Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Spanish Panic

I had no way of telling at the time, but I suspect I was in the best shape of my life back when I was rehearsing "Once Upon a Mattress" in the spring of 1985.

The "Spanish Panic" was a very funny, frantic dance that I actually ended up enjoying, despite myself. And, true to its name, it tuckered you out.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 1985
6:31-6:56 Pm

Appendix update. A-36 is a program to "Fiddler on the Roof," that Marie and I went to see Friday. A-37, A-38 and A-39 are the promos for the musical.

Well, let's see. We've had rehearsals every day this week. We had one late one until 8:00 Pm, on Thursday, I think. I'm beginning to feel a lot better about the show now. I did run through my lines and stuff last weekend, and that helped my feeling better a lot. Now the rehearsals have started to be partial run-throughs, and seeing the whole thing start to become one, it's beginning to look a lot better. The rehearsals have also become a lot more tiring. We've started to choreograph the "Spanish Panic," which is one of the large dance numbers. I didn't think I was in it, but now I know I am. The choreography is almost done, and I'm feeling good about that, too. This week we go until late buses all week, except on Thursday when we go until 8:00 Pm.

Thursday we went down to WPNT and did the promo taping. They all turned out real good. They start to play this Thursday. All three are 30-minutes (sic), because Jill Greenberg, co-director and veteran promo person, thought that 30 seconders got more air-play, so maybe I'll actually get to hear these. I got a copy of them all for myself made.

I called WRAI/WPLY this week, to see about the job. He said he had one more person to see, and I should know by Friday.

Marie and myself are going to states. We leave Tuesday morning, and will get back around Wednesday afternoon, so we'll only miss one rehearsal. I'm sort of looking forward to it, but also not, too. It's always a pain to miss school, and have to make-up the work. I'm also nervous, or maybe, scared about where we'll be sleeping, if I'll be able to take a shower, what the people there will be like, etc. etc.

Friday Maria and I saw "Fiddler" at Lincoln. We met Benji, Paul, Aaron and Jon there, too. Julie was there, too. It was very good. Afterwards I brought her home and stayed until 12:15 Am, or so.

Saturday we had an all day rehearsal. Like I said, things are coming together. Saturday I wore the majority of my costume for the day. I'll be wearing tights, a diaper sort of shorts (you know what I mean: Will Shakespeare style), a kind of coat that reaches to about my hips, a half-cape coming off my right shoulder, and a wig and crown. Saturday I wore the coat, and that's all. The costumes for the show are magnificant. A large part of the set is done, too. It's immense, and looks great already. It's a section of a castle, and is quite elaborate.

Even though we were both exausted, Marie and I went to see the early showing of the movies Saturday night. We didn't know what to see, so we made a blind guess and saw Stephen King's "Cat's Eye." It was okay, but not too great. I brought her home, and her family was gone to see "Fiddler." We listened to the stereo and fooled around. I had decided I'd leave by about 10:30, but her parents weren't going to be home until about 11:30 Pm, and I didn't want to leave her alone, so we cuddled up next to each other on the couch downstairs and listened to the stereo. I think it was probably because I was tired, but she couldn't see my face and I figured she was probably asleep. I started to think about all the past plays I've been in, and all of the good times I've had. Then I thought about how it'd feel when the curtain closed on the closing night of "Mattress," how it'd feel graduating and leaving all of my friends and Marie. I don't know it just got to me, and I started to cry, quietly. Eventually she looked up to me, and asked what was the matter, but I couldn't really talk, so I just shrugged. A little later, when I had better control of myself, I told her, and she held me and kissed me and made me feel a little better. Finally, around 12:00 Am I decided I should leave and I did.

Today Mom and Dad were gone all day to see Nana. I've been working on homework all day. I've got a major writing assignment due in Brit Authors a couple of days after the play. I felt sick when I got the assignment. I've got to read a book, and then do a critical paper on it, of 15 pages minimum. I've started to read the book, but with the musical, I'm really going to be pressed for time. I'm going to work on the book right now.

