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