( Content warning: partner abuse. )
( Content warning: partner abuse. )
Alex's reimagining is very good. That kid is one of the best young actors I've seen, so I'm especially impressed that he can write too. I've been itching for years to direct him, so because I enjoy him and want to support him, I will see anything he's involved with. It was smart, thoughtful, well-researched, sophisticated in places, with a wit and humor that was very Alex. I could strongly hear his voice in it.
The lead playing Faustus did very well, even if he could stand to vary up the cadence of his delivery a little. I've seen him before, he has talent and great comic timing. It was pretty weird how much he made me think of Jared, though it didn't diminish my enjoyment. He even sat at the same desk Jared sat at when he played Cassander in To Think of Nothing.
And then the other guy playing Mephistopheles was even more fun. He was portrayed as a sardonic, witty, embittered, tall hot goth kid. I was surprised at how much that worked for me. These days my type is much more big, masculine guys with movie star good looks. I'd rather thought I'd outgrown the fascination with skinny painted goth boys in too much hair gel. But...
He reminded me powerfully of Alain, at least aesthetically, whom if nothing else, had the pretty going on. This guy was even a bit broader and more substantial without losing that long lean line. Nothing wrong with that. But with that combination, It created the rather strange viewing experience for me of watching my two college exes snipe at each other for an hour and a half.
I resolved when I broke up with Jared that I would stop hiding how I felt so much, stop pretending things were okay when they weren’t. So I’m going to subject you to the dumb bullshit about how I’m feeling. Feel free to skip if you don’t want to hear. I wouldn't blame you; I'm sick of it myself.
At a very low ebb. Feel so off these, even when I’m mostly doing normal. Seeing how badly Mom is doing just makes me ache. How weak she is, how much help she needs, how much pain she’s in, how she’s sometimes muddled and off both from the painkillers and from the tumors pressing on her brain. It makes me so sad that all the other rough things in my life right now seem beyond my ability to handle.
I’ve come to dislike the term self-care. I know what it’s supposed to mean— making yourself and your wellbeing a priority —but I’ve come to associate it so strongly with people blowing off responsibilities that it raises my hackles a little every time I see it. I would rather feel a little worse than be the kind of person who doesn’t fulfill the commitments that they make to other people. Than for people to feel like they can’t count on me.
But I am overwhelmed. And I don’t know how to ease it. It’s mostly my own fault; in order to feel relevant and like I’m doing something worthwhile with my time when I’m low, I always load myself up with projects. It makes me feel like I’m actually doing something toward making the career I really want. That, and I am so prone to laying down and sinking into nothingness that I need occupations to stave it off. But I have so much difficulty concentrating under this stress that I struggle to get anything done. And so much is due, so much is expected that I’ve committed. And I know I would feel even worse about myself if I didn’t deliver.
How, then, can I take care of myself?
I want to hide, to seek refuge in quiet and solitude, but I can’t. My job, tutoring students in paper writing at Bunker Hill Community College, requires I see and talk with lots of new people every day. While I do fairly good work at it, I find that much human interaction to be extremely exhausting. It’s a good job, though I don’t get many hours, but that part of it stresses me out extremely. It seems like it’s been more so lately. Probably just because I’m so stressed by my mother’s situation, but I’m starting to worry that the wear is cumulative. Which means it would only get worse. But I have to do something, and I’m terrible at finding new jobs when I need them. I guess I have to hope this is only temporary.
I feel like I’m been slow and forgetful lately. Responding to things, remembering the things I have to make sure I get done. And every time a new responsibility hits me, I wonder if it’s going to be what topples me. When one of my roommates told me she’s leaving in a month, the thought of having to find somebody to replace her made me dizzy.
I worry about money. It’s gauche to talk about it, but it’s on the list. Now that the winter finally seems to be breaking it might not be an issue anymore, but the heating bills were absolutely killing me. I’ve been a touch behind for months, even with my careful budgeting. It’s so tiresome to expend so much effort being careful and still not being able to make things stretch. I guess I have one real monetary indulgence—I spend a probably ridiculous amount for my budget on my various workouts. I take two ballet classes a week, plus I attend two group circuit workouts with a trainer at a little gym in Waltham. It adds up pretty fast. But I get so much out of it. I love learning to dance, my body has never looked or felt better, and I think it does so much for my health. If I feel stressed and worn out now, I can only imagine what condition I’d be in without it. If I could just make myself do it myself—practice ballet myself for an hour and a half, go through the circuit routine on my own at the gym —I’d save a ton. But I have a hell of a time making myself do it when I don’t have an appointment with somebody to put me through the paces. I feel like the money’s worth it to me, but I suppose it’s stupid for me to complain about things being tight when I’m making a choice that makes it so.
