Friday, November 27, 2009

Candy Candy Candy

I just closed Landscaping the Den of Saints last weekend and next weekend I take the stage in Holiday Hangover: An Anthology for the Seasonally Affected.  I noticed something interesting backstage from the past three shows I was part of at the Avery Schreiber Theater -- different snacks.

I usually bring some kind of treat to share in the dressing room.  I can't remember what I brought for Pin-Up Girls, but I do remember breaking from my diet to enjoy some individually wrapped chocolate chip cookies and Tootsie Rolls.  For Tracing Sonny, I bought the cast a bucket of meltaway mints in a variety of flavors.  They brought in gummy sharks and restocked every weekend of the run.  I brought a Willy Wonka variety bag twice for Landscaping the Den of Saints that was filled with Nerds, Laffy Taffy and Sweettarts.  We also had Skittles and 100 Grand bars from the writer-director and brownies from the stage manager.  It's been a sugar buffet for every show.

What's rather curious is that no two shows had the same backstage snacks.  I'm excited to see what kind of crap we have for Holiday Hangover.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Art, Not Artist

I frequent a few online social networks. One of the interesting things about social networking is that you get to learn about your friends' friends. Andrew usually gets into online arguments with those friends of friends. I came close to doing the same this past week when a friend asked if one of my favorite artists would do things in life just to have more interesting creations. A friend of this friend waxed douchy about this artist by assuming the artist lived the art (experienced everything he wrote about firsthand just to create the art without regard for others along the way), and I was ready to jump through the computer and do my best "Hulk smash" on this stranger. (The verbal assault really angered me because I'm a huge fan of this artist and I've witnessed the creation of this latest work through the artist's generosity and the wonders of the internet.)

In order to create a work of art, the artist doesn't have to experience everything addressed in that piece of art firsthand. For example, I wrote a novel about a zombie prostitute. I'm not a zombie or a prostitute but I could still write a novel about the subject because I had enough familiarity with both subjects from other studies to craft a novel. I wrote a short play about a girl who agreed to an engagement and later regretted it; I've never lived that. One should have some familiarity with a subject to try to accurately interpret and express that subject, but one doesn't have to experience every aspect of it to communicate that idea to an audience.

Some people do research to learn more about a subject before basing a piece of art around it. Andrew learned about burlesque before writing Pin-Up Girls. He didn't have to live as a 1940s dancer to write about it. He's doing a lot of research for a new play for next year. He won't know everything there is to know about the subject he's covering, but he'll know enough to effectively communicate it.

There is a difference between the art and the artist. The artist is just presenting the communication as best they can.

And I don't care if someone hates John Mayer's music. They can also eat tofu or bitch about democracy. They may be stupid, but that's their journey.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Back in the High Life

I got a job! I start Monday and work 20 hours a week at a place a short ride via public transportation from home. After six months of temping and random work, I'll be gainfully employed again. I think it will be a nice fit. I'm excited.

I have a couple dance shows this month and a few next month. I close the play I'm in next weekend and open another two weeks later. We're hosting a Thanksgiving lunch at the Old Los Angeles Zoo. I'm also teaching my first class with this dance school in December. Things are looking up.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Idle Hands Are What Again?

There is something quite wonderful about being busy and productive despite my questionable employment status.  I know that the activities of today will generate the income of tomorrow.  So I stay very busy.

I met with a new friend and fellow performer for coffee yesterday.  She lives maybe two miles from me but is only performing in Los Angeles for my show.  She's a little weirded out by dancing in the city where she lives.  Anyway, my meeting with her sparked an idea for my next act so the costume is even cooler than I previously hoped.  It wasn't anything specific she said; it was just the creative energy generated by chatting with a colleague.  She and I have big plans to go downtown by bus to do some window shopping and maybe pick up some ribbons for my costumes next week.  It was awesome spending time with her.

I also had a big meeting with the Striptease Symposium ladies about next year's schedule.  I'll be teaching more next year than I did this year.  I'm teaching a couple beginner series and some specialty workshops.  We're also shooting some promotional footage over Thanksgiving break.  I'm really excited about the possibilities.

I'm still working on aprons and pasties as time permits.  I hope these things will help me work my way out of my personal economic crisis.  I do have a job interview Monday for something I can do in my sleep, so I'm very optimistic.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

Recession ... Over?

I've been pounding the job boards since June in search of a perfect match: part time work at a cool place using my talents at a decent rate of pay.  I've had a few great interviews but there are so many qualified people looking for work that the job market is super competitive.  People are taking less than their services are worth in an effort to bring home a steady paycheck.  Then there are employers who aren't bringing on new people because the doom and gloom of recession has halted their purchasing, manufacturing and sales to a greater or lesser degree.

Bummed out about my largely fruitless efforts, I told Andrew about my frustrations in finding work.  He said it was announced somewhere that the economic recession was officially over.  That's neat and all that it was announced somewhere (probably some radio program or news page that I don't frequent), but I don't know that enough people were listening.  So here's an announcement to all those potential employers out there: THE RECESSION IS OVER!

Now, let's talk about you bringing a cute girl (me) into you place of business to work for a decent rate of pay.