Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Cain and Abel" Redux

Closing night curtain call

I admit it: I will NEVER get tired of doing this show. EVER, EVER, EVER. Of course, I miss the two songs we cut -- but if you and your organization are looking to do a short (20 minutes for the complete version) and fun take on this Biblical story with great songs and guaranteed laughs -- you just contact me, you hear?

In the meantime, here are some photos Myrna took of closing night. If it looks like we're outside -- we are! Our "backstage" waiting area was actually out in the frickin' parking lot... ugh! As someone dear on our team said about our fab group -- it's like we had taken THOROUGHBREDS to a dog and pony show... (I'm still really perturbed at what happened there, but don't want to speak to it yet...) so I'll just hold my tongue and celebrate "all the good bits"!

Feel free to click on each picture for a little more commentary. Enjoy! :)

Headshots in the lobby
Headshots in the lobby

The Writers
The Writers

The TEAM -- w/ Myrna and Kellen, less Michele :(

Stephen Van Dorn as CAIN
Stephen Van Dorn as CAIN

John David Wallis as ABEL
John David Wallis as ABEL

Rachel Payne as TRUDY
Rachel Payne as TRUDY

Kelly Lester as EVE
Kelly Lester as EVE

Adam LeBow as GOD
Adam LeBow as GOD

Me in a Abel-and-Cain sandwich
Me in an Abel-and-Cain sandwich

My favorite Mark Twain quote

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

I used to love this because I would forget who I would tell what to, especially if I'd get into "storytelling" mode and depending on who the "audience" was. LOL So now I know if I just keep the FACTS straight (which I have a hard time remembering in the first place anyway, the DRAMA of any story always sounds better)... maybe I'd actually be telling the truth in there somewhere...

After all, this quote is filed in The Quotations Page under HONESTY.

And I remember in high school when I realized that I had a penchant for little baby white lies... depending who my audience was, and what I story I had to tell! I realized this when I found myself even fibbing when people asked me what time it was and I'd say something five minutes off -- JUST BECAUSE. That's weird, isn't it? A control thing maybe? A habit I picked up from my mom? The time part, that is, not the lying -- she's a TERRIBLE liar. If she hates something... well, she won't lie to make you feel better, that's for sure, and there's no padding anything either... bad thing... it takes a lot to get her excited about ANYTHING. The one thing in a blue moon that DOES makes her silly happy -- well, I've discovered as adult that THOSE days are WORTH it, because they're so genuine...

But I digress.

Mom would NEVER tell me what the REAL time was because she knew I would always wait for the last minute to wake up, to get up and MOVE. If we were going to be late for something: "C'mon, it's 9:30, we have to go!" but it's really only 9:00. If it's too late for me doing something at night (it's 11:15 pm) she'll say, "C'mon, it's midnight already, go to bed!"


In any case, I'm loving that quotes I love area falling into my lap -- ones I actually live my life by. I'm not usually a big quote collector... but when I real one passes by, I'll make sure I post it.

By the way, the TRUTH right now is I'm the most broke I've ever been EVER in my life, but other that the little stresses that having no money brings (!), I'm very happy right now! I'm doing a lot of creative work (can't wait to share... soon!!!), I'm cleaning out a lot of old shit in my life and gettin' ready for a Pluto squaring my natal moon starting in February for a frickin' year -- which means "death and destruction for the purpose of rebirth, especially in all things lunar like the home and mother issues"! The only way around this time is THROUGH it... so as Daddy says, "I'm holding on to my ears" and looking forward to what on the other side of this!

And lastly, I know have to tell the truth now, because as I get older... I only remember that which I've written down as the truth. YIKES! Does that happen to you too?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Taxicab Confessions

"If something doesn't turn me on, then it just makes me laugh. How can I go wrong?"

Somehow that statement told to a cab driver by a late-to-the-game dominatrix struck me as a terrific -- and familiar -- life philosophy. I need to remember that these days! My life looks easy going but the continuous STRESS is under the surface but running as hot and deep as magma in a volcano...

Breathe, girl, breathe...

My sleep is completely backwards again -- and while I hate it, I still feel pretty powerless to work on it... that's what happens when you miss a few of your hynotherapist sessions I guess.

Yesterday I did a lot of "checking off" of chores on my list before my monthly writing class (that I'm really behind on...) and put my head down for a few minutes before getting ready... and woke up and hour-and-a-half into class. OH SHIT. I guess I just didn't want to face up to the fact that I'm just BEHIND ON EVERYTHING -- and of course, missing class just makes me more behind and feeling guilty to boot. UGH.