I suppose I should be grateful. I remember when I was dealing with this sort of thing with the black cloud of Jared hanging over my life. Nothing sucked the hope or energy out of me like he did. Thank God that weight has been lifted; I don’t feel like I’m a breath away from sinking all the time. But I could use a victory. Something nice to happen to me. A success of some kind, a step forward. I know that won’t make up for what’s happening to my mother. But it might help me not to break down and lose hope.
Hold Thy Peace's fall 2013 production was Hamlet, directed by the lovely and talented Sam LeVangie, went up this past weekend, and I was very proud of them. They did a great job with very challenging material, and I couldn't believe how many talented people came together in that cast. It's so amazing to see how far Hold Thy Peace has come-- when I was in undergrad, it was very much the bastard stepchild of the Brandeis theater group, but now it seems to have completely moved past the old conflicts. Even the school respects it more, as is demonstrated by the three thousand dollar budget it got to put on the show. It makes me really proud and happy, as Hold Thy Peace was such an important part of my life.
The set was really gorgeous; designed by Ryan Kacani, they made a castle backdrop with beautiful faux stained glass windows, and the lighting effects for the ghosts were subtle and beautiful. niobien's recent intensive technical experience really showed as she stepped into Bernie's shoes as the new technical director. I loved Sam's vision for the show. Simply put, she has Horatio be a ghost that only Hamlet could see, and as other characters died, they joined the ranks of ghosts haunting the prince, chipping at his sanity, and silently foretelling his doom. Played by Aaron Fischer, he became a solemn Cassandra figure, understated in comparison to the intensity around him. Ryan played Claudius as a charismatic politician with an air of the ends justifying the means, his confidence designed to smooth over a crumbling inner state. His scene with Claudius's confessional monologue was one of the strongest scenes in the show. And of course there was Alex Davis as Hamlet, one of the most talented undergrads I've ever seen at Brandeis, whose tremendous ability to command a stage with his presence makes him absolutely mesmerizing. It was overall a wonderful cast, and I'm amazed to see multiple strong leading men in HTP for the first time.
I took this picture of Alex and Frances, the two Hamlets of HTP. Very different portrayals in all possible ways, and both amazing for different reasons. I like this little bit of history. :-)
( Cut for bitching and whining. )
The show also brought up a lot of memories. As you may recall, I directed the first production of Hamlet HTP ever put up, back in November of 2007. I was very proud of that show, and I think we did a very good job overall, despite struggling to find good people to be involved and so few resources for production. Honestly I was happy enough with my idea behind that show that I'd love to recreate it now that I'm more developed as a director. But at the same time it's become something that's a bit difficult to think about. It was a project that Jared was very deeply involved with, and I can't think about that play without having to think about him.
I'll just have to figure out some way to separate the two. For well or for ill, one thing I've always been good at is distancing myself from memories. They don't necessarily stick to me-- I tend to reframe them as narratives and hold onto them that way, rather than maintain mental snapshots or videos of the moments --and that's made me good at keeping what I want to keep and moving past what I don't. Hopefully I will be able to keep this from tainting the memory of something I should really be proud of.
I never made a formal announcement over LiveJournal, but the 21st marks one month since Bernie and I officially started dating. I can't believe how different my life is, how different things can be.
I've loved him for a long time. I never acted upon that in any way that would have violated the boundaries of the relationship I was in, but it became clearer and clearer that even then he was my real emotional support, much more of a true partner. I waited four months after the breakup, but after that I felt I was ready to move forward with my life.
It's been so good. We don't really have that happy shiny new person feeling, as I think that part actually happened years ago before we could ever actually date, but I've learned not to trust that feeling anyway. Instead everything just feels better. I feel calmer, stronger, more able to handle struggle without losing it. He makes me happy, truly, consistently, in a way I haven't been in years. Finally the depression is gone. It was like getting over an addiction. It was hell during the detox period, but now that it's over, I feel so much freer, healthier, like I have my life back.