I'll probably write again next weekend, or maybe when I find out about the job, if that's any earlier. Before I leave this time I've got one more thing to say: Queasn't bleaser iy duffg minny-bloppy, iddid? Indeed. Until next time ...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Uncle Sam wants YOU!

selective service card
In the spring of 1985, I must have considered being required to register for the draft as being some important rite of passage. Why else would I have saved the reminder postcard (right) mailed to me by Uncle Sam?

I can't recall my attitude at the time toward duty to one's country. I do recall a conversation I had with Benji, Larry and the rest a year or so out of college — during the first Gulf War.

We decided New England's close proximity to Canada meant if our number ever came up, sanctuary was just a quick drive away. We'd make a "bee-line" for that border, one of us joked.

We've occasionally referred to ourselves as The Bee-Line Boys ever since.

Sunday, April 7, 1985
10:51-11:27 am

Apprendix update: A-33 is the program from "The Way of the World," the play that Marie and myself went to see a couple of weeks ago. A-34 is a rejection slip from Samuel French Inc. publishers; A-35 is a notice saying that I have to register with the draft within 30 days of my b-day. (Hey, why not keep it as a momento, right?)

We just got back from church. We only go one a year, on Easter Day, but I hate it still, and it feels sooooooo good when it's over for the year. And until next Easter, it's over for this year.

Anne had the car all this past week, and Mrs. R gave me a ride home every day from school so I didn't have to ride the late bus.

On Wednesday I had my audition/interview at WRAI/WPLY. The interview wasn't much of an interview. Instead it was basically just him telling me all about what I'd be doing if I got the job. Then we made a tape. He had me read three news stories on tape, after he left the room to give me some privacy. The reading went really well, except for one big blunder. I came to the word "subsequently," or something like that, and I couldn't, for the life of me, pronounce it. I tried three times, or so, and then sort of drew a large breath and moved on. If it wasn't for that blunder, I'd feel real confident that I'd gotten the job.

He said that I'd be filling in for vacationing DJs, so I'd be working at different times depending on which DJ was vacationing: afternoons, mornings, or the all-night shift from 12:00 Pm to 7:00 Am. He said the pay would start at minimum, and that there was about 10-11 weeks to fill-in, so the job would be practically full-time. He also said that there was only two other people looking for this job, and he thought that one wasn't going to show, so it's basically only one other person. That bit of news really made me feel better, too. I let him know I'm going to Middletown's School of Communications. I hope that they're not looking for someone who will be around next fall.

Anyway, I want this job so bad, I think I'll die if I don't get it. It's just that I'd enjoy this summer so much more, and feel so much more proud of myself, if I got this job. Also, if I don't that means I'm going to have to go back and start looking for something else. He said I'd know in about a week and a half if I've gotten it or not. Please, God ...

Libby has asked Marie and myself to go to St. Jude's University on the 16th and 17th for the state's competition. Herself, our one-act cast, a couple of tech people, Alison Smithers (pres. of drama club, and sort of ass. director of our entry) and me and Marie are going to go on the 16th, and stay over to the 17th.

I showed Jill Grazier, co-director of "Mattress," the promos I had written for the show. She took a look at them, and rewrote one of them, and did another outline on her own, and basically said that she didn't like the other two I had written. At first I was mad, becasue I had gotten Libby's and Sam's hearty approval. Jill was polite about it, and still wanted me to work on them. I took one of her outlines and wrote a final promo that she likes. I also took one she had written, inspired by one of mine, and edited it a bit, and touched it up. She likes that one, too. So it looks like we'll definately tape the two that she and me worked on together, and I don't know about the ones I wrote on my own. Jill is going to set-up a date with WPNT sometime early next week. Sam, Marie and myself will be the ones doing the taping.

Friday I went over to Marie's in the evening and we watched "Eating Roule" and "Police Academy." I got home somewhere around 12:30 Am.

Saturday she had band practice, and a birthday party to go to, and also had supper at her grandmother's. Her mother brought her to the theater in Bridgton and I picked her up there and brought her to the arcade on the Bridgton/Maynard Road. Her mother didn't want to drive her all the way there, because she was going back to Marie's grandmother's, who lives in Bridgton.

We stayed there about 1 1/2 hours, and then I brought her home. We stayed there until about 11:10 Pm, and then I went home, because I had to get-up early to go to church.

