have less and less value in even the most human situations.

the pursuit of wealth and power is all-consuming for so many
every dollar in someone's savings account is a dollar that cannot be used to feed a child somewhere.

as people starve they seek some solace in religion
and then are taught that anyone who will keep food from the mouths of anyone who is hungry must be some degree of evil.

they look across the sea and see the fattest humans on the planet, claiming to be christian souls, humane and benevolent, professing god's love, a belief in charity, and their messiah's lesson of "judge not" firmly in their collective dogma(s).

any wonder why they see the collective "us" (note the anagram) as evil?

evangelist christians are striving to purge our country (and then the world) of unbelievers, how exactly are they different from jihadists?

oh, right. well-fed, health insurance, and retirement plans.
silly me.

Current Mood: discontent
Wednesday, September 27th, 2006
4:46 pm
in defense of freedom...
think you are not under attack? not by terrorists, but by those who believe that their singular, narrow-minded religion should govern the whole world, not just its followers.

I am not homosexual.
I am not Islamic.
I am not Christian, though I was raised Catholic.

I am an American. I am an Ohioan.
I support everyone's desire to be religious, up until the point where they try to force me to follow their dogmas.
I believe in equality and I believe in freedom. There is no difference between attacking an abortion clinic and flying a plane into a skyscraper.

Let me be clear:
There is no difference between attacking an abortion clinic and flying a plane into a skyscraper.

Now, regardless whether you agree with me, I ask you to consider this...

If, and when, you become the minority, do you want to be persecuted? oppressed? disenfranchised?
Blacks, Hispanics, women, Native Americans, homosexuals, the disabled, the non-Christians, etc.might relate to the concept better than straight, white,  (former) Christians like myself.

I don't particularly care for the idea.

Please take a moment to watch this video. I found it informative, and it has scared the bejesus out of me. It answered many questions about the elections I face in the coming years.

Please, watch and spread the word about Equality Ohio's new video:

 http://eqfed.org/ct/Wd11KVK1CzOE/

 

If you have trouble viewing this video, please click here,
or copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://www.equalityohio.org/twovisions.htm



America is about freedom. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Equality for all, not equality for the majority.

You can insult me all you want. I will even defend your right to free speech. That is what the Founding Fathers fought for... however, despite their own religious preferences... they created a country where they emphasized the separation of church and state.

Let me be clear:
...The Separation of Church and State...

They did not want to form a religious state. They said so. Often. No, I won't waste my time and cite the sources, you read them all in middle school. You know they are there.

And the Bible is pretty clear on the point of judgement. Even the hippie (long hair, sandals, made wine and wore a dress) son of The deity said the Aramaic equivalent of, "Dude, back off. My dad will punish her, so put down the rock and chill out."

In any case, I hope you watch the video, and pass it on to others. No matter what you believe, you have a right to that, as long as you don't try to change the government to become your jihad-enabling tool.

Now, who wants to get on the soapbox next??? Fire away.


Current Mood: restless
4:45 pm
the start of number four-oh...
yesterday was the anniversary of my birth
its a warm night again in cleveland, well, lakewood
there is a drum circle in the next yard
i just watched crash
i havent left my apartment all day
cleaned, sorted, talked of the phone
made a big brunch
did a lot of thinking
where will i be when i meet the day next year?

where am i now?

i am an actor, a director, a fight choreographer, a writer, a sign interpreter, a teacher, and yet where am i right now?
sitting at my laptop while the world moves
people bond and spend time with friends and family
and i am here alone
tomorrow i start a new job, a new show
and yet its a stupidly short rehearsal period,
three weeks and tech.
and once that finishes i have a brief hiatus and then start the next show
even less rehearsal
ONE week and tech
why so short?
because even the people in cleveland dont think that we are worth paying for a full rehearsal period.
because we are professionals, we are expected to make the art happen no matter what.
with neither show do we have the time to make it exceptional.
it will be staged, blocked, rough around the edges,
and by closing it will just be starting to take a real shape.
they will spend a fortune on the set, and lights
but as for the actors...
only do the minimum.
fight for the cheapest contracts
and the fewest weeks you can
and try your best to get them to donate at least a rehearsal or two.
and they had better come in off book
or it means they must not be professional.

how are we supposed to improve the local theatre scene when we are being treated this way by both the producers and the unions?
why should audiences think we are worth anything when our own ranks dont even support us?

i have worked really hard in my 13 years here to make good theatre,
sacrificing so much more than i have
relationships, friendships, work, family, sanity
everything that could be put in second place has
for theatre.
and i am here with nothing tangible
but debt, and frustration, and disappointment
and the anger that keeps building.
we americans think that a person must have one specialty
they can't have skill in more than one thing. anyone we meet or work with
that excels in more than one specific area
is overlooked for all.
director and actor?
wont be the first choice for either.