It’s shocking how much you can get used to, when you think about what you’ve been putting up with. When you realize that you made choices to minimize the pain you were going to experience—and in making that choice, you basically gave permission for someone to do bad things to you, because it was the lesser of two evils that you’d have to endure. I’m lucky in that I was never warped into believed I deserved it, that I wasn’t a worthy person, or that it wasn’t sick. But fearing being in so much more pain I’d be non-functional kept me putting up with it.
It’s almost miraculous when you get reminded that decent people don’t act that way. That yeah, no one’s perfect, but there are people who would never hurt you like that. Who respect your needs and feelings, who don’t ever run you down or use you, who care enough about you to work at treating you right. And that is how it SHOULD be.
Unfortunately, that hasn't soothed my feelings about the situation much yet. I am still so angry. Not constantly, not overwhelmingly, but it still hits me, sometimes hard enough that I can't think straight, that I break down in helpless sobbing fury. I have a history of frequent bad dreams, but these days whenever I have one it's about him, in which he always behaves in some way that hurts me and I have to seethe with impotent rage that there's nothing I can do about it. As I am fixated on in life, there are no consequences I can give him. None that he cares about anyway. I can't believe how cleanly he moved on from having me in his life. I guess I don't KNOW that he did, as I've avoided him as completely as possible, but from what very little I've heard he's just subbed his new girl into my place. A girl he's willing to put up with having to share in order to be with. The thought that I did so much for him and he doesn't even miss me kills me. What a waste of my life that I'll never get back. What a lot of pain I should never have had to bear. This is the part I'm having an extremely hard time getting over.
I wish I never met him. I've been wracking my brain to think of some way he enriched my life that balanced anything about how awfully he treated me, and I can't think of a damn thing. Not one damn thing that was worth the emotional torture, the constantly being used, the damn near sexual assault. And he's enough of a dick that I don't even think he's sorry about any of it. I've seen no indication. No regret, no apology, not even a bit of acknowledgement of anything he did. I know I gave him a pretty clear message that I didn't want to hear from him when I blocked or removed him on every possible communication form I could think of, but it still bothers me that he apparently has no remorse. I wasted all that time on a monster. It makes me sick.
I continue to avoid him like the plague. I feel better and function better when it's like he doesn't even exist. There was, I think, a near-miss at Festival of the Larps, but I didn't actually run into him. I worry a bit for the future-- I hate the idea that I'll have to choose between doing things I want to and having to see or be around him --but I don't think there's anything in the immediate future to concern me.
We'll see how things continue from here. I want to get to the point where he means absolutely nothing to me one way or the other. That is likely a very long time in coming, but I hope at least to get better and better as time goes on.
( You don't have to read more about this if you don't want to, but it clears up what happened if you've been wondering. )
I'm hoping to not post too much more about this for a while. I don't want to become steeped in it, or the person who can't talk about anything besides her breakup. But I wanted to clear up about what happened at Intercon as regards to my personal stuff.
I'll say one thing, though. Rough times really how you who your friends are. I have been so incredibly lucky to have so many friends reach out to me during this time. Some people who aren't even that close with me but still were kind enough to extend themselves to show support and care. That means more to me than I can say. Thanks to all those people for their strength and understanding. It's what's getting me through this really rough patch of my life.
It was a great trip. Our merry band consisted of myself, my tireless co-director/producer Steph, and our stars, Charlotte as Wondra and Jared as Bantam. We left Friday evening and drove to Long Island, where Steph's lovely family gracious allowed us to stay with them for our trip. The Karols were incredibly kind and supportive, excited to see the show, cheering us on, and making breakfast for us both days. We were incredibly lucky that they were willing to help us out that way.
Steph squired us all over the city, finding us tasty restaurants and keeping us on a good schedule. We'd never have been able to navigate so efficiently without her. She even took me to see Mood, the giant designer fabric store, when I realized we were in the Fashion District. That was really exciting, and that place is fabulous. You have to take an old-fashioned elevator to get there, and it has every notion and fabric you could possibly imagine. I'm so glad I got a chance to see it.
