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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

While I'm living it up on wall street in this new york city town, in the real world they're shutting detroit down

So, we are in New York Effing City! The midwest girl inside me emerges, dewy-eyed. My god, New York, you crazy all night bejeweled ratty epic rollercoaster love song. I imagine that when you live here you don't stay out every night until 3:30 a.m. Right? You find a way to not do that? Because I have not yet. I am definitely living the diva lifestyle (minus the diamonds and the wardrobe and the personal hairstylist and the thirteen adopted children). If only someone would start a nasty rumor about my eating habits/dressing room requirements/crazy surgery, my life would be complete.


This is the longest stretch that I've ever performed "Undine" at a time, and I am relishing the chance to really test it out. Sunday night there were two old men in the audience who were sort of like the old guys on the Muppet Show, if those guys were vaguely dirty-minded WW II vets (which maybe they were, come to think of it). At the beginning of the show, in answer to my question, "are you celebrating something?", they shouted back, "BEING ALIVE!" and then asked me why I was barefoot.  I wasn't sure if they would turn into full on hecklers but they just muttered and wolf whistled through the rest of the show which made for an interesting dynamic. I am always surprised by the profound effect the audience has on the show. So far they have been either dead quiet or loud & rowdy. 


We are, by the way, sharing the bill with two of my very favorite artists (not to mention people), Mike Pham & Rachel Hynes of Helsinki Syndrome, and it has been a joy to spend time with them and watch their show as it grows and changes. Their vision of the Importance of Being Earnest involves Prince, a purple spangly skirt and hot pink heels, honey, cardboard boxes and King Kong & Godzilla. It manages to be mad and demented but also... dare I say... earnest. In a good way. I am trying to convince them to do Les Miserables after this. 


I've been feeling a bit lonely out here without the whole H2M crew (though of course Jonathan & Liam are kick ass), so imagine how heartened I was to walk into the dressing room on opening night to find a big bouquet of flowers from them! And Julie left a "pump up speech" on my voicemail which helped me to go strongly into battle. What a team. I am so lucky to be part of it.


When we aren't at the Ontological, Jonathan and I are chilling at the fabulous Bushwick apartment/office/rehearsal and storage space of Banana Bag & Bodice directors Jessica & Jason. They are in Ireland the exact two weeks that we are here, so we have the space (and their two delightful cats) to ourselves, complete with a DVD of Battlestar Galactica so I can finally participate in the 21st century.  I am loving me some Edward James Olmos. Actually I've always had a soft spot for him, ever since he gave an inspirational speech at my high school in Lansing, Michigan (about an hour and a half away from the 'real world' aka Detroit). Anyway, now Edward James Olmos is a space commander. See? Dreams really do come true. This is good preparation for the Future H2M Production, which is currently untitled (right?) but which (in my mind) has something to do with the six stages of epic sci-fi:


1. Crash/arrival on an unknown planet

2. Encounter with other life forms

3. Misunderstandings/battle/prison

4. Grudging respect 

5. Escape!

6. Mindwarping final plot twist: They are Us! (or: this unknown planet is actually Earth! or: the aliens are actually humans! or something along those lines)


These may just be the six stages of Planet of the Apes. But I think they apply to others as well. I have to do some more research.


Until then, ever battling my acute case of diva-nerves,


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