Thursday, November 30, 2006

End of November

The end of November is here, and I have to say, November really did go by fast. I know I was busy with the play at the Guthrie, but though I am still there nearly every night, it has not been all that intense in terms of time. Anyway, in a month I am planning to move. I have felt a tug to move on, trying something new and trying out a new place, and now the opportunity for it is finally here. I'll be moving to the Salt Lake City area to be near my girlfriend, Cassie. It is still rather wild to my mind, but that's definitely a good thing. I'll be pursuing theater and music and writing while I'm there, which I'm really thrilled about. I have a place to live for some semi-indeterminate amount of time, no more than a year, and I have some ideas, at lease, for what I'll be doing, involving auditions and resumes and all that good stuff. A friend of mine at the guthrie, who is also an extra in the show, says he does more film type of work. He mentioned that I should find a good agent, give them a resume and a headshot and see if anything comes up in the line of commercials, something like that. That was not the first person to mention this to me, so I'm thinking I should give it a try. At the worst, an agent will decide not to take me on, so there's not much to lose. He said not to give them any money, which I was already somewhat aware was kind of a shady business practice.

Anyway, I've been feeling good about my writing lately. I haven't been so diligent as to finish, and I still don't write three or four pages a day, as I think I should. I said some time ago that if I worked on it like I should, I would be able to finish the first rough draft by the end of November. I haven't yet, because I haven't worked on it enough, but I still feel good about it, because the story is finally beginning to draw to a close. I'm basically right in the middle of the climax, big battle scenes, people dying, all that good stuff. I keep forgeting that there needs to be some sort of resolution at the end, beyond just the victory point of the climax. Some type of epilogue material, and I neglect to include that in my thoughts about finishing the work. But I feel good about it. Even when I only write a couple paragraphs, I look it over and, for good or ill, I usually like it. Soon I will be able to get down and dirty with editing my own material, reworking everything that doesn't fit to gether or doesn't make sense, fixing grammar and plotlines and foreshadowing and backstory and spelling and everything. It seems like a daunting task, but I think I have a better idea of what needs to be fixed/changed than I would have when I was only half-way through the story. Anyway, my goal is still the end of the year, and I suppose I should make that the second-draft deadline. It's exciting to me, in a way, but I don't think I will really be happy about it until it's on it's way to publication... if it gets to that point. I hope and pray that it does.

And in other news, my guitar practicing has been different recently. I haven't been hammering out cover tunes, like I've intended to, but I've been working on fingering a lot. It's actually really good for me, because it builds up my callouses and gives my fingers a really good workout, and it should make me a better guitar player, so I think it's well worth it. That being said, I should get too work on some more S&G. Maybe some other stuff, too.

That's all for now, I think.

quote of the day:
S: Tell me about your girlfriend Marzipan. What's her deal?

H: She told me today that she thinks your baking has really improved lately.

S: Oh, my baking, eh? I do enjoy baking every once and again.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I don't do well in the mornings. When I get up out of bed, I seem to need a good hour or two in which no one bothers me, and by that I mean that no one at all is in the same room. There are certain exceptions, people I like seeing right away (*), but for the most part, people being there get on my nerves in the morning. I know this is a character flaw on my part, but I have never found any way to counteract it. Getting a good amount of sleep is no remedy.

This quality I have makes me leery of someday having children. I mean I'd hate to wake up every morning and be able to think of nothing except how annoying my children are. Maybe it's not like that. Maybe I would be a different creature by then. I don't know. Or maybe I'll just have to turn myself into a morning person and get up three hours before anyone else instead of staying up three hours later. I don't know. I'm just thinking about things.

things I've learned

There are things that one learns over time, over the years, which can be easy to forget. Little lessons, changes of mind, attitude, perspective, sometimes you forget how you once tried to live a certain way. Sometimes life continued as it used to be, not from any particular event or experience causing a reversion on your part to your former way, but merely from forgetfulness. Life goes on, you deal with your struggles, and sometimes, if you're not careful, the things you once knew, which were so profound and vital when you learned them, fade from memory. I'd like to take this time in my night when I should be asleep to write down some of the things I've learned, not necessarily in any profound kind descriptive language that communicates the essence of the lesson, but merely labels for the changes I experienced or sought to put into action.

Think positive.

Turn every disappointment into an opportunity.

Remember that you are nothing.

Remember that you can accomplish anything.