The show itself went very well. The theater itself was a small hole-in-the-wall sort of place, but near to Times Square and just up the street from the Spider-Man musical. We had full or nearly full audiences both times, and Bernie and Kindness were wonderful enough to make the trip all the way from Massachusetts to come see it. I'm so grateful that they went to the trouble. Jared and Charlotte did a great job, committing to the roles, carrying the humor, and even looking pretty damn cool in their costumes. I wish I'd remembered to take pictures. We stood up well against the other pieces, some of which were good, some less so. We certainly didn't do too badly for our New York debut.
I'm so glad we did it. Here's to hoping this is the first of many such productions, with great collaborators like these.
Jared and I have been asked to be in a short silent film that Nick Martucci is putting together called "Moments." It's going to be about a guy who sees a girl and imagines what would happen from there if he went over and talked to her. I'm pretty excited to do it. I've done only a minimal amount of on-camera acting, so I'm happy to have this substantial chance to explore it. And I'm happy about who I'll be working with. It's been a while since Jared and I got to act opposite each other, and I'm excited to have Nick as a director.
If you would be interested in helping this project come to be, Nick has started a fundraiser through IndieGoGo. His goal is just two thousand dollars for equipment and such, and we'd all be very grateful for any small contribution you could make. Go here to check out the campaign, and thank you for your interest and support!
Finally got some more info on my upcoming production of Work-Life Balance! Our two performances will go up in the 7pm block on Saturday the 15th and the 4pm block on Sunday the 16th at the Roy Arias Theater at 300 West 43rd Street in New York City. I checked out its website and it is a small but legitimate theater in Times Square, which is exciting. We run less than ten minutes, and will be going up alongside a number of other ten-minute plays.
I have also assembled a cast and crew. Wondra will be played by the lovely Charlotte Oswald, while my dear Jared has agreed to take on the role of Bantam. Steph will be co-directing with me, and has also been going above and beyond carrying out many producer responsibilities as well, and Bernie is going to advise on technical concerns. This should be a pretty undemanding show as far as the tech goes-- nothing like the prop-set-sound complexity that The Late Mrs. Chadwick had --but I will be glad to have somebody knowledgeable like him keeping an eye on it, considering the things I'd forget about.
Costumes are the only major issue to take care of. It takes a little thought to assemble a believable superhero outfit. For Wondra I bought a long-sleeved blue leotard, and I think Charlotte will also wear purple tights and this neat purple costume belt that I bought for a larp outfit exactly because it looked so superhero-y. I'd also like to make a symbol of some kind, probably also in purple, to put on the leotard's chest. Boots and a domino mask will complete the look. I've not entirely figured out Bantam's look yet, but I think the foundation of it will be Jared's black flight suit, and I think I found a neat fighting cock image to turn into his logo. Steph had an idea of using body paint to do masks on them, which is a particular skill of Charlotte's.
We have our first rehearsal tomorrow night. I'm really excited, so I'm going to make sure I'm prepared as much as I can be. We don't have much time, so I want to hit the ground running.
He covered some thrift stores clothes with fake blood, and he built the chainsaw himself. He used an empty washing machine detergent bottle for the housing, cut out the neck, and painted it red. He put grip tape on the handle, a black cap on to for the gas cap, and cut and painted the rippled bottom out of a Gatorade bottle for the vent. The blade is made of boffer foam, attached with two wire hanger insides of it, affixed in the housing with expoxy and poking out to skewer the foam. The boomstick was kindly lent to him by lightgamer.
As the storm rages outside, I am bundled up comfy and safe at home. Jared took a sick day to recover from the throat ailment he's been battling through and I worked from home, so we've been weathering the day at my place with my delicious leftovers and each other's company. It has been pleasant.
On top of that, I handed in my craft essay for school today, which knocks something significant off my enormous to do list. I also got a response from my teacher about the second half of Mrs. Hawking, and I am relieved and delighted that she thought it was good. It needs some fixing-- I have some technically demanding details that she thought were cool but unlikely for any theater to be willing to build --but she thinks I can get away with adding an author's note suggesting more practical alternatives. As I really believe in this play, I think I can whip it into real fighting shape. Teacher also said I can have a Lesley-sponsored reading of my play, which I will give you more details about once I have them.
