CategoryDrama

I really hate remedy medicine. I actually don’t like taking drugs at all, though I make mild use of caffeine and will choke down / vaporize / intravene something if, you know, I’ll die otherwise. But decongestants, antihystamines, painkillers, soporifics… bleagh. I don’t like to think about treating symptoms instead of causes. I can live with symptoms! Fix the root problem!

Nevertheless, living with an iron-willed roommate who happens to be a med student will eventually weaken you on the placebo-effect front. I’ve been taking Robitussin for about 24 hours now, which is why I was functional enough to sit in a VERY COLD ticket booth and run sound for PI Sketch with only one slip-up. It was a good show. The crowd liked it. I touched Yale inappropriately and got to meet Allilea, who differs from most other celebrities in that she’s taller in real life.

Tomorrow I crash hard, and try to get ready for my last homework and last exam on Tuesday. Then Thursday, then finals, and then the semester will be over. This is very weird. Who the hell gets out for finals on December 4th? U of L, that’s who.

Yea, I go to bed to rest my fevered brow, and to cough until the Robitussin kicks in. It’s not like this is unusual, I get sick about once every winter, but I start to worry about my brain health when I notice that I’m subtracting 230 from 1830 and coming up with 1400.

Incidentally, the reason I’m posting at 0230 hrs on a morning when I have no business being up is because I just got back from teching the Project Improv (scripted) show, PI Sketch, available for your viewing ONE NIGHT ONLY in about fourteen hours. Anybody who doesn’t mind a little raunch with their humor should get there between 1830 and 2000 hrs and stay until 2200, as there will be a carnival with a duck pond, and also rock songs and jokes. I’m running sound.

Unrelatedly, I’m sick. And use too many adverbs.

I stood in the bathroom and I had to snap my fingers to get the automatic soap dispenser to ejaculate into my hand, and I was thinking about how the other people in the room all paid a thousand dollars to see this show, and I got in for free, and there we all were together, peeing.

I sat in row H of the lower balcony and watched the Gala Premier of The Lion King tour in Louisville, and it was really actually as good as it’s made out to be, even on tour. It’s stylistically and technically excellent, with the kind of transparency of production that I really admire and want to be able to do, someday.

I need to explain now how I got into this black-tie-only red-carpet Kentucky Center 20th Anniversary show, which is that I have Connections. And now I need to explain how I have said Connections, which is that I’ve been rehearsing for a few weeks with the Project Improv apprentices company (my life is filled with improv). I haven’t talked about it in here because I wasn’t really sure how far I wanted to go with it–acting’s not something in which I’m really interested at this point in my life, and I’ve never actually been very good at improv. Yet I keep coming back to rehearsals. I guess I’m kind of in.

The PI troupe proper, by and large, works in the Kentucky Center; their kindness and their comp tickets extend to their adopted apprentices, and so we ended up standing nervously and giggling in the middle of people with free food and champagne. I could have hit the mayor of Louisville (who currently wields considerably more power than, say, our governor) with a rock. I have no reason to hit him with anything, I’m just saying.

It was a good show, anyway, and I got to try out my fancy new black blazer for the first time. I didn’t really want to walk up the red carpet, lined with photographers and drummers and giant puppets, on the way in. But I did on the way out.

I keep meaning to talk about the reasoning behind this entry, but I’m lame. Okay, so. Monday night, Ken, DC and I drove by secret byways and hidden passes to Centre, a place I swore I would not see for years and have now revisited twice in a five-month span. We were there at the urging of David the Flora, who had cajoled us into making a return appearance at the debut Shenanigans show.

I can’t remember if I’ve talked about Shenanigans before, but it’s Will Johnston’s brainchild, a student-run improv troupe at Centre that he pulled together with spit and spraypaint and which has now been handed on to the aforementioned Flora to carry on. Shenanigans does basically the same things as every other We Play Whose Line Games college improv troupe, but we had a lot of fun with it. I think our peak so far was the second show, when we packed Weisiger and danced onstage through fields of balloons as Meghan Langley thrashed to the electronical strains of Styx.

We started Monday’s show the way we ended the Very Short Short Play Extravaganza, with a few Shenanigans alumni slamming down beer bottles and saying ridiculous things about Will Johnston’s personality and accomplishments. (My beer bottle was filled with water; theirs were not.) The rest of the show was pretty good–it started out really well and maintained that for a while, but Flora tried to include everybody in several games, and with the group swelled by alumni, that meant a very long show. We hit anal sex jokes about forty-five minutes in.