She's going to her grandmother's for dinner this afternoon, and she sort of invited me to go along, too, but we're sort of having a special meal, too, so I declined. Anne is home, and I think my mother is bringing her back to school this afternoon, or sometime today. Marie's going to call me from her grandmother's this afternoon.

Before my interview I brought all of our old bottles back. Mom said if I brought them back, I could keep the money; it came to $17.50. I spent $3.00 of of that at the arcade, and $6.50 I'm going to use for a "Mattress" T-shirt, and the other $8.00 I'm probably take Marie to the movies with or use for a gallon of R/C fuel, since the time to fly is drawing near. (I wonder what it'll be like to earn real money this summer?)

I feel like I've really not been doing my part in the show, so this afternoon I'm going to work on my lines, and blocking. I think with one afternoon spent working on it, or part of the afternoon, I'll feel a lot better about it.

I also have to work on an application letter to a scholarship. It's a scholarship given to someone going into broacasting, and from looking at their criteria, it looks like I might have a chance. It's for $750 and $500. I figure this weekend, will be the only one in a long time I'll have enough time to do something like that, so I'd better do it now, while I've got the chance.

I finally got a good article done for the musical program. I'd tod Libby that I had tried to write one but came up with some real garbage, so she'd better not count on something from me. Well, I had tried and tried, and finally get I had set my mind to it that I would get something I was proud of into the program, so yesterday afternoon, and early evening I worked on it hard, and came up with something that works. I only hope, pray, that Libby didn't go ahead and print-up the program without me, assuming from what I said that I wasn't going to write something.

At least going to church made me get up early, so I have some more time today. I think I'm going to practice my trombone now, and sometime along I'll write that letter, and practice my part in "Mattress." I'll probably write the minute I found out if I got the job, or didn't get the job. If I don't find out, I'll write again next weekend. Until then ...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Proscenium snafu

marie at proscenium
When the question of "What was your most embarrassing moment?" comes up, I usually tell the story below of how Marie and I went to retrieve Libby's headsets the Saturday that Jefferson High hosted the Proscenium competition.

I cringe just thinking of it.

I took this photo of Marie (right) during that Saturday, while we were trolling around the second floor of Jefferson. By the end of the day, she'd swapped my nametag for hers, which you can see on her blouse in this photo.

At the end of the day, I pulled her nametag off my shirt and tucked it into my 1985 diary.

I still have it today.

Sunday, March 31, 1985
4:16-4:54 Pm

Appendix update. A-31 is the program to "Grease," A-32 is a letter from WRAI/WPLY (more on that later), and A-33 is a program to the Proscenium Festival.

Well, let's see, some interesting things happened this past week. Thursday I had no rehearsal and came home on the bus. When I got home I found a letter from WRAI/WPLY. They said they wanted me to come in for an audition and interview. I called up and set-up a date. Next Wednesday, the 3rd of April, I'm going in at 3:00 Pm. I was so excited when I got the letter. I was going to call up that day anyway to see what was up, but instead I heard from them. I guess I was so excited because it's the only encouragement I've gotten at all in my quest for a job at a radio station. I'm really wondering what my chances are for a job. I really think that the fact that I'm going to Middletown next year will help me, as will my licence that I've already got. The only problem I can see is if they want me before the beginning of May, because with the musical I really couldn't start before then. Let's pray ...

Rehearsals are going okay, but not too great. Now that I've flipped the calender over to April (I always do it a day early) I can really visualize the timeline a lot better. We've got four weeks left to pull it together. I'm still feeling a little confused about my character, but I think I'm getting a better feel for him. It's really hard for me to run through my part at home, so I rarely do it. It's just that my part is all expression and motion, and that takes a lot of energy and space to practice, so I don't do it at home. Usually I would run through my lines time after time after time, and I'd feel a whole lot better about my part, but since I can't/don't, I'm feeling quite a bit insecure about it.

From now until the show we've got Saturday rehearsals every day, and late rehearsals start next week. I like late rehearsals, especially now that I'm not as concerned about my school work.

Friday after rehearsal I brought Marie home with me. Before that we dropped over by WPNT to pick up a copy of the "Relative Values" promo that I had them dupe for me. My God, Marie sounds like she's nine years old on it! It's really incredible. It was strange to listen to something taped way back then (Oct. 25th).