So I feel pretty good today. Not quite finished yet-- my graphic novel script is due by the end of the week, and then I have to finish and send out the sheets for Break a Leg --but I feel accomplished right now. Every little bit brings you a little bit closer!
Jared was kind enough to take me to see the theatrical production of War Horse at the Boston Opera House this Friday. I've wanted to see it for ages, partially because of the reviews, and partially because I was so astounded by the amazing puppets. They did not disappoint; they moved so much like real horses it was uncanny; you almost forgot they were puppets. The puppeteers, I was amazed to learn, were actors with no previous puppeteering credits, it was just a combination of their training and the ingenious design of the horse rig that allowed for such a convincing performance. The show was such an amazing use of the theatrical medium, conveying the motion of the running horses with passing setpieces even though they were just moving in place, and even portraying an entire Panzer tank rampaging through the trenches. It was really mind-blowing. And the show was much better than the movie. The film, though it did some things well and I enjoyed much of it, was too overblown-- all the sweet moments and all the tragic moments were turned up to eleven, and whenever you just began to recover from the latest punch to the gut, it threw another tragedy at you and punched you again. The play was more toned down, more believable and less histrionic, and I think it worked much better. Plus I love horse stories, especially when they're not squishy little girl tales, so a period piece involving the nobility conveyed on man by loving a horse was right up my alley. I'm so grateful to Jared for taking me, and I was so happy to share the experience with him.
Remember how I mentioned that Nick Martucci's humorous ten-minute play "Stranger than Slash Fiction" was going up alongside my piece "The Late Mrs. Chadwick" in the New England Fringe Festival? Well, let it be known that Jared will be taking on the role of Toby Stock, the Iron Man analogue. I'm really proud of him, as it's stepping outside his comfort zone a little, and I'm glad that this really clever little piece is going up. It will be performed, I believe, in the 8pm block on October 6th, the same block as the second performance of "Mrs. Chadwick." So if you come that day, you will supporting two new local playwrights, and treating yourself to two very funny short shows.
The Post-Meridian Radio Players' three Halloween shows have been cast as well. Jared will be playing the shady Senator Mansfield in "The Red Line," described on the website as "Charlie Evans has worked for the MBTA his whole life. Now the system faces cutbacks and privatization and there's nothing he can do about it. That's when he gets a very unusual offer that might save the T, if Charlie can afford the fare." It will be going up as part of Tomes of Terror, performing at Unity Church of Somerville at 8pm on 10/19, 10/20, 10/25, 10/26, and 10/27, with a 2pm matinee also on the 27th. Also, Steph is making her PMRP debut with roles in the other two shows, Little Mac in "The Shivers on Highway 61" and the Dispatcher in "The Crasher." So I hope you'll join me when I go see them. I had a blast at the previous PMRP show so I'm really looking forward to this one.
The Post-Meridian Radio Players are getting close to their performance date for their Summer Radio Mystery Theater show!
From The Burns and Allen Show - "Gracie Takes Up Crime-Solving!"
Gracie's fascination with the radio detective show "The Tall Man" inspires her to change careers and drag hubby George into an investigation of the local postman's missing 1928 Ford Essex!
Written by George Burns
Directed by Brad Smith
Featuring Jared Hite as Bill Goodman!
Sorry, Wrong Number!
Directed by Neil Marsh
Original script by Lucille Fletcher
Featuring rigelin the starring role of Mrs. Stevenson!
A rural doctor from Devonshire enlists the aid of Sherlock Holmes to protect the new lord of Baskerville Hall from a sinister threat: a demonic hound!
Directed by Jess Viator
Original script by Murray Burnett
Adapted from the novel by A. Conan Doyle
Performance adaptation by Jeremy Holstein
Featuring Jared Hite as Sir Henry Baskerville!
Friday, July 27th, 2012 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, July 28th, 2012 @ 2:00pm (matinee)
Saturday, July 28th, 2012 @ 7:30pm
Urban Promise Church of Somerville
204 Elm Street, Somerville, MA
Besides being excited for the shows themselves, I am excited to see Jared play two such different characters. The Burns and Allen piece intends to imitate the original as much as possible, so Bill Goodman is the first role he's ever gotten based on his considerable skill as a mimic. And I've always loved The Hound of the Baskervilles as a story, so I was incredibly pysched that he got to be in that.
