Monday, June 06, 2005

Look What I Did, Ma...


I read my piece about the quack doctor in the Philippines at Beyond Baroque in Venice last as the end of the session of Terrie Silverman's CreativeRites writing class... I was so proud of myself! Felt weak in the beginning and bit in the end too -- needed a little editing I think but got pretty warmed up doing Mom, Dad, etc. (Not bad for writing the open/close that afternoon... I changed my mind last minute about what I was going to read!)

Hell, other than that, I did everything I could to be prepared (nice comfortable clothes, hair straight, makeup even, and a highlighted black binder with my piece in it). I'd done my "Jack Nicholson walk through" at the show the night before -- apparently Jack checks out his venues and gets comfortable before he actually have to perform there -- and I KNEW I wasn't gonna read some loose or stapled papers there, nor was I going to sit.

I also was nervous because this was a Saturday class, and I kinda floated in all the classes because of my weird schedule and didn't feel like I belonged anywhere! So, I prepared my introduction for Terrie to read too, and took fairly good notes at the tech (where the hell was everyone at our call time at 6?!? Ridiculous!) But eventually... the whole thing was just such a natural thing to do... is that okay to say without bringing the wrath of the Compliment Spirits on me?! hahahah (Guess you had to be there.) I had a lot of (nervous) energy going in but calmed down once I started doing Mom. Who knew I had such stories?

Got a little too punchy on a few funny lines too... hopefully that slid by because I wasn't ACTING it, just doing voices (I don't profess to be an ACTRESS -- yet.). And got a GREAT note from R -- the characters were all clear and different, only one character needs a little help, she said... ME! hahahah I was in a good place so I could hear that well.

The variety of performers was amazing. We started with Carrie, a slightly disabled girl reading her piece in a bikini, Andrea's lonely lesbian pregnancy, then Meredith the Aspiring Mom feeling inept with her two under 3, then me. :) After me the great Elaine talked about how Rita Moreno saved her life, and then there was an exquisite reading from Alla, an older ex-ballet dancer and Jew from the former Soviet Union reading, "Katya." Oh, her energy and reading and story was just so LOVELY, I can't think of any other word (Heidi gets claim to the "exquisite" word)... so calm, so gentle and meaningful, I could have sat there listening to her beautiful Russian accent all night...

After Alla was Orna, who did an improv on a novel she's writing about a progressive Hansel and Gretl. It was quite unique, especially with her accent from Israel, and she kept talking about men as wolves and vaginas sucking their blood... UNIQUE is all I can say to that! Then Kathleen did a fun piece about how she got sick on the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios and was WAILING... really cute! And for the finale...

John F At tech, I'd met a cute guy -- and saw him later with his terribly pushy wife -- hey I've seen that before, when Christian Slater's then-girlfriend Nina Huang was yanking his chain when he wanted to stay and pet my then-puppy Tyler in front of Sushi on Sunset. (Yes, I used to walk my dog on Sunset Blvd.) Pushy, protective: "Stay away, ladies -- and come on John, we have to go home!" Bleech. May I never end up like that with my husband! And he can stay as long as he wants to after he performs... geez. (Or at least I HOPE I'm not the overbearing, jealous, protective, moody...)

John was the only male in the lineup and he closed the evening by trying out some new comedy material he was gonna do in NY in a few days. Boy, was he good, I LOVED his comedy and we were all rolling -- talk about a pro. (Fuck that JFsucks site -- assholes). I loved the fact that his mom was a nun and his dad was a Franciscan brother -- too great a story! And when my friend R and I asked if he'd been on TV (he looked so familiar!) he said, "a few things here and there." Duh! Americ@'s Funniest H0me Video's replacement for Bob S@get with Daisy F. plus a lot of guest hosting and VH1 things. HUMBLE. (His name is John Fvgels@ang if you can figure that out -- I don't want any of this be searchable because I wasn't too nice to his wife up there -- and yes, Jeffrey, really familiar huh?! ;) Humble is good, I liked that -- and there was a nice handshake to boot.

Went out afterwards to the divey but tasty La Caba├▒a w/ CJ, Kathleen and Kathleen's VERY STRANGE friend Fern (I am being kind here). She was really pushy about my reading her hands at the table and dear CJ was politely trying to shoo her off so I could eat. She kept looking ouside herself for answers -- completely acting out her Lesson of POWERLESSNESS right there in front of us. Horrible horrible. She was also an astrologer/psychic who did readings herself but who never charged... (I did I mention she was in the school of Sacrifice?) Uh-oh, I shoulda known better. But I was feeling so annoyed I actually said go ahead, do ME now. And she was okay for "whip creme on catshit" as TL calls those kind of readers, but I know better, especially since I've been trained by the best in doing readings -- I take the best and leave the rest (cat shit). Learned later she dug hard into poor CJ... ooh, I hate people who don't know the effect they have on people when they read and end up beating peoplea their core. NOT GOOD. And because you haven't paid them... they don't take any responsibility for it. YUCK.

Before the show at dinner, I told R to remind me that if I really wanted to be "talent" from now on (after being below-the-line since forever), I was really going to have to act like it. NO having full days before performing. NO rushing to the theater, NO non-professionalism with my cohorts, and most of all, NO acting like an asshole to the below-the-line folks, but NO acting like one either. If you've ever been one, you'll know what this means -- think how a secretary acts when the boss is around... sorta.

[I remember once I told my cousin Hector that I hated when my cousins in the Philippines called me Ate, which means older sister/relative (but still your own generation). I said it made me feel old. He told me to just let them do it as their sign of respect to you... and the people younger than them will do the same, and that's the way it is so relax. I've never forgotten that, and now I LOVE when they call me Ate Madley! And recently, my 11-year-old niece was going to introduce met to her batch of different nationality friends and she whispered to me: "What should I tell them to call you? Madley? Miss Madley?" Not wanting to remain a "Miss" forever, I opted for Auntie Madley. hehehe I love that these non-related, mosly non-Filipino kids are going to be in their thirties someday and will still be calling me Auntie Madley... because that's the way it is.]

Anyhoo, the best thing: John F. saw ME perform... and I actually was talent tonight alongside him, not just an audience member. WOW, that felt good. I've come a long way and am pleased as pancit.

PS. Had two disturbing dreams last night: (1) That my youngest brother had deep dark, unbelievable secret he had to tell us -- he was dying of AIDS -- and if you know my brother, this is quite amazing and completely gut-wrenching; and (2) I was makin' out with tuba player and quarterback John Sutter again. WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?!