How can one possibly passive-aggressive with MYSELF?

I at least hooked up my piano/computer gizmo and am pushing myself to finish a "rush" song for a collaborator of mine. We talked about in July... but KABOOM, now there's a chance someone can sing it for a Christmas cabaret and we need the demo SATURDAY. Good god!

Fortunately it only took me about an hour to get a decent intro the other night while I waited for him to show up at school... but now I'm a bit stuck, you know, that Perfectionist trait in me and all. But I'm trying to push through that and just get FRICKIN' PROLIFIC. There are more songs where that came from, right?

But the outline for the musical is coming SLOW. Act I feels good -- rough but good. Act II? Oh god... how is this thing gonna END? Is it EVER going to end? Am I ever going to get everything I need to say in this musical on paper, ever? Shit. I just gotta remember I need to say what I need to say NOW. There are more PLAYS where that came from too...

It's 7:49 a.m and I can't decide whether to keep working or lie down... no keep working, I'm not that tired. I can't stand lying in bed wiaitng to fall asleep... I guess I subconsciously LIKE to pass out at the computer...?


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Year of the Filipino

It's been awhile since I've written a "substantial" blog sometimes I wonder if I'm even capable of doing it anymore! Or maybe life has been so rich lately I don't want to stop to record it for fear of this wild ride disappearing... Well, que sera sera...

So many things:
* Got to meet four of the five Filipino actors of The Romance of Magno Rubio: Bernardo Bernardo, Ramon de Ocampo, Jojo Gonzalez and Paolo Montalban (yes, THAT Paolo) and Arthur Acuna was terrifc too. More later.

* This weekend our mini-musical Cain and Abel: The Naked Truth had a three-day run at Actoberfest with John David Wallis and Rachel Payne reprising their roles as Abel and Trudy; Stephen Van Dorn as Cain, Kelly Lester as Eve and Adam LeBow as God. Michele Spears came back to direct and Myrna Emata was the music director. This is a whole post in itself -- the performances were top-notch, the team was great! That's all I'll say for now and will have photos to share soon.

But what inspires the title of this post?

I'm in the middle of breaking out an outline for my next musical, Sailors and Nurses. First of all, I'm so grateful to have two fabulous lyricists to collaborate with -- ANMT-trained and YES, FILIPINAS! Thank you for signing on Allison Johnson and Maureen Borillo... it's gonna be a TRIP... if the bookwriter can get her proverbial sh*t together. Oh wait, that's me!

My classmate, Terri, asked me how it was going -- and I all I could say was "I'm crying a lot. I can't stop crying."

But don't fell sorry for me... I've finally figured out this is my process! It's what happened when I wrote Carabao Bookends and Light Filipino Brown -- and it's when I know I'm telling the truth and writing of my heart. [As I've told many people: I'm like Dorothy Parker:

"I hate writing, I like having written"

-- because a story has to be told. So I wallow in the process, as messy and inconsistent as it is...]


And today, Stephen, the new fellow who played (our third!) Cain so wonderfully this weekend, found out how crazy I am about these songs that are OPM = Original Pilipino Music, like Ikaw. We're backstage this weekend waiting for their curtain call and he starts singing this song, Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang, in pure, beautiful Tagalog... a song his co-star, Carol Banawa (a famous TV star/singer in the Philippines) taught him while they were in a biblical extravaganza of a musical in Singapore called Judah Ben-Hur.

Oh dear. Talk about completely melting. More watery eyeballs. And to hear this fabulous voiced white boy sing it... good grief, I'm on another planet.


We find out last night we didn't make the finals... it's a long, long night. But I woke up: and there's a beautiful serenade of Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang on my voicemail from my new friend Stephen, singing the duet with his friend, Mel.

Now I'm just a bowl of jelly. I've never received a song that way before, EVER. And of course, it's just opening up more and more STUFF for me to write about...

Thank you, Stephen. You don't know how magical that was. Sailors and Nurses will be all the more truthful because of that gesture, you have no idea.

Here's a YouTube duet version of it and an English translation -- yeah, you better believe I'm gonna learn this one!


Why only now...
Why only is it now that my heart needs?
It now has found out...

I wish that I'd found out
That you would come into my life
Then I would have waited


You were supposed to have been the one for me to hug
Your hand always for me to hold instead of hers


Why only now....
Is it that you arrive in my life
I'm forcing to open my closed heart
You are the only one for me
Even though I want to forget you
I want to know...why is is now that you arrive in my life?