13 years of being overlooked is getting to me
took over a theatre with one of my best friends
and had to fight for the most common sense results
why do we americans have to be so competitive?
we do not respect education or experience
we only respect winning
whether it is an argument or a sporting event
if someone challenges our point of view
they must be defeated
or we feel disrespected
and we can only take just so much of that,
and then we must seek revenge.
and at the bottom line everyone seems to want to work only for themselves, not for greater good. friendships become worthless when cash is at stake. doesn't matter that no one is getting paid for their work, as long as the percentages are stacking up for one person. and god forbid that anyone should give up anything to help the people doing it all for free.
a friendship ends because i am forced to say
its not fair for you to make that much when we are making nothing.
of three, i alone have to relay the bad news
therefore i am the bad guy.

but the theatre is most important
so i watch a friend walk away mad

and a few years later i again am alone as the other two try to battle me for the one thing tht means the most to me...
that theatre.
i survived the fight.
lost another dear dear friend
roommate
a man i respected so much
and he is a phone call away and yet i can't talk to him.
that division also divided the theatre in town
and my friendships.
i am on the outside because i stood my ground
i didnt try to humiliate anyone
even while they were trying to humiliate me
discredit me, and even tried to ruin my career.
i held my ground and spoke the truth.
i guess i won, i was in charge of the theatre
with a board that wanted to make it grow
we got a business manager
we restructured the mission
we set up a plan to make things happen.
and then everything started to slowly melt away.
the board began to become less and less active
they challenged the two people who worked their asses off
to make the day to day operations happen
with no salaries, only small stipends
and no time for much of anything else.
the loss of support wore at the foundations of the organization
board members drifted away
and the business manager finally just stopped managing
but i tried to stay the course
make it happen by sheer force of will
while the problems grew
for the theatre and for myself personally
i got deeper in a hole financially
watched my fiancee walk away for a man less distracted
and i kept working
writing and teaching and interpreting
but for every audition and every free meeting i went to
i lost income
donated weeks of theatre because i wanted to help the theatres
and the union kept me health-insured
it was a team effort.
and then the union screwed us over
made heath insurance almost impossible to achieve in this town
(unless you live in boise or new york city)
and i still fought for my theatre
wrote grants and tried to keep it in the public eye
but we give free shows
no black ties to sport
we are not "fashionable"
and just as it looks like there might be people to help out
more staffers to come on board
and i delegate the work to share the load
the business manager has to quit
and i see the hole he let us slide into
and never told me about it.
the others who come on board either drop the ball
or treat me like an inexperienced fool
and i have to swallow my pride just to get through every meeting
without either shouting or laughing.
and despite it all, we come out with a little extra in the account
only to realize that it will probably all be gone
trying to get out of the hole we got in
that no one told me about
until we were already there.
i cant walk away from something i care about this much
i can't give someone else the problems
that's not the way i was taught
if you pass it on, pass it on fixed.
why am i doing this at all?
what has it gotten me?
nothing tangible
but debt, loss, sacrifice, and this insidious negativity that i have never had, even growing up with divorce and death and loss and disease and sadness and all the things that any person's life can throw at them.
on the surface i am a cheerful clown
but underneath i am seething with anger, resentment, jealousy, fear, sadness, want, desperation, lonliness, and a reinforced feeling of inadequecy.
and yet i have hope and belief
no faith, sorry mom
but a sense that there is some better option
a happy side of life
when people arent greedy or petty
when they share and support, and work together and respect
and love and are humble
when they don't compete
when they don't have to win
when they realize that teamwork means working together
to find the correct path
not bullshitting their friends
who see past it and yet try to be friends anyway.

i think that by writing this out
i have turned to face the mirror
not battled my demons
but seen them for what they are
i don't want to be negative
i will be positive again
i will get through this
i will find a place where my intangible experience will find me a place
it is not here
i am through being a convenient resourse for "friends"
who only think of me when they need my help.
who let me down again and again
and when they get some success,
forget all about me.

the next year will be difficult,
but i will either win
or die trying.
and i don't die easily.

there are some really amazing friends that i have met and worked with, some family members that are simply amazing, and i have put this theatre above them for too long. happiness will be there once i repair the damage to my life, and i will give them the love and honor they deserve.

i will even start sending birthday cards.