Eating new foods can be fun.

Take every hardship as a chance to see God's hand in your life.

Do not forget in darkness what you knew to be true when you were in the light.

If you are looking for something in particular, your chances of finding it are very small, because of all the things in the world, you're looking for one of them. If you're looking for anything at all, then your chances of finding it are very good, because of all the things in the world, you're bound to find some of them.

Your thoughts have an impact on yourself and on the world around you.

You can live a life of faith. There is no use in worrying about money, and you should not let it hinder you from living the life to which God has called you.


And finally, don't forget to get a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"But Look around. The grass is high. The fields are ripe. It's the springtime of my life."

Simon & Garfunkel

Friday, November 10, 2006

Opening Night

Tonight was opening night of the play at the Guthrie. It went great. We had already had about five preview performances, so we'd already established a kind of routine for our performances. It ran as smoothly as could be. Then we had our opening night party. There were lots of people there: cast crew, quite a few audience members who got some party tickets. For a good portion of the time, it was difficult for me to enjoy the social atmosphere. There was one room with food, one with the bar, and one with dancing. The dancing room was fairly sparse for most of the night, and I was able to avoid being enticed onto the floor, for the most part. Otherwise, I just mingled with people. It took a bit for the drinks to kick in, but eventually I was able to relax. Relative to my usual particular stiffness. I met several new faces and I socialized with other members of the cast. It was fun.

One experience in particular, toward the end of the night, was especially significant to me. I got to talking with Brian, the Pope in our show. He's kind of a big deal in the theatre world. Anyway, we got to talking about God and about life, when he asked me about my own life. At one point in our conversation he said to me, "you seem to radiate goodness. I saw it from the first moment I met you." I don't know how that's possible, having intimate knowledge of my own capacity and tendency toward being a big jerk. My own self-deprecation notwithstanding, the compliment touched me greatly. We talked more about life, my dreams, his experience, and it was really great. I remembered tonight one more reason I love the theatre. For some reason, I have the most interesting conversations about spiritual things when I'm involved in the acting biz. It was true in high school. I didn't expect it when I started but it appears to be true now.

Other good theatre-related news: no more rehearsals. Only performances from here on in. Lots and lots of them, Almost every night ('cept Mondays) and several matinees, until we close on the 17th of December. So I'll still be busy, but there shouldn't be any more ten or twelve hour days at the Guthrie.

A lot of other things are on my mind, but I'm not in a state to process it all right now, most of it being related to the previously mentioned conversation with Brian, among other conversations of the night.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lost and Loving the Theatre

I've been busy. Yesterday was my day off, and I think I spent it well enough, though I forgot to do my laundry. Ugh. I hate when I do that. But other than yesterday I've been at the Guthrie all day every day, for the most part. We've spent hours in rehearsals, many of which I've spent reading, because I'm not always on stage. But we've also started preview performances, and those are going well. On my off hours, at night after a 10-12 hour day in the city, I've gone home and watched Lost: Season 1. It is amazing. What can I say about that show. I had heard it was very good by many different sources, but I didn't know how good. It's not just creepy and weird and exciting and dramatic. But it deals with real issues: faith, pain, crisis, good and evil, fear, health, troubled pasts, relationships. It's deep, and it's mysterious, enthralling, riveting. If it weren't for Cassie, I think I'd want it for a lover. haha.

Anyway, it's actually hard for me to feel like I'm growing as a person when I'm just constantly busy, so I don't always feel that I have something deep and meaningful to talk about. But at the same time, I feel like what I'm doing with myself has great value. I may just be an extra in a show at a nice theatre in Minneapolis, but I love doing it. I love the energy of the crowd as we give our performances. I love the anticipation in the air as the actors prepare themselves mentally and physically to go on stage. I love immersing myself in the story and placing myself in another time and place.

My writing has suffered from the lack of energy when I get home at night, but I've been able to get some things accomplished, just on Monday and today. The story is starting to wrap up, which means I'm actually building to the climax. It's actually quite difficult. I don't want to rush it, but I want it to move along and build up in intensity. It's a trial, and sometimes I don't feel like I'm up to the task of completing it. It's just daunting, even though I've come this far.

Anyway, that's all for now. I look forward to continuing on Lost as soon as I can. We'll see when that will be. I need to find Disc 6 of Season One, because it's missing from the set I'm borrowing. Urrr... That's, uh... that's my... angry face.