Thursday, November 14, 2013

Petty Gabe and his heartbreak

I read a post this morning about the nominees for the broadway world award thing and saw the name of an ex-girlfriend. I thought for about 5 minutes about how shitty a person I thought she was and how that immediately disqualified her from anything good happening to her ever. Because that is the way the world works inside my head. if you and I are at odds currently the universe should shit all over you and not take into account that you may have something good to offer. I have been thinking this way a lot recently.

I went to the wedding of a dear friend and ran into a guy I don't talk to anymore. Mostly because he was always obnoxious and a had a habit for saying the stupidest things imaginable. And he now has a wife and 2 kids and a house and a good job with prospects on a better job. My envy got the better of me and I thought about all the things that made his life shittier than mine so I could feel better.

Then I realized that I was making life into a sitcom. The episode where the main character goes to a class reunion and finds himself coming short of all his peers and then some sweet female character kisses him and says he is the perfect man for her. The crowd AWWWWWS at the moment and he has learned a valuable life lesson. But then next week the poor schlub goes back to being an idiot. I fucking hate that.

If my life sucks or is any less than someone else's it is because I feel that way about it to begin with and obviously need to make a change. The truth is that the guy at the wedding is still a little bitch and an obnoxious asshat. He may have better things than I do and he may have his family life all planned out but that is not my fucking business. My personal life is fantastic. I am in a much better place than I have ever been. My job wears on me a lot and I think it is time I made myself able to be in a better position but that is my job and not on anyone else. So problem solved...

Except not.

I like to consider myself a decent actor. I do theatre that makes me happy. I have a hard time with the idea of awards because while i like the idea of someone saying how great I am, I also don't think that should ever come into play as to why I do it. At it's heart, awards are all about marketing. if you have won an award you can put it on your resume and people are more likely to buy you for their next project.

And yes I will admit it here...I wish I could be a professional actor I don't care about starving or being homeless, as I have said to others. It isn't about being lazy or careless...

I'm just scared.

I don't like failing. I want to be assured that all my hard work won't be for nothing. But I don't know how to do that. It is why I like the work so much. It feels like I am doing what I want for a change.

That being said this blog has taken a turn I didn't expect it to...

I was going to go into the fact that hating an ex for getting nominated is a bullshit concept. That my own feelings about others doesn't make them less of a person. I was going to go into a full rant about my list of exes and do a where are they now thing for a gag and say that I have learned to wish them well. I was going to talk about how doing theatre isn't about my ego and that awards while nice really shouldn't be anything to make me feel like a lesser performer or any more of  performer in the case of those doing it.

But I have come to the realization that I want more. I want more in my real life job and I want more from theatre. I love them both.That is what I have learned here And I am tired of being the lowest man on the totem at work, but that can be changed with more education. And I am tired of playing the same thing over and over which makes me overlooked by everyone. I can put out the best performance of the asshole that learns something and I can inform exactly how decent a guy that character is before you learn he is a nice guy but I want more. I love that guy. But I am that guy. and I want to be able to show that I can be something else. I am an actor for fucks sake.

I can do anything. I just wanted you to know.

With deep and abiding affection,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Actors...I shit 'em

I have said before that I started acting when I was sixteen. When I was fifteen I watched a group from the high school play some theatre games for us as an enticement to join the theatre. One of the girls in the group was a friend of my brother's so that made it seem cool. Plus I had done a ton of improv games with my father and the church group that I was a part of up until I had my falling out with organized religion, but that is another story entirely. 

Through the years I have worked with some great people and a surprising number of them are dead now and no one in the theatre scene remembers them. Great men. Great women gone from people's memory. People I truly loved. My high school drama  teacher, the woman who taught me all my basics, dead. Remembered only by Lakes High School alumni who were old enough to take her class. Dr. Les Price, who believed in my talent as a young actor, died of cancer. Remembered by only a few people who I have worked with and keep in touch with. Doug Saxby, A lovely, wonderful man who captured my attention every time he spoke. When he spoke it was always something worth hearing. Dead. Of course he was in his late seventies when I met him but one but a few people I converse with remember him. And those are just a few of the souls who directed me on stage and in life.

Now, most of the people I know in theatre are still alive. The number of them that I respect...well let's just say that there aren't many.

You are probably wondering where this is all leading.

Doug Saxby once told me that a famous actor used to look through the curtain at the audience and whisper silently "You sons of bitches" but when he went onstage he made the audience love him. Stephen Borsuk (alive) once told me when playing a character to go out and fuck the audience. Make them scream and want to fuck you. But my favorite mentor for theatre I have ever had is Henryk Wroszynski. That man once said to a cast working for him, when asked what method of acting he subscribed to, "we will use whatever method works." That man has taught me more about theatre than anyone ever has.

You see besides being an actor, I am also a punk and part-time rude-boy in the respect that I am into punk music and ska and that I rebel against most things people tell me about the rules. And when it comes to rules of theatre I only adhere to a few. I know a lot of people lately who have quoted others on what is important in the theatre and I have heard a number of stories of people doing acting exercises that were just so important that you wouldn't believe the performance it pulled out of them.

You are fucking stupid.

Here is what is important:
Show up ready to work
Do the job while you are there.
Know your place
Have fun
Don't be afraid to talk yell scream what you think
Go the fuck home and have a life

A paltry list, I know, but that is all there is. Anyone tells you different and they are lying to you. If someone tells you that warm-ups are absolutely necessary to participate in, tell that festering tit boil to go suck a mangy infected cock. If anyone tells you an exercise is absolutely important to pulling a character out of you for a marvelous performance remember that is not their place to determine. All of it is just an excuse to revel in the art or craft of acting, and theory like that makes you into one of those mindless elitist cockholes that make people hate theatre and actors in the first place. You sound like a douchebag. If you listen to music, or warm-up, or create a power animal like some hippie fuckwad who wants to connect a character with nature, that is fine but don't think for a moment that anyone else gives two flying cunts. 