After that we went to my house, and Mom wasn't home yet. We had supper, and then after supper we went downstairs and made a couple of prints of my R/C plane for her brother. After that we watched "This Is Spinal Tap," and by that time Dad was home. After the movie we watched some other things, and finally Dad went to bed, Mom had gone a long time before. We fooled around a bit, and by 11:30 Pm I had to bring her home. Actually she was supposed to be in bed by 12:00, but we were late.

Saturday was the Proscenium Festival, and it went well. I got there about 9:30 Am, and stayed all day until about 10:00 Pm. There wasn't a whole lot to do. The workshop I did with Sam wasn't much. We only had about 10 people there and most from our school. I didn't talk all that much, but Sam did. It didn't last all the 45 minutes either.

Didn't have a car, and neither did Aaron. Anne is using my car at college for that day and the next week. For lunch I had junk food at the food booth. I did a little when the judges came, and greeted them at the door. For the most part I walked around with Marie. The whole school was unlocked, and we roamed around upstairs.

At one point in the morning Libby needed someone to run over to her house to pick up the new headsets at her house that she forgot. She didn't want to leave, and I didn't have a car. So she gave me her keys, and explained the directions to her house to Marie. I was a bit leary, but I did it. The car was a mid-size automatic, so what the hell. We got to what we thought was the house. It fit the description, and the car outside did too. We knocked and little girl that looked like the one I'd seen with Libby answered. We were sure we had the house. The little girl ran upstairs after we told her why we were there. About three minutes later a man came down that looked a lot like Libby's husband. We said that Libby had sent us for the headsets, and we described where they should be in the house to him. He seemed sort of confused and said that he'd check with his wife. HIS WIFE! Egad! This is when I figured out that we had the wrong house. I looked at Marie, and it took her a little longer. But then she realized what he said, and we said we were sorry, but didn't do a very good job of explaining what we were there for. Then we left. It was one of the most embarrassing moments I've ever had.

Then we found the real house, and her husband came out to us with the package, and we returned to the school. What a riot.

Well anyway, through the day I hung around with Marie and Aaron alternately. By supper time Aaron got a car, and Marie me and him went to ABEP for supper. We came back and watched the other two plays.

Before that Aaron and I hung around quite a while and Marie had gone off with Nicole. We ran back down to the store and got some Dew and some candies called Nerds. We were in such a Bozo mood, you wouldn't believe it. (Probably due to a sugar/caffeine high!) We ran around the school, and at one point found a window unlocked leading to the courtyard. So we ran around in the courtyard, and each climbed a tree. We were screaming and yelling, and Marie walked down one of the hallways boarding the courtyard. We screamed and yelled to try and get her attention, but couldn't. We found her later and she said that she had heard us but didn't see us. It was a riot.

After that we settled down to see the last two plays, ours and Tuffeld's. The first three had gone on in the afternoon. One was quite good, the other two not so good, with one absolutely terrible. By the end of the plays I predicted who would win, and I turned out right. Jefferson and Tuffeld were the winners. I was setting down in the front with Marie, when they announced it. First they announced Tuffeld, and then us. We gave a roar, along with the rest of the Jeffersoners, and I looked up at Libby at the top of the aud, and she was in tears. Then the crowd started to disperse, and everybody gave each other hugs, etc. etc. It kind of makes me feel good that I was one of the prime motivations that prompted Libby to pick our play, and it won.

After the festival I was going to get a ride home with Marie's Mom and then go to Marie's via the Bronco II. But I called and got Dad on the phone, and the answer was no. So she gave me a ride home, and I stayed there. (Actually here, not there.) At least I got to bed at a more reasonable hour.

Today I wrote the last of three promos for the musical. All of them are quite good, and I'm proud of them. I'm going to bring them with me to my interview, along with the tapes of the Proscenium promos.

I'd still like to write a feature article for the musical program, but if I don't get it done by this weekend, I doubt I'll ever have time to do it. I've also got to practice, or I should.

The quarter ended this Friday past. I think I did okay.

Well, I guess that's it. I'll write again next weekend, or maybe before depending on what the interview's like.