On my own, with all of my falls.
3 years ago
When did adequate become acceptable? When did mundane become marvelous? It occurred to me that I’ve been directing more and more plays of late. I thought I had been moving toward something. But what? True, the work is enjoyable, but the thrill only comes now when the shows are bigger and bigger and bigger …
I’ve become jaded, complacent. Blindfolded.
Last weekend my eyes were opened. For the first time I realized that I had been settling for considerably less than I could have. I had dreams once, and a very keen appreciation of more than manufactured truth and beauty.
The dreams eroded. Can’t blame anyone but myself. I sold myself cheap.
The dreams came back. Inspiration unexpectedly handed to me; a gift.
What shall I do? What will I do?
I shall take inspiration by the hand and look for bright horizons.
Oh well. The cookies are free and I get along great with the dog.
The play closed yesterday. The set is gone. Bare stage remains. As I have done so many times before, I stand there, alone, listening to echoes of echoes. It was a good show, excellent by the standards of this theatre – two standing ovations. And I should feel a sense of relief – this is the first time in 15 months that I haven’t been in production or pre-production for one show or another. But I feel nothing inside – empty. Why is that, do you suppose? Why this rush from one project to the next to the next? What void do I pretend to fill? I know the answer, of course. Fulfillment is finite. What increases one person diminishes someone else. I won’t have that. For the life of me, I will not.
So maybe a vacation is in order – I haven’t taken one in at least ten years. At the moment the orient has some appeal. I’ll send you some postcards from Xanadu!
So Rachmaninoff it is. A kindred spirit in a way. A tortured soul (largely of his own making.) His true brilliance came when he was relatively young, and he spent most of his career chasing his own shadow. He was artistic, and by being sensitive he was easily offended. I don’t know if he smoked, but he did drink some (or so I’m told), and, by being the poster boy for the Russian fatalistic temperament, he found women – especially in America – were particularly drawn to him. When I was studying music theory seriously I discovered he had been the teacher of my teacher. I heard stories … perhaps that’s why I feel a relationship. If he was here now we’d both be sipping rum an’ coke and listening to his music. And probably crying for no good reason I know. And feeling good about it.
The artist on this recording is Yuja Wang, who has done just enough to start attracting attention. Rachmaninoff was a huge hulking man, with hands like meat hooks. Ms Wang appears somewhat diminutive, with not the physical strength to attack some of the passages the way they were intended. On the other hand … Ms Wang has dexterity the composer could never have matched on his best day.
So it’s a draw. Enjoy.
OF MICE AND MEN is winding down. Granted, it has a couple of more weeks to run … but it’s going well – very well. And once a show opens, there’s not a whole lot for a director to do beyond keeping the show from evolving. In fact, most directors depart after opening night, leaving already strict adherence to vision in the hands of a Stage Manager who speaks directly to God, and hands out judgments accordingly.
My next official (read “paid”) commitment is Shakespeare’s ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, scheduled to open in August of 2012, with auditions next June. The two leads have been signed already, and I’ve had initial conversations with both the costumer and set designer. Blah blah blah. In fact, the entire crew has been optioned, and I am now simply waiting to audition the supporting cast ten months from now …
Just finished reading “Metaphoric SilverBand,” a post from my favorite writer, Julie. If you have the inclination, check it out. It touched me on several levels. Maybe it’s the drugs. Yeah, I can tell myself that …
I have acquired a new friend. I reviewed her in a play, and when I asked for cast pictures, discovered she had taken many of them. She is a truly remarkable photographer – every picture she takes is interesting and tells a story. I have introduced her to a local organization accustomed to promoting the outrageously gifted. Unfortunately she is 15 and I am certainly old enough to be judged as having ulterior motives by people who don’t know me. A shame sometimes that life is the way it is. I feel cheated.