Current Mood: cynical
Saturday, September 23rd, 2006
10:50 pm
the first saturday of my fortieth year...

yesterday was the anniversary of my birth
its a warm night again in cleveland, well, lakewood
there is a drum circle in the next yard
i just watched crash
i havent left my apartment all day
cleaned, sorted, talked of the phone
made a big brunch
did a lot of thinking
where will i be when i meet the day next year?

where am i now?

i am an actor, a director, a fight choreographer, a writer, a sign interpreter, a teacher, and yet where am i right now?
sitting at my laptop while the world moves
people bond and spend time with friends and family
and i am here alone
tomorrow i start a new job, a new show
and yet its a stupidly short rehearsal period,
three weeks and tech.
and once that finishes i have a brief hiatus and then start the next show
even less rehearsal
ONE week and tech
why so short?
because even the people in cleveland dont think that we are worth paying for a full rehearsal period.
because we are professionals, we are expected to make the art happen no matter what.
with neither show do we have the time to make it exceptional.
it will be staged, blocked, rough around the edges,
and by closing it will just be starting to take a real shape.
they will spend a fortune on the set, and lights
but as for the actors...
only do the minimum.
fight for the cheapest contracts
and the fewest weeks you can
and try your best to get them to donate at least a rehearsal or two.
and they had better come in off book
or it means they must not be professional.

how are we supposed to improve the local theatre scene when we are being treated this way by both the producers and the unions?
why should audiences think we are worth anything when our own ranks dont even support us?

i have worked really hard in my 13 years here to make good theatre,
sacrificing so much more than i have
relationships, friendships, work, family, sanity
everything that could be put in second place has
for theatre.
and i am here with nothing tangible
but debt, and frustration, and disappointment
and the anger that keeps building.
we americans think that a person must have one specialty
they can't have skill in more than one thing. anyone we meet or work with
that excels in more than one specific area
is overlooked for all.
director and actor?
wont be the first choice for either.

13 years of being overlooked is getting to me
took over a theatre with one of my best friends
and had to fight for the most common sense results
why do we americans have to be so competitive?
we do not respect education or experience
we only respect winning
whether it is an argument or a sporting event
if someone challenges our point of view
they must be defeated
or we feel disrespected
and we can only take just so much of that,
and then we must seek revenge.
and at the bottom line everyone seems to want to work only for themselves, not for greater good. friendships become worthless when cash is at stake. doesn't matter that no one is getting paid for their work, as long as the percentages are stacking up for one person. and god forbid that anyone should give up anything to help the people doing it all for free.
a friendship ends because i am forced to say
its not fair for you to make that much when we are making nothing.
of three, i alone have to relay the bad news
therefore i am the bad guy.

but the theatre is most important
so i watch a friend walk away mad

and a few years later i again am alone as the other two try to battle me for the one thing tht means the most to me...
that theatre.
i survived the fight.
lost another dear dear friend
roommate
a man i respected so much
and he is a phone call away and yet i can't talk to him.
that division also divided the theatre in town
and my friendships.
i am on the outside because i stood my ground
i didnt try to humiliate anyone
even while they were trying to humiliate me
discredit me, and even tried to ruin my career.
i held my ground and spoke the truth.
i guess i won, i was in charge of the theatre
with a board that wanted to make it grow
we got a business manager
we restructured the mission
we set up a plan to make things happen.
and then everything started to slowly melt away.
the board began to become less and less active
they challenged the two people who worked their asses off
to make the day to day operations happen
with no salaries, only small stipends
and no time for much of anything else.
the loss of support wore at the foundations of the organization
board members drifted away
and the business manager finally just stopped managing
but i tried to stay the course
make it happen by sheer force of will
while the problems grew
for the theatre and for myself personally
i got deeper in a hole financially
watched my fiancee walk away for a man less distracted
and i kept working
writing and teaching and interpreting
but for every audition and every free meeting i went to
i lost income
donated weeks of theatre because i wanted to help the theatres
and the union kept me health-insured
it was a team effort.
and then the union screwed us over
made heath insurance almost impossible to achieve in this town
(unless you live in boise or new york city)
and i still fought for my theatre
wrote grants and tried to keep it in the public eye
but we give free shows
no black ties to sport
we are not "fashionable"
and just as it looks like there might be people to help out
more staffers to come on board
and i delegate the work to share the load
the business manager has to quit
and i see the hole he let us slide into
and never told me about it.
the others who come on board either drop the ball
or treat me like an inexperienced fool
and i have to swallow my pride just to get through every meeting
without either shouting or laughing.
and despite it all, we come out with a little extra in the account
only to realize that it will probably all be gone
trying to get out of the hole we got in
that no one told me about
until we were already there.
i cant walk away from something i care about this much
i can't give someone else the problems
that's not the way i was taught
if you pass it on, pass it on fixed.
why am i doing this at all?
what has it gotten me?
nothing tangible
but debt, loss, sacrifice, and this insidious negativity that i have never had, even growing up with divorce and death and loss and disease and sadness and all the things that any person's life can throw at them.
on the surface i am a cheerful clown
but underneath i am seething with anger, resentment, jealousy, fear, sadness, want, desperation, lonliness, and a reinforced feeling of inadequecy.
and yet i have hope and belief
no faith, sorry mom
but a sense that there is some better option
a happy side of life
when people arent greedy or petty
when they share and support, and work together and respect
and love and are humble
when they don't compete
when they don't have to win
when they realize that teamwork means working together
to find the correct path
not bullshitting their friends
who see past it and yet try to be friends anyway.