I will be attending two of the three performances, the Friday night show and the Saturday matinee. If anyone would care to join me, I would love the company, and would be interested in making plans for dinner and lunch beforehand. So please let me know once you've reserved your tickets, which you may do here on the show website.
The Post-Meridian Radio Players just announced their cast lists for their Summer Radio Mystery Theater! I am very proud to say that Jared will be playing not one but two parts across the three pieces featured in this show. In the production of "Gracie Takes Up Crime-Solving," drawn from the Burns and Allen show, he will be playing the womanizing charmer Bill Goodman. Personally I thought his reading at the audition for that part was phenomenal, so I'm really glad he got it. This piece will be directed by usernamenumber, and I'm so happy for him that he'll get a chance to work under Brad's direction. Additionally, the other day he was offered the role of Sir Henry Baskerville in another of the three pieces The Hound of the Baskervilles. I am a huge fan of that novel, so that's really cool. He'll be in excellent company, too. Congratulations to rigel for getting the lead in Sorry, Wrong Number, directed by the awesome audioboy. And most of the other cast members are names I recognize from previous productions Jared did with Theatre@First, such as the amazing Leslie Drescher, who was Rosalind and Caroline Bingley. Jared's wanted to get into voice acting for a long time now, and I know he loves working with this group, so I'm extremely happy for him. It makes me so proud to see his name on the cast lists here on the show website.
Jared and went to see the last production that PMRP put on, when they did an episode of Red Shift and a reading of The Day the Earth Stood Still. I'd never been to an audio drama performance before, so I didn't know what to expect. They lined the edge of the stage with microphones and had a row of chairs along the back where the actors waited until it was their time to move up and speak. The sound effects were handled by the techies over the sound system, like in a regular play. The actors were sort of in costume too, which was interesting. I was impressed to learn that oakenguy* was one of the writers of well-written and hilarious Red Shift script. All the actors were very funny and did a great job, but the highlight of the show for me was lediva, talking in the WEIRDEST sort of strangled-off nerd voice, playing a violently obsessed fan from a race of acid-spitting aliens. It was an interesting experience, and one I will be repeating when I attend the Summer Radio Mystery Theater. It will be July 27th and 28th, both nights at 8PM and then a 2PM matinee on Saturday. I hope you'll join me there for Jared's PMRP debut!
Jared and I just got back from a day spent at the International Steampunk City Fair held in downtown Waltham. I have to say, I love that this thing exists. Steampunk is a slightly obscure subculture, and a very geeky one at that. And yet the town authorities are cool enough to see the connection it can make to Waltham's history of watchmaking and development with the Industrial Revolution. And all the artists and artisans in this style get a venue with a ton of support to display their wares and their work. And geeks like me, who eat this stuff up, get to experience it for ten bucks and a short walk from my house. I think that's incredibly cool. I feel like, slowly but surely, various aspects of geek culture are going more and more mainstream, and over time we'll get more and more people who are open to fantastic stuff like this.
I had a lot of fun there. I loved walking around looking at the art pieces and the items for sale, and we attended some interesting panels too. Steam Fashion was great for definitional things, like a good, solid way to define the subculture and the aesthetic of steampunk as "the long (around one hundred thirty years) 19th Century," and the ideas behind the "ragamuffin," "aristocrat," "adventurer," "soldier," and "professorial" steam fashion styles. Thrifty Costuming had a lot of information I already knew-- at this point I'm a pretty experienced thrift store scourer --but also gave me a lot of great pointers for DIY props and pieces. They emphasized deconstruction very heavily, using pieces of things to build new things. I especially liked the idea of taking soft leather purses and cutting off the embellishments so as to turn them into belt pouches; a couple of the presenters had done that and I never would have guessed that they were repurposed modern items. I even picked up a battered old purse at the thrift store to try it out with and make a present for Jared.
We walked all over the town today, and though my feet are aching now, I'm very happy to have gotten that much exercise. I also loved the people-watching, seeing all the people going by in their costumes. It's really a great idea, and it supports the Charles River Museum of Industry too! So it's socially responsible as well as good geeky fun. :-D