Friday, March 17, 2006

My biggest regret

flower card
At age 38, I've never been married, and have been seeing my current girlfriend, Nicole (not her real name), for about three months. I had a discussion with her some time ago about our biggest regrets in life.

The experience of Marie hurting herself during "Mattress," detailed below in this, the 18th entry to my actual 1985 diary, is, thus far, my life's biggest regret. That I didn't go to her and comfort her, but, instead, stayed back with the rest of the cast gawking at her, only because I was too embarrassed to step forward and do the right thing, is a mistake I still wish I could correct more than 20 years later.

Also: The card above is the one Marie wrote and attached to the bouquet of flowers I mention in this entry.

Sunday, May 5, 1985
6:42-7:13 Pm

Appendix update: A-45 is a letter that Biff Anderson gave to me, congratulating me on the play; A-46 is the rehearsal schedule to the play; A-47 is the card to a bouquet of flowers Marie gave me.

Talked with Bob Niven sometime along, and he said that on Monday he was going to interview the last person, and on Wednesday he'd be talking with me. Maybe this time I'll really find out. Saw Judy Caslon at the show last night and talked to her about it. She said everybody that Bob's ever hired was put through the same thing, including herself. She said that he did say he was going to hire somebody, and that he had one more interview to go. That made me feel a whole lot better.

Let's see; Wednesday was our matinee. It went okay, from what I could remember. Thursday' show was really hot, but with some serious consequences. Krissi Jansen, (remember her?) sprained her ankle in a dance. More seriously, in a scene in which Marie flops around on the bed, she did a belly flop on the bed, like she was supposed to do, but her neck was too far out, and she ended up smashing her neck on the wooden boarder around the edge of the bed. In the next scene she was supposed to come around the back of the bed counting sheep. It was the last scene, thank God, and when she came out her voice sounded like it was full of gunk. She finished the scene, and except for that, it seemed perfectly normal to me. But afterwards, when the curtain closed, she ran off to the side and started crying, I mean BAWLING. I went off the other side to put away my props, and didn't even hear or see her. Then I heard somebody mention she was hurt, and then I could hear her. I went over and she was crying with a group around her. They got Deborah, the vocal coach, and they got her to stop crying enough to tell them what she had done. Most of the people went away, and we got out of costume. Then I brought her down to the emergency room to have her looked over. Deborah followed us after all, she said she couldn't stand it to go home.

We got there and I called Marie's mom to let her know what happened, and to get some info for the form we had to fill out. Soon she went in. Deborah and myself waited outside in the waiting room. She said that it looked serious, and wasn't sure about the fate of the show. Then I went down to get a drink from a soda machine miles away, and she went into the room with the doctor and Marie. When I got back, I waited a bit and then they came out. Luckily the news was good; nothing broken or permanently damaged, and nothing bleeding. She just had rapped it a good one, and basically had given herself laryngitis. I brought her home and stayed there a bit to help explain to her mom.

The next day Marie stayed home. I called from school and talked with her mother and then her a bit. I got her homework for her and stuff. She sounded a bit funked-up, but not too bad. When I got home I called again, and talked to her mom; Marie was sleeping. Then at about 4:30 Pm Marie called and sounded perfectly normal and in good spirits. I felt much better.

It was really hard for me to see her hurt so bad, and of course, thinking that the last two nights of the show were shot didn't do much for my mood.

Anyway, Friday went well, if I remember correctly, and Saturday went exceptionally well. We got a standing ovation at the end, and took an extra bow. The house was overflowing, and they were very receptive. Mom, Dad, Nana, Grammy and Gladys and Don Lipton went that night. After the show I went out in the lobby with most of the cast, and I saw them all and talked a bit. I got a lot of compliments from them, and many other people last night and many other times, too.

After I got out of costume, we pulled down the set. It was so beautiful it was sad to see it go. In about 1.5 hours or so it was gone. Then I went to the cast party at Krissi Jansen's.

I gave Lena, Krissi and, of course, Marie a ride over. I had Aaron buy me three Dews when he went on a beer run. The house was fairly large, and most of the people there were cast memebers, or people who came to help break the set, so they could go to the party, which didn't bother me. I had my Dews and some popcorn, and sat in a nice chair with Marie for the majority of the night. At about 2:30 Am people were pretty drunk, and things began to get a little too rowdy for me, so we left. I gave Marie and Lena a ride home, and reluctantly gave Nicole a ride to Marie's house where we were sure that her mother would be to pick her up. Actually she was about 10 minutes late.