i think that by writing this out
i have turned to face the mirror
not battled my demons
but seen them for what they are
i don't want to be negative
i will be positive again
i will get through this
i will find a place where my intangible experience will find me a place
it is not here
i am through being a convenient resourse for "friends"
who only think of me when they need my help.
who let me down again and again
and when they get some success,
forget all about me.

the next year will be difficult,
but i will either win
or die trying.
and i don't die easily.

there are some really amazing friends that i have met and worked with, some family members that are simply amazing, and i have put this theatre above them for too long. happiness will be there once i repair the damage to my life, and i will give them the love and honor they deserve.

i will even start sending birthday cards.



Current Mood: determined
Sunday, September 10th, 2006
9:17 pm
personality test...

Category: Quiz/Survey

 

My Personality
 
Neuroticism
 
60
Extraversion
 
74
Openness To Experience
 
99
Agreeableness
 
98
Conscientiousness
 
36
Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report

MySpace Surveys, Bebo and MySpace Codes by Pulseware Survey Software


You are sociable, outgoing, energetic, and lively. You prefer to be around people much of the time. Stressful and frustrating situations can often be upsetting to you, but you are sometimes able to get over these feelings and cope with these situations. Novelty, variety, and change spice up your life and make you a curious, imaginative, and creative person. You have a strong interest in others' needs and well-being. You are pleasant, sympathetic, and cooperative. You are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled.

This report compares you to other men between the ages of 21 and 40 in United States. It analyses you based on each of the five broad personality domains of the Five-Factor Model (Goldberg, L R. 1999), and the six sub domains at each level.
Test Yourself Compare Yourself View Full Report

MySpace Surveys, Bebo and MySpace Codes by Pulseware Survey Software

oh heck, here's the full report:
Send the link below to your friends so that they can compare themselves to you.
http://www.pulseware.com.au/site_pi.asp?p=wpa-13659&ur=72413x374120

Send the link below to your friends to compare everyone as a group.
http://www.pulseware.com.au/site_pi.asp?p=wpa-13659&ur=72413x374120&g=72413x374120

Other Links:
- Get MySpace, Live Journal etc Code
- View Full Report


Larry's Full Personality Profile Report

Neuroticism  
60
Extraversion  
74
Openness To Experience  
99
Agreeableness  
98
Conscientiousness  
36

You are sociable, outgoing, energetic, and lively. You prefer to be around people much of the time. Stressful and frustrating situations can often be upsetting to you, but you are sometimes able to get over these feelings and cope with these situations. Novelty, variety, and change spice up your life and make you a curious, imaginative, and creative person. You have a strong interest in others' needs and well-being. You are pleasant, sympathetic, and cooperative. You are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled.

This report compares you to other men between the ages of 21 and 40 in United States. It analyses you based on each of the five broad personality domains of the Five-Factor Model (Goldberg, L R. 1999), and the six sub domains at each level.
 

Neuroticism

Overall Score  
60
Anxiety  
88
Anger  
20
Depression  
98
Self-Consciousness  
30
Immoderation  
28
Vulnerability  
58

Stressful and frustrating situations can often be upsetting to you, but you are sometimes able to get over these feelings and cope with these situations. You feel tense, jittery, and nervous and often feel like something dangerous is about to happen. You may be afraid of specific situations or be just generally fearful. You rarely get angry and it takes a lot to make you angry. You tend to lack energy and have difficult initiating activities. You do not feel nervous in social situations, and have a good impression of what others think of you. You do not experience strong, irresistible cravings and consequently do not find yourself tempted to overindulge. High levels of stress can lead to you feeling panic or confusion, but usually you cope with day to day pressures.
 