Improv Tip: Anal sex jokes mean your improv show has officially jumped the shark.

My favorite thing about that night was the pre- and post-show hugging of a great, great many undergrads. It felt very good to see that all my froshers (now sophomores, which I will never admit in print) are still alive and happy. Some of them are doing their own student-run production of “The Compleat Works of William Shkspr (Abridged),” and I was happy to hear that’s going well. I’m also glad I got to see everyone then, since I won’t be there for Homecoming this weekend–one oath I will not break.

I also found out that Object A is single again and living next to a libidinous David Flora, who should just understand that certain events may lead to he and I having words.

Danville is strange to me now because it really doesn’t evoke any particular emotion. Being myself, I’d expect homesickness to have swelled in me when we snuck in the back of the Art Barn to steal Lisa for dinner, or chomped chips at our Guadalajaran table, or glanced down the road at the cold doors of Rodes 2, but it didn’t. It was only being in contact with all those humans again that made me want to laugh and yell and kick the walls.

I miss all you guys, more than you know.

So I actually did it: Running on three hours of sleep, I wrote the ten-page culminating statement on My Theatre in three and a half hours, then presented it earlier tonight. And it was pretty good. I’m exasperated with myself for doing this yet again, but at the same time, I’m now fully convinced that I’m capable of flight and the picking up of cars.

I know there’s more to talk about, but I’m really too tired to be capable of rational discourse right now (even the paragraph above was written down on an envelope at around 4:00). But hey! New Guster!

Ultimate Frisbee is the new running. I get about the same workout, but it takes three times as long, and the whole affair is a lot dirtier. I also get to publicly embarrass myself, in that I (really, seriously) can’t throw or catch. On the plus side, I keep taking my falls on the same two places, so I bleed a lot!

Saturday night was the First Annual Drama Formal, and also the public debut of DJ Jazzy O’Badkins (that’s me). It was mostly cute little froshers, and they only stayed for maybe an hour of the allotted three, but at least they were there for tracks 6 – 18, what I consider the best part of the mix (on which I spent about six painstaking hours). You can see the HTML version if you want. Yes, I started it with Chumbawamba. I was being retro! I make no apologies! Nobody was there yet anyway!

My baby sister Caitlan, who wields the powers of all Adkinses combined, has decided to go to Georgetown, back in the little hamlet where we were all born. I still would have liked it if she’d picked Centre, but now I can say that our family has conquered all three important Kentuckian smallliberalartscolleges. O’Doyle rules!

I can’t believe I left the same boring IdiotCam© up for a solid week. Bad creator! (Bad Jews! Bad Jews, Guster!)

Last night was the least stressful opening night I’ve ever been through, thanks largely to the way the stage is set up, I think. The musicians play behind what’s called a scrim at the back of the stage–a very loosely woven canvas that’s semitransparent straight onbut opaque from an angle. Because it makes the audience look fuzzy, it fosters the illusion that we’re behind some kind of two-way mirror and don’t have to worry about being watched. Even though I know consciously that the audience can see us just as well as we can see them, that still put me at ease enough to play as well as I ever have. This is neat!

It seemed to work pretty well for everyone else, too, and the music really sounded great. More credit for that goes to the writer than to us, but hey, he gets his bow too.

This is the big crunch week, in that I have no more free evenings to work until Sunday, and I’ve been struggling to keep up. I did finally get in an appointment to see my career counselor about a resume critique; we’d been having a little difficulty finding a time because, and I quote, “she’s got a mare due.” Only in Kentucky.

Anyway, she seemed to like my resume and my cover letter (the first one I’ve ever written!), so that felt good. It still bemuses me, though, how little one’s qualifications matter compared to the monumental importance of making them all fit on one page. My counselor’s a nice lady, but I honestly think she knows as much about line spacing and margins as she does about, y’know, jobs.

Another thing I’m behind on: sending out graduation announcements. Eek. I went to the library yesterday to copy pages out of my mother’s address book, which is kind of like a library in itself. There are sheaves of apocryphal driving directions, notes and updates, about five different styles of handwriting, and some entries that take up half a page alone because they’ve been crossed out and corrected so many times. It’s a fascinating object, and I feel like I should get a grant and do an archaeological dig on it.

Too many things on my head. Why is everyone getting sick? Should I bleach my hair again? And how the hell am I supposed to wrap up this entry?