Marie and myself stayed at her house after Nicole left until about 4:15 Am, when I left to go home. Last week or so I was telling Marie about how I'd never gotten a bouquet of flowers in any play I've been in, so last night she gave me nine carnations and one rose. The card in the appendix will explain that. The directors also gave everybody a carnation.

I got up at about 12:30 Pm today. All day I worked on my Brit Auth paper. Luckily the due date was extended a week, so it's due on the 13th. I wrote the whole thing except for another four pages I have to write, which is a personal appraisal of the book, which shouldn't be hard. I hope to finish it this week, so next weekend I can copy my old Expo paper and turn it into a Physics paper. I also got an Econ aper due on the 27th. It all just pisses me off.

Forgot to mention that on Wednesday and on Saturday the audience broke out into a round of applause and cheering when I got my voice back in the play. It felt so good I can't describe it.

Surprisingly enough I'm not all that sad about the end of the play. I thought I would be, but I'm not. Maybe it just hasn't hit me yet.

A while ago I asked Marie to the prom. Actually she kind of hinted about it to me before I had the chance to mention it, but then I did formally ask her. Next Saturday we're going to Dawson to pick out material and a pattern for her dress. I'm going to rent a tux, and might go down and take a look at what they got this week. We're going to try and get something that matches.

Found another play contest for young people. This one is going to give each play a written critique of the play, whether they win or not. I'm entering mine, and am really looking forward to getting a critique.

Next weekend Marie and me are going to "Beyond the Fringe," the Bridgton Players' two-act comedy. It's a series of sketches, which inspired the Monty Python and Benny Hill series, which, in turn, inspired "Saturday Night Live." I'm really looking forward to seeing it; it sounds really good.

Guess that's it for now. Probably will write if I found out about my job. If not, until next time ...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fast times on the Jefferson stage

cameron and marie in 'mattress'
It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't do theatre the camaraderies that build through the course of putting on a show — and the odd feeling you get when you finally perform a show you've spent a number of months preparing.

Odder still is the strange sense of absence — grief, almost — when the show closes and all the cast and crew go their separate ways.

The photo here is of me and Marie in "Once Upon a Mattress," snapped from the audience, by a member of Marie's family, I presume. Coincidentally, the maiden to the far right (that'd be stage left) is Krissi Jansen, a feature of so many of my earlier diary entries.

As for the "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" actor, I never could determine if the whole thing wasn't just one big rumor, or if he was actually in the audience. Furthermore, if it was true, I don't know which one he was.

Coincidentally, "Fast Times" would become a movie a friend of mine from college and I would watch dozens of times together in the later '80s.

Sunday, April 28, 1985
5:55-6:17 Pm

Appendix update: A-42 is the program to the musical; A-43 and A-44 are letters from the directors, sort of "thank you" notes.

First of all, I haven't found out about the job yet. I finally got to talk to Bob Niven, and he told me he still hadn't been able to get together with the last person seeking the job, so he's waiting to make his decision until he's had the chance. He said sometime the beginning of next week (technically this week) he'll contact me, but I've heard that before, haven't I?

This week went by quite fast, and it was only yesterday that I realized that soon school starts again. We had an all day rehearsal Monday, and afterwrads I think I went to Marie's until late in the eveneing. It seems so long ago that I can barely remember. Tueday, Wednesday and Thursday we had rehearsals starting at 5:30 and going until 10:00 Pm or so. Most of the time I left here early and spend part of the afternoon with Marie at her house, and then we went to rehearsal.

Tech rehearsals Tuesday and Wednesday were boring and aggravating, but dress was more fun and went well. Friday we opened, and gave a pretty good show, although Sam said that it was slow and lacked energy. The crowd was a little less than half-full, and could have been more responsive.

Saturday we gave a performance that Sam called "exactly how the show should be." The audience was a little larger and quite more responsive. That night some person who was in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" was in the audience. Marie said that she had talked with the people he was here with and he was with them. She said he never said a word, and seemed like a pompous asshole. I didn't get to see him, but many have said they saw him and he was actually there. I guess he's a relative of some person who lives around here.

Afterwards there was a cast party somewhere in Winchester. By the time I was finished cleaning up, nearly everybody had left. I wanted to wait and see what Marie was going to do. I found her and since there was nobody left to follow to the party and both of us didn't really want to go, we went to ABEP.

We got there and it was closed, so we came up here, and watched TV and ate, among other things.

Yesterday afternoon Aunt Jill and Uncle Dave came up unexpected. They stayed about a half an hour and then they all left to go to lunch. I left soon after to go with Marie to some holograph exibit at the Kesey-Hindenbugh Library.

They had a computer set-up and we fooled around on that. Then we left to go to By the Shore. The day before Marie asked her mother if she'd pay for a lobster supper for the two of us and she said she would. So Marie had $40 in her pocket and we had a lobster dinner. After that we went to school for the show.