Extraversion

Overall Score  
74
Friendliness  
88
Gregariousness  
72
Assertiveness  
63
Activity Level  
49
Excitement-Seeking  
76
Cheerfulness  
46

You are sociable, outgoing, energetic, and lively. You prefer to be around people much of the time. You genuinely like other people and openly demonstrate positive feelings toward others. You make friends quickly and it is easy for you to form close, intimate relationships. You find the company of others pleasantly stimulating and rewarding, and you enjoy the excitement that crowds provide. You are an active group participant but usually prefer to let someone else be the group leader. You lead a moderately paced life. You like some energetic activities, but also like to relax and take it easy. You love bright lights and hustle and bustle. You are likely to take risks and seek thrills. You have a generally cheerful disposition.
 

Openness To Experience

Overall Score  
99
Imagination  
89
Artistic Interests  
92
Emotionality  
97
Adventurousness  
78
Intellect  
87
Liberalism  
97

Novelty, variety, and change spice up your life and make you a curious, imaginative, and creative person. Often you find the real world is too plain and ordinary for your liking, and you use fantasy as a way of creating a richer, more interesting world for yourself. You love beauty, both in art and in nature. Sometimes you become easily involved and absorbed in artistic and natural events. You have good access to and awareness of your own feelings. You are eager to try new activities, travel to foreign lands, and experience different things. You find familiarity and routine boring, and will take a new route home just because it is different. As a person who is open-minded to new and unusual ideas, you love to play with and think about ideas. You also like to debate intellectual issues and often enjoy riddles, puzzles and brain teasers. Often you exhibit a readiness to challenge authority, convention, and traditional values. Sometimes you feel a certain degree of hostility toward rules and perhaps even enjoy ambiguity.
 

Agreeableness

Overall Score  
98
Trust  
79
Morality  
72
Altruism  
95
Cooperation  
93
Modesty  
89
Sympathy  
90

You have a strong interest in others' needs and well-being. You are pleasant, sympathetic, and cooperative. You naturally assume that most people are fair, honest, and have good intentions. You see no need for pretense or manipulation when dealing with others and are therefore candid, frank and sincere. People find it relatively easy to relate to you. You find helping other people genuinely rewarding and are generally willing to assist those who are in need. You find that doing things for others is a form of self-fulfillment rather than self-sacrifice. You dislike confrontations and are perfectly willing to compromise or to deny your own needs in order to get along with others. You do not like to claim that you are better than other people, and generally shy from talking yourself up. You are tenderhearted and compassionate, feeling the pain of others vicariously and are easily moved to pity.
 

Conscientiousness

Overall Score  
36
Self-Efficacy  
24
Orderliness  
18
Dutifulness  
54
Achievement-Striving  
56
Self-Discipline  
57
Cautiousness  
38

You are reasonably reliable, organized, and self-controlled. Often you do not feel effective, and may have a sense that you are not in control of your life. In general you tend to be disorganized and scattered. You sense of duty and obligation is average and although you are mostly responsible you can sometimes be unreliable. Mostly you work towards achieving your best, although in some areas you are content just to get the job done. You have a reasonable amount of will-power and are able to follow through on tasks that you feel you need to complete. You can be distracted however and have been known to procrastinate. You are not an overly cautious person. You will think about alternatives and consequences but make up your mind fairly quickly.
 

 

This report was created by Pulseware Online Survey Software



Current Mood: blank
9:16 pm
books on blog...

Category: Writing and Poetry

    so my friend 'footloose' posted the first two paragraphs from a book she just got out of the library, and i thought it might be cool to start a thread.

everyone post the start of a book you love. no title, no author, no hints.
and lets discuss who it could be and what title, and maybe it will give us some ideas for a reading list.

sooo i will start with an exerpt from the opening chapter of one book i love:


Chapter One

    I saw a man this morning
    Who did not wish to die;
    P.S. Stewart

Imagine that you have to break someone's arm.

Right or left, doesn't matter. The point is that you have to break it, because if you don't ... well, that doesn't matter either. Let's just say bad things will happen if you don't.

Now, my question goes like this: do you break the arm quickly -- snap, whoops, sorry, here let me help you with that improvised splint -- or do you drag the whole business out for a good eight minutes, every now and then increasing the pressure in the tiniest of increments, until the pain becomes pink and green and hot and cold and altogether howlingly unbearable?

Well exactly. Of course. The right thing to do, the only thing to do, is to get it over with as quickly as possible. Break the arm, ply the brandy, be a good citizen. There can be no other answer.

