Time Crunch

Guess what I discovered today? My laptop screen is scrambled and largely unreadable. A new exciting issue to address in my life! A new chance to see this as an opportunity rather than a fucked up, badly-timed, distressing, financially debilitating problem. Perhaps it is the universe telling me to stop playing so much computer Spider Solitaire. Now that I can't even see the cards, I will be forced to take up another hobby, perhaps as an activist or a street performer (mime) or a ventriloquist who shows up at local bars to scare the regulars. I'm currently at the Philadelphia Free Library where nothing is really free at all and you can only use the computer for thirty minutes at a time with this little box in the corner counting down your minutes, slowly, slowly..."10 minutes remaining." One thing I love/hate about Philadelphia is the city's refusal to be practical or helpful to its citizens. The free library is usually open between the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. making it impossible for a 9-5er to ever check out or return books. Oh, right, that's another thing--very few book drops, if any.

I meant to write something about how I've been thinking a lot about undergrad and being at FSU, probably because of the Saturday playwriting class I'm taking. I haven't been in contact with the theater world in a long time and am suddenly reminded of all the weird personalities and difficult moments. I only have 7 minutes remaining, so I don't know if I can make my list of the top 10 most embarrassing/distressing moments from FSU theater school, but let's see...Maybe I can do five?

1. Getting cast in this graduate director's truncated production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I can't remember which of the mechanicals I was...The dumb one, if that makes any sense (the one who played Thesbe, maybe?). Betsy what's her face played Bottom and was pretty good at it. The director, John Someone, was a skinny, defensive, pale jerk of a person. The first rehearsal he held, he told us all, "I didn't cast you because I thought you were the most talented. I cast you because I thought I could work with you." Then I believe he told us he was going to leave for awhile and that we should figure out the blocking on our own. Needless to say, the production sucked and afterwards, someone I admired came up to me and said, It was like I was watching a high school production of the play. I'm like, Thanks.

2. Oh, God, this Shakespeare class I took with all BFA students. The teacher didn't really want me in the class because I was only a BA, so she cast me in a scene with the only other BA in the course, this big girl who couldn't act. THEN she gave us a scene from Othello--the one where Desdemona is saying good night to the nurse, knowing somehow that she will soon be dead. It wouldn't have been so bad if not for the fact that one of the other girls in the class, Keli?, was actually playing Desdemona in an up-coming production on Mainstage. The other scene that I was given was something from The Tempest and again it was with one of the worst actors in the class. This kid was named Matthew and he wore small wire-rimmed glasses. Neither of us was really interested in rehearsing with the other and so that was part of the problem. I remember we performed the scene outside for the class (with a bonfire? Why would we do this?) and an actor I admired, Jon Preston, was there with his crazy curly hair. In the middle of our scene, he farted really loudly. Yet, I was such the consummate professional that I only glanced briefly at him before continuing.

3. Speaking of farting, I took a Movement I class led by John Olson (many Jon's at FSU during this time). He was a very nice man, but he made us do really embarrassing things like mirror exercises and another activity where the class stood in a circle and then one person was sent into the middle. She would then be expected to do something completely crazy for awhile and then go up to someone else in the circle and they would have to mirror what she was doing and then change places. The only person I remember doing this was this slightly off-kilter girl named Marsha would ended up becoming the girlfriend of another professor there twenty years her senior. Another thing we did was to lie on the floor and roll our legs up over our heads. I'm not sure what this was for, but the teacher always demonstrated first. He was a large older man and often wore red shorts. he would roll over, farting all the while and my roommate Michelle and I would have to bite our mouths to bits trying not to laugh.

4. My first play was another grad student production of a Shakespeare play, Richard III, directed by Mark Lehrman who was a very nice, tall, bulky mustached man with a deep voice who ended up dating a slanty-eyed hippie named Barbie. I was really just an extra in the play, a body. The opening scene was an orgy-like moment with INXS playing "Devil Inside" in the background. Mark suggested that I and this other girl bring in some lingerie to wear; whatever we had and Mark would say if it was okay or not. It wasn't at all a skeevy request, I promise. I put on this black silk and lace bra corset thing under a shirt and while the whole cast was gathered around, Mark asked what I was thinking of wearing. I took off my shirt and everyone gasped and Mark said, Put your shirt back on. It's fine, it's fine. It wasn't until later that I realized my nipples were showing through. Whoops!

Omigod, 2 mintues remaining...more later. I feel like the computer will explode in thirty seconds.