Also I have had people as of late try to tell me that some parts of the theatre are more important than others? If you think one part is more imortant or is "the most important" you are going to see your entire project collapse before your eyes. So don't waste your time on importance.You are there to WORK! For whatever reason that might be. If it gives you an adrenaline rush. If it caters to getting you attention you do or don't get in life. If you just love the whole process and want to be a part of it all. If you love the dissection of character and love the journey you get to take in discovery, whatever reason you have you are there to work. Not to give a shit how many audience members are there. Not to play fucking games. Not to feel superior to other people. You are there to work. 

If you got into theatre for the money, then someone fucking lied to you and you were dumb enough to believe it.

I guess what I am saying is what Henryk said. Do what works, but I would add that we should realize that not all actors work the same. They don't all fit a pattern. At best your performance may have all the pieces fit together but the puzzle wont have any edge pieces. It won't be easy, the edges will be rough, some parts of the picture might be missing and it certainly won't be pretty in spots. But the work got done. Then you can go the fuck home and have a life. And don't think for a second that it matters in the grand scheme of things. 

Doug Kerr once said to a cast that I was in to, "not let our heads get to big by doing this show, after all there are people in china who don't even fucking know that you or this show exists."

And in the end the people you love, who truly shape your world will be gone and no one will remember them or anything they said. So don't think for a second that this experience is for anyone but yourself. If you keep trying to make it for other people you might miss the target. If you make it for you, others might get something out of it and feel like they saw a part of you that is worth seeing, and you are guaranteed some happiness for yourself(have fun).

With deep and abiding affection,

Thursday, July 11, 2013

At the risk of really offending someone...

Ok, I was trying to wait until this congealed in my head as a solid thought because I am having trouble and need to know more from the high minded individuals I call friends and family. Let me just say that, ever since I was cognizant of what it is, I have been a supporter of the LGBT community. I am a supporter of equal rights for all of sexualities, but a couple of recent articles have given me pause to consider one initial in that set. I have no issue at all with the LGB portion of it. I am a firm believer that the definitions of sexuality can be changed with no problem. Those in the against category would argue that sex is for the instinctual purpose of procreating but at a deeper level I believe we all just want to cum and whatever gets you there is fantastic. Unless its children. They got another several years to get used to just the basics of living before we throw the confusion of sex and emotions involved. If you wanna steal that innocence do us all a favor and kill yourself because sex isn't about cumming for you. And that is just unnatural. In fact any sex that has nothing to do with cumming or interpersonal connection is wrong.

But I digress. The definitions of the word sexuality could use a little broadening and changing. We are a people who are constrained by words and their definitions. Learning to bridge the gap between peoples definitions is where it gets tricky. Which brings me to my point. The transgendered. The T in LGBT has been showing up in my consciousness lately. And I guess the things that are bothering me is where I need the discussion.

I read an online comic some of you are familiar with called Penny Arcade. I love their stuff and am a fan. I have prints of some of their comics on my wall. The artist for the comic got into some hot water when he had a discussion about a game that basically teaches women how to masturbate. The discussion was that the game was intellectually bigoted against those of the transgendered community because it is marketed as a game for women and some transgendered consider themselves women without the corresponding anatomy. The artist felt that this was not the case because people with vaginas are generally women. The man was called cis male garbage and even had someone threaten to kill him. He eventually apologized for his role in all that transpired and had some great conversations with some other people that really opened his eyes to some greater truths. Which is partially what I am endeavoring to do here.

In other news, I read an article this morning about a transgendered member who is in nursing school who has been threatened with expulsion for using the women's restroom. This is being labeled as intolerance by the person who wrote the article. Now the assertion of the article expresses that she can no longer use the bathroom that is in the building she takes classes in. Instead she must use a restroom on the other side of campus in the admin building that resembles a janitorial bathroom.

These are two examples that have come into my consciousness that I have trouble with. At heart I believe the definition of sexuality can be broadened to include all. But it is a much harder prospect to change our definitions of gender. Sure the campus could put unisex bathrooms and the game company could make a masturbatory game for all people but I think the problem can be solved at a deeper level.

Like I said sexuality is a definition that can be broadened but I believe terms like male and female are too broad. Saying something is male in our society carries so much more than just having a dick.

The game in question probably has some ambiguous title like women's sensuality trainer when this would be better to just call it what it is. Twat whacker trainer or Pussy fingering guide. It would be still exclusionary but those who identify as female, without vaginas would know that it isn't for them.

Bathrooms are labeled male and female. So either have unisex bathrooms or label them for corresponding anatomy. This bathroom is for individuals with penises. That Bathroom is for individuals with vaginas. Or maybe people should just mind their own fucking business in the fucking bathroom and stop looking at what other people are doing in there. Honestly the quimstain that reported the transgendered woman in the bathroom is spending way to much time worried about other fucking peoples bathroom habits. It's a bathroom get in and get out, ya fucking vain ass bitch!

Specifics and generalities are what get us in trouble. When I am looking at a specific person I can treat them however they want. I am glad to call you whatever you want to be called. All my pronouns will correspond. Generalities are what get us in trouble. Referring to large groups never works. Stereotypes and grouping people together doesn't work. I put it to you that it never has.

When speaking in generalities your words need to be simpler. Individuals are complex. Mobs are simple.

If you need to soften the bathroom words for kids we can say innies and outties. There, you paranoid childish freaks.

Communication is everything and just bringing up this topic gives me some insight but I feel like this is only the beginning of the conversation and I really look forward to everything I am going to learn.

With deep and abiding affection