Unless.

Unless unless unless.

What if you were to hate the person on the other end of the arm? I mean really, really hate them.

This was a thing I now had to consider.

I say now, meaning then, meaning the moment I am describing; the moment fractionally, oh so bloody fractionally, before my wrist reached the back of my neck and my left humerus broke into at least two, very possibly more, floppily joined-together pieces.

The arm we've been discussing, you see, is mine. It's not an abstract, philosopher's arm. The bone, the skin, the hairs, the small white scar on the point of the elbow, won from the corner of a storage heater at Gateshill Primary School -- they all belong to me. And now is the moment when I must consider the possibility that the man standing behind me, gripping my wrist and driving it up my spine with an almost sexual degree of care, hates me. I mean, really, really hates me.

He is taking for ever.

His name was Rayner. First name unknown. By me, at any rate, and therefore, presumably, by you too.

I suppose someone, somewhere, must have known his first name -- must have baptised him with it, called him down to breakfast with it, taught him how to spell it -- and someone else must have shouted it across a bar with an offer of a drink, or murmured it during sex, or written it in a box on a life insurance application form. I know they must have done all these things. Just hard to picture, that's all.

Rayner, I estimated, was ten years older than me. Which was fine. Nothing wrong with that. I have good, warm, non-arm-breaking relationships with plenty of people who are ten years older than me. People who are ten years older than me are, by and large, admirable. But Rayner was also three inches taller than me, four stones heavier, and at least eight however-you-measure-violence units more violent. He was uglier than a car park, with a big, hairless skull that dipped and bulged like a balloon full of spanners, and his flattened, fighter's nose, apparently drawn on his face by someone using their left hand, or perhaps even their left foot, spread out in a meandering, lopsided delta under the rough slab of his forehead.

And God Almighty, what a forehead. Bricks, knives, bottles and reasoned arguments had, in their time, bounced harmlessly off this massive frontal plane, leaving only the feeblest indentations between its deep, widely-spaced pores. They were, I think, the deepest and most widely-spaced pores I have ever seen in human skin, so that I found myself thinking back to the council putting-green in Dalbeattie, at the end of the long, dry summer of '76.

Moving now to the side elevation, we find that Rayner's ears had, long ago, been bitten off and spat back on to the side of his head, because the left one was definitely upside down, or inside out, or something that made you stare at it for a long time before thinking `oh, it's an ear'.

And on top of all this, in case you hadn't got the message, Rayner wore a black leather jacket over a black polo-neck.

But of course you would have got the message. Rayner could have swathed himself in shimmering silk and put an orchid behind each ear, and nervous passers-by would still have paid him money first and wondered afterwards whether they had owed him any.

As it happened, I didn't owe him money. Rayner belonged to that select group of people to whom I didn't owe anything at all, and if things had been going a little better between us, I might have suggested that he and his fellows have a special tie struck, to signify membership. A motif of crossed paths, perhaps.

But, as I said, things weren't going well between us.

A one-armed combat instructor called Cliff (yes, I know -- he taught unarmed combat, and he only had one arm -- very occasionally life is like that) once told me that pain was a thing you did to yourself. Other people did things to you -- they hit you, or stabbed you, or tried to break your arm -- but pain was of your own making. Therefore, said Cliff, who had spent a fortnight in Japan and so felt entitled to unload dogshit of this sort on his eager charges, it was always within your power to stop your own pain. Cliff was killed in a pub brawl three months later by a fifty-five-year-old widow, so I don't suppose I'll ever have a chance to set him straight.

Pain is an event. It happens to you, and you deal with it in whatever way you can.

The only thing in my favour was that, so far, I hadn't made any noise.

Nothing to do with bravery, you understand, I simply hadn't got round to it. Up until this moment, Rayner and I had been pinging off the walls and furniture in a sweatily male silence, with only the occasional grunt to show that we were both still concentrating. But now, with not much more than five seconds to go before I passed out or the bone finally gave way -- now was the ideal moment to introduce a new element. And sound was all I could think of.

So I inhaled deeply through my nose, straightened up to get as close as I could to his face, held the breath for a moment, and then let out what Japanese martial artists refer to as a kiai -- you'd probably call it a very loud noise, and that wouldn't be so far off -- a scream of such blinding, shocking, what-the-fuck-was-that intensity, that I frightened myself quite badly.