We've got rehearsal after school to late bus Monday and Tuesday. It's going to seem weird rehearsing a show after performing it.

I finished my Brit Auth book, but still have to write the paper. I should do a little research on the author himself for the beginning of the paper, like the assignment reads. Nothing much, though. I've never cut a paper so close. I'm planning on writing the whole thing next weekend; it's due on the 7th of May.

I'm also half-way through that massive book for Economics.

I actually heard one of my promos on WPNT. It's the first time I've ever heard one of mine.

Wednesday we have the matinee, and Thursday-Saturday the final showings of the musical. It's going to be hard when it all ends. I realized that we've been rehearsing this thing since the first of February. I remember the first audition rehearsal was on the day my 8th grade play went on. God, that seems like ages ago!

Guess I'll go now and read some more Econ. I predict I'll be busy with the musical, out I still might write if I find out about the job. If not, probably next weekend. Until then ...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hey (Saint) Jude

I have to admit, "miserable slut" comes off a little harsh some 20 years after my trip to St. Jude's University with Marie for the regional play festival.

That passage, which appears in this, the 16th entry to my 1985 diary, is a little reminder to myself of how much I've grown up since then.

Sunday, April 21, 1985
5:59-6:22 Pm

Appendix update: A-40 is the program to the state level one-act play competition; A-4l is a letter from Anne's old boyfriend, Robert Dillard.

Well, vacation has arrived. I don't really have all that much homework, except that I have a lot of reading to do. I have to read a 274-page book for Econ, which we're going to have some sort of writing assignment on, and I'd also like to finish my Brit Auth book, I'm half way through. Aside from that, I don't have any homework.

Let's see. Tuesday we did leave for St. Jude's University for the play festival. I really had a rotten time. The only good part was coming home. To begin with I hate improv and the like, and while we weren't occupied with doing our play, they had workshops upon workshops for us to attend, although they really weren't manditory, I felt like I should go to them. Actually I went to a few, but none dealing with improv. But probably the biggest thing that ruined my time was watching Marie flirt like there was no tomorrow with one of our hosts, a junior at the college. Most of the girls were falling all over him, and Marie was no different. I just got so pissed-off that before our play went on I told her that I was real pissed-off and I figure she knew why. When it came time to watch the shows I sat by myself, although she asked me if I'd please come and sit with her. She sat a few rows down from me, next to another boy from a different school and Tonya Wilson.

After the shows she told me I could come down front and listen to the critic, if I wanted to. Slowly we got it back together. But for a time, I was at the point of calling her a miserable slut, and telling her to find another boyfriend. Looking back, I can't believe how close that point came.

Anyway, they had a dance on stage that night, but she had a headache, and I had a cold and didn't feel too well. We walked around and were pretty much bored, since there was no real place we could find to be alone.

The next day we went swimming and we left by 12:30 Pm, or so. Everyone from our school slept in the art gallory (yes, the art gallory) downstairs near the lobby. We slept on the floor on sleeping bags. I slept next to Marie and held her hand for most of the night.

Being the last week before a vacation I had a few tests on Friday. I also had a till 8:40 Pm rehearsal Thursday night, so you can see the conflict. I also had a fairly bad cold that had been bringing me down, so all of that combined made me feel pretty exhausted. I feel like I did pretty good on the tests, though.

Friday night Marie had a confirmation to go to, so we didn't do anything, and I got to bed early. Saturday she came home with me after rehearsal and we stayed here until about 12:00 Am, by which time she had fallen asleep so I awoke her and brought her home. Mom and Dad were at Dawson until about 8:00 Pm. We watched "Vacation."

The play's really taking shape. Saturday's rehearsal was a complete run-through, in costume. Tomorrow everybody's costume will be there, and we're going to run again. Yesterday the energy level of the show was down, but I think that's because so many of us have colds and the like. Jon Giffin, the lead, was lost his voice, and Jim Wood has bronchitis, and many others have colds. For some reason I'm not worried. I feel like this show is going to be really big, and set another precedent like "The Wizard of Oz" did. I'm really looking forward to this next week, with all of our serious rehearsals, and then, of course, the show.

I still haven't found out about my job. I called on Friday several times and couldn't get ahold of the guy I needed. It felt as if I was getting the runaround and it makes me nervous. They told me to call back on Monday, and you can bet I will; I'm dying to find out my fate.

I spent the entire day reading, although I did get up at 11:45 Am. Right now I think I'll make a couple of prints from some black & white negs I recently developed from the regional festival, among other things. I'll probably write soon, when I, if I, find out about my job. Later.