Entry 255! I have almost a whole byte’s worth of journal!

Every time I start to get uppity about something I’m doing at school, dramatic irony thwops me on the forehead. Like, for example, the past couple of weeks have been the beginning of music rehearsals for the spring production of Chalk Circle. That means, thanks to the grand tradition of Brendan’s Roommates Letting Him Pretend He’s A Musician, I’ve been actually reading things on sheets of music and playing them on congas with a band of real musicians. This honestly gives me the shivers.

Then, just as I’m starting to believe something like “hey! this stuff can be learned,” along comes Wynton Marsalis.

I only got to watch the first third of the show (two hours), but everything I saw was… well, pretty much what you’d expect from Wynton Marsalis’s band, assuming you know who Wynton Marsalis is. I don’t even think I enjoyed it as much as some of the other people watching it up on the catwalk with me, because I honestly don’t have a developed taste for jazz. I was still in awe. The talent and skill those guys put on display was ineffable.

That said, today was the first day I ran my whole route–what I guess now is around three miles–without stopping to walk. I haven’t done that since high school, and I did both on rainy days, and there’s really no dramatic irony possible there. No matter how many people run better than me, the fact is that right now I can run as fast as I ever have in my life.

There’s too much in the play, and I know that now. I tried to write thirty pages into nine, which is maybe challenging but still self-defeating. There’s just too much in there to wrap up in ten minutes.

Yet the production was dirty, gritty, flawed, perfect. My faith in my director was not only well placed but exceeded; she took a mess of a difficult script and made it funny, funny, funny, headkick. It was better than I had any right to hope for. It was exactly right.

The critique afterwards was honest and accurate, with more compliments than I expected and a clear and firm analysis ofthe problems–again, that it’s overstuffed. That was pretty much the only thing they found wrong, though, and I was a little surprised by that, but it gives me hope. Last year I wrote a real ten-minute play, spare and tidy and clean in form. Afterwards I was worried that I couldn’t write anything longer, but now I have something that’s going to be a one-act, and it’s going to be full.

I’m still too close to the play to rewrite it while I’m here, but rewrite it I will. I think when I have a real ten-minute and a real one-act I can start sending them to competitions. Maybe going to grad school for comp sci doesn’t mean leaving drama behind after all.

Meanwhile I’m going to read a lot of Atwood and play Diablo on my borrowed laptop (shh!) and maybe go to a workshop or two. I make the joke that I’m the one who doesn’t have to do anything here, but I don’t think that’s true now. Everyone else is networking, interviewing, getting ready to earn their pay at this; I’ve got a play and a half and the email address of a director who’s going to shake the world up in a few years.

I’m not going to post the play as I have before, because it’s not done yet. When I was twelve, I read about David Eddings in Something About the Author and I still remember a quote that disturbed me: he said you had to “write a million words, the best you’ve ever done, and then throw it all away,” before you could consider yourself a writer.That scared me, because even then I had a hard time letting go of anything I’d written. What if the best you’d ever written turned out to be the best you ever would?

He’s right, though. Maybe this play is part of those first million words, and maybe it’s not, but I’m going to throw it away and start over and do it right, and then I’ll let myself post it. I’m looking forward to that.

Kit: See? This is a play. You can’t leave because I didn’t write it in.
Cricket: This is real life, Kit, it’s not fiction.
Kit: I’m in an Irish pub in Chinatown! How much more fictional can you get?
–David Clark’s “Last Call”

I kind of forgot to mention this, but I’m in Virginia. SETC again, and the 24-Hour Playfest again, and I’ve just finished the third draft of my play, which is pretty close to final. I’m an hour early, which may mean that (end-of-the-world joke of your choice).

I’ve got enough caffeine in me to power a small country for a week, so I need to be doing something or I’ll be fidgeting and bothering the senior playwright who’s going over my piece right now: thus the entry. I’m as nervous as I was last year, because there’s no safety net. Doing comedy is hard, but writing tragedy is harder, and I think I wrote a tragedy. Or at least something that hurts.

Tony called me out last year for only writing comedy; he said he thought I had it in me to write deeper, darker stuff. I don’t believe my comedies have any less depth just because their tone is different, but the challenge irked me anyway. They do that. So this year I wrote something with a bite to it. It’s the play I couldn’t write fall term, and if you were around you know what that means, and if you read the play you might figure it out.

Or you might not. I have to edit now, I think. I don’t want the ending to feel tagged on, especially because it wasn’t.

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