On Rayner, the effect was pretty much as advertised, because he shifted involuntarily to one side, easing the grip on my arm for about a twelfth of a second. I threw my head back into his face as hard as I could, feeling the gristle in his nose adjust itself around the shape of my skull and a silky wetness spreading across my scalp, then brought my heel up towards his groin, scraping the inside of his thigh before connecting with an impressive bundle of genitalia. By the time the twelfth of a second had elapsed, Rayner was no longer breaking my arm, and I was aware, suddenly, of being drenched in sweat.

I backed away from him, dancing on my toes like a very old St Bernard, and looked around for a weapon.

The venue for this pro-am contest of one fifteen-minute round was a small, inelegantly furnished sitting-room in Belgravia. The interior designer had done a perfectly horrible job, as all interior designers do, every single time, without fail, no exceptions -- but at that moment his or her liking for heavy, portable objets happened to coincide with mine. I selected an eighteen-inch Buddha from the mantelpiece with my good arm, and found that the little fellow's ears afforded a satisfyingly snug grip for the one-handed player.

Rayner was kneeling now, vomiting on a Chinese carpet and improving its colour no end. I chose my spot, braced myself, and swung at him back-handed, plugging the corner of the Buddha's plinth into the soft space behind his left ear. There was a dull, flat noise, of the kind that only human tissue under attack can make, and he rolled over on to his side.

I didn't bother to see whether he was still alive. Callous, perhaps, but there you go.

I wiped some of the sweat from my face and walked through into the hall. I tried to listen, but if there was any sound from the house or from the street outside I would never have heard it, because my heart was going like a road drill. Or perhaps there really was a road drill outside. I was too busy sucking in great suitcase-sized chunks of air to notice.

I opened the front door and immediately felt cool drizzle on my face. It mingled with the sweat, diluting it, diluting the pain in my arm, diluting everything, and I closed my eyes and let it fall. It was one of the nicest things I've ever experienced. You may say that it's a pretty poor life I've been leading. But then, you see, context is everything.

I left the door on the latch, stepped down on to the pavement and lit a cigarette. Gradually, grumpily, my heart sorted itself out, and my breathing followed at a distance. The pain in my arm was terrible, and I knew it would be with me for days, if not weeks, but at least it wasn't my smoking arm.

I went back into the house and saw that Rayner was where I'd left him, lying in a pool of vomit. He was dead, or he was grievously-bodily-harmed, either of which meant at least five years. Ten, with time added on for bad behaviour. And this, from my point of view, was bad.

I've been in prison, you see. Only three weeks, and only on remand, but when you've had to play chess twice a day with a monosyllabic West Ham supporter, who has `HATE' tattooed on one hand, and `HATE' on the other -- using a set missing six pawns, all the rooks and two of the bishops -- you find yourself cherishing the little things in life. Like not being in prison.
+++
now, discuss....

 Currently listening :
Fade to Bluegrass: The Bluegrass Tribute to Metallica
By Various Artists
Release d



Current Mood: blah
9:14 pm
a friend is down and she asks ME for advice...?

Category: Romance and Relationships

considering the failed relationships and rumors that have comprised my love life, ANYONE who uses me as a sounding board should get a personal visit from both Dr Phil and that guy from eHarmony. (that would be a hell of a lunch)

a friend (sadly another little sister) wrote a sad blog and i wanted to digitally hug her and make her smile. her email response explained in more detail her woes and this was my reply. she makes me wish i was 10-15 years younger, but then i realize that there is NO WAY IN HELL she would ever give me the time of day in the way of interest, (thats a compliment to her, trust me), gorgeous, talented, smart, and did i say gorgeous? and too young to realize that some boys are men, and most men are boys, and never the twain shall meet. so i am the big brother. again. not that i am complaining. much.

it must be realy late, what the hell am i typing???????

here's what i sent back:

kid,
you never have to apologize for venting, and it wouldn't be real venting if you held anything back. believe me i know the situation you are in. i have been there a few times myself (yeah that whole 'gawrsh that guy old' thing again) BUT you will get through it. life is all about transitions. what you and he have can come back. it may change over time and with distance, but friendship is friendship. it transcends love. you are young, and marriage would be too soon for you. there is so much you have yet to accomplish... hell a woman as talented, intelligent and amazingly beautiful as you is sure to make a splash when you find the right entrance.

someone once told me that all relationships end... either by a breakup, or by death. either way that end sucks. and hurts, and sometimes you find yourself collapsed on your shower floor bawling your eyes out and asking 'why why why' till you think the echo will never leave your skull. but loss is a huge part of life, and understanding how you react to that kind of loss is important both as a person and as a performer.

my feeling has always been that love will be there even if it has to wait. i have been an opponent of long-distance relationships for a long time, because i believe that people have needs of contact and of sight and to go for long periods of time without that person's touch or eyes can cause the memory to blur or fade... a cruel death of any relationship.  but if it doesnt fade, that means that the seed took root. that its real, and that it is there to stay.

if you are conflicted now it is because you see a choice before you. two goals: marriage and career. two doors... one is the escape route and the other is the tiger. now here is the heartless sentence. everyone is replaceable. each new relationship supercedes the previous one. the love we share with one person remains, but a larger, more encompassing one takes over with the next person.  humans relationships are like recipes. sometimes they are from scratch and sometimes they are learned from someone else, but each time you make it you try something a little different: a pinch more salt here, some more olive oil there. and each time we get closer to that dream recipe. sometimes we make a really stinky batch and it may take a while to get the bad taste out of our mouth and that smell out of the dishtowels, but we roll up our sleeves eventually and start cooking again. but true friendship will always be there, at the base. and true friends are happy when the other finds happiness (not perfection, but contentment. perfection just pisses people off.)

i was engaged, and as much as my gorge rises whenever i am stuck in the same room with her and the guy she left me for, i have to admit that the part of me that was her best friend is pleased she found a better match than me.

and on the hopeful side... 21 years ago i dated someone for a summer. it was a wonderful relationship. but we were both young and scared of intimacy, of any kind. we broke up because i didnt want to have a long distance relationship in college because i saw how bad they could be when my friends had them. (and some were AWFUL!) this past new years she got back in touch with me and we have become better friends than we ever were. we love each other immensely, and though it may never amount to anything (for a myriad of reasons) we know that what we have is special and is more than time, place, distance, career, or fear can snuff out.

because we are friends, first and foremost.

21 years ago i tried one recipe and it was good.
i tried others and realized that the best i had found was
past. i thought it was gone forever, but it wasnt, because it was real and true. and that means it lasts.

you are strong, beautiful, talented, and smart. you have your pick of the litter and when the time is right for you to marry you will have them lined up around the block. and hopefully what you want and need will be there waiting for you. it might even be a familiar face.

eternal hugs,
me



Current Mood: contemplative
9:13 pm
freaking out...

Category: Life

    okay, so i dont get it
not at all
why is it that sometimes you can be in a good place and just start freaking out?
i feel like there are great, wonderful things just around the corner
hopes to be fulfilled, dreams to come true
the real kind not the stupid kind
and yet i am still running at top speed while standing in place
feel the adrenaline surging in me for no real reason
what the hell is going on?
where are the old friends...?
thats right i have lost touch with them
and most of my family
too damn busy treading water to make calls or send emails
what is wrong with this picture?
i know better than this
i am better than this
and i hate who/what i have become
and yet...
and yet there is something right there, just behind prosperity
around that same corner
subtle and easy to miss
but its there
its called rest and fulfillment
its happiness
and all i have to do is get through the next year

i read an article about my dream and i dont know who was interviewed but the facts are just skewed enough to make me feel more alone than i have felt in a long long time

if you are going to write a piece, shouldnt you at least talk at length with the person it focusses on?

maybe i am just a fool
i think that has been confirmed in print



Current Mood: scared
9:12 pm
a response to a blog...

Category: School, College, Greek

One of the greatest problems we face in the US is that our educational system was designed by adults for adults. Correction by adult politicians for a generic, business-focussed, concept of the average adult. Especially today, children are barraged with stimuli 24/7 and yet are expected to employ a degree of focus that most adults find impossible to achieve. 'No Child Left Behind' has become the perfect way for parents and politicians to refocus the blame of a failing educational system off of themselves and onto the one group of people who have unflaggingly tried to keep the child at the center of all effort: the teachers.

My training was in teaching, and I was fortunate enough to spend the two years after getting my Master's touring the very schools I for which I would be applying for jobs.  I was horrified to see the situation, and that was in the early 90s. Teachers are left alone and unsupported by an administration that is more concerned with parental approval, and parents who want teachers to educate without parenting (an impossibility in the parentless society we have been developing.) Educators cannot discipline or the parents will try to get them fired, and most often will succeed, because the Superintendants invariably side with the parents, who side with their children, without truly bothering to seek out the truth of the situation.

Education is a journey, as all seekers of knowledge know (or at least feel). There are no outcomes, only milestones.

So, when our government only measures outcomes, and bosses only measure outcomes, how can we blame our kids for trying to find the easiest way to get the payoff with the least amount of work?

Isn't that truly what "The American Way" has come to mean?

Heck, you don't even have to be smart or successful to be President.

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