Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Okay, so I'm covering a lot of ground today. Here we go:

First off, I went to Starbucks this morning. I know, I know, crazy, right? My love of cold drinks and need of something to fuel me for the day (I've been running on about four hours of sleep every night) delivered me there.

Looking around, I realized how at peace I was. The old-school blues playing throughout the store, the ambient lighting, the faux-French posters, the New York Times on sale. It was an environment that helped calm me before my day at the office.

But wait just one moment, Gable! Starbucks is corporate! They're a huge corporation with offices just like the one I'm going to where people dressed just like I am now have meetings like the one I went to yesterday ("Overview of Central Services and Vendor Regions". I retained nothing from it) to decide to use those same faux-French posters in their stores ("The kids love that stuff," one of them says as he chews on the end of his pen and thinks about the Gentlemen's Club he's going to populate on his lunch break). I'm no better than the Wal-Mart shoppers, Nike wearers and Fox News watchers.

But then again, I myself am corporate. I work for a company whose name ends with "Corporation". I listen to bands that I hear on Indie 103.1, an "independent" L.A. radio station that's actually owned by Clear Channel Entertainment. I see most of my movies at an AMC Theater in Orange, buy most of my books at Borders and Amazon.com, my CD's (of mostly edgy but big-label bands) and DVD's (of mostly edgy but big-studio movies) at Tower Records, my fast food at Del Taco and Burger King. Support of corporations is deeply rooted in me from my days in Idaho, where I had no other choice. Now that I'm given the option, I've found that every hole-in-the-wall place I go to breaks my heart either by closing down (Angel Sushi, you'll be missed) or by - that's right - going corporate (a great art-house theater in Costa Mesa that ended up showing fucking "Troy"). I'm just like the rest of America, only with slightly more taste in what I choose to sell my soul to.

So, yesterday, I had one of many recent afternoon naps (they've become my new friend since starting rehearsals). During the nap, I had a dream that baffles me, since it is so crystal clear, has been the subject of a previous dream, and has nothing to do with seeing a movie (what far too many of my dreams are about). In the dream, I am driving down an empty city road lit by streetlights with wooden fences on either end, and it looks like a cross between the outside of a housing development and a business district.

I know this road, because I traveled it in a previous dream. I was driving from some sort of performance (possibly a show or a stand-up gig), and I was going to the Block at Orange, an outdoor mall I frequent. The road is exactly the same as it was in the previous dream, and so is one other thing: Her.

I drive past her as she walks down the side of the road. She is a young woman about my age. She is striking in a way that is different from most girls of Orange County. She wears a white jacket, has neck-length blonde hair, big sad eyes, and a mouth that once knew how to smile, but hasn't in a long time.

She walks with hands in the pockets of her jacket, eyes fixed at the ground in front of her. As I drive by, time slows down. She looks up at me, and I wave hello to her. She doesn't respond with anything more than mere recognition, time goes back to normal, and I pass. I think to stop and ask her if she needs a ride. Surely she remembers me from our previous encounter (in the last dream, she was driving down the road, coming from the same performance, and going to the same destination, so she at least knows that I'm not someone creepy). But for some reason, I keep driving, and watch as she disappears into the distance.

Why am I always on this road? And who is this girl? What/who does she represent? Why doesn't she have her car in this latest dream? When she saw me, how did she feel? And why does she look sad (not Marcia Gay Harden sad but just like something's on her mind)?

In other news, Eric Marchese is a horrible critic. He is a freelance writer for the Orange County Register, a position he has held for twenty years (what does that mean when the newspaper you write for doesn't even want to make you part of their staff after twenty years of writing for them?). He spends his life going to community theatre productions in Orange County, where people volunteer their time and work long and hard just to present a good show, and he doesn't even have the respect to write a review with the same sort of passion that those people are showing him (and he's getting paid, too, which is the really frustrating part).

I've read Mr. Marchese's reviews for two years now, and not one has ever said that a show was really good or really bad. He lives in the emotionless middle ground of a wannabe intellectual who believes that the only way to critique something is to detach yourself from the emotional experience of it. I have gained no insight from any of his reviews, and have now learned how to write a review in the "Marchese Format". It goes as follows:

* Explain history of the show that you were able to pull from Google.
* List theater where show is playing.
* Outline the plot.
* List major players and what you didn't like about them.
* List supporting players and, without expressing much opinion, list distinctive characteristics about said players.
* End with awkward closing, making your readers think there's a final paragraph they're not seeing.
* Sprinkle indifference throughout.

I actually met Mr. Marchese after "Assassins". I shook hands with him (which took some work, since I already didn't think highly of him as a writer), and then proceeded to go back to talking to a friend of mine. He lingered around our group for about twenty seconds and then, not seeing a way to include himself into the conversation, gave a cocky - and appropriately theatrical - "Bah!" and walked off, eager to find someone to give him the respect he thinks he deserves.

And, okay, I'll admit that part of the reason I feel this way is because he hasn't given my sister - a great actress of amazing honesty who has taught me so much about theatre - one good review since she started doing shows down here (not even for "In the Boom Boom Room", which she's currently kicking serious theatrical ass in at Stages Theatre. Go see the show...NOW!). But on top of that, I just think he's a cocky man whose reviews lack passion (he originally disliked Frank Tyron's amazing performance at the Maverick Theater's "The King", and then took it back once the show became popular).

I'm not going to say that he should stop writing (he's entitled to his opinions, like everyone else). Instead, I make a plea to anyone in Orange County who truly loves theatre to not read reviews from Eric Marchese (Paul Hodgins is the other, much better Register theatre critic, something that is evident in that he is given all the Equity shows to review). Instead, read Joel Beers at O.C. Weekly. He packs more humor and enthusiasm into one review than Mr. Marchese has in the entire past two years. Mr. Beers is also involved in the O.C. theatre scene as a playwright and director, something that I respect immensenly (and something that Mr. Marchese cannot claim).

I wish that he would read this. He won't, of course, but I wish he would read this before my show opens. And then I hope that he would come to the show, and proceed to rip me apart in his typical "I don't really care" style (I'll even give you a suggestion: "Gable's young age and lack of education are evident in his amateurish, juvenile performance"). I hope that he prints it in the Register, and that it gets distributed to the entire population of three million in this county, and that everyone reads about how bad I am in this show. Mr. Marchese, this is your official triple dog dare. I want you to do that just so that you can see how I will not be bothered by it in the least. That's how low I find you and your writing to be.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah...

So, a couple of days ago, my sister and I were talking about a local stand-up comic who has named himself "The King of One-Liners". We were wondering how many "Kings of One-Liners" there are out there, and who could really hold that title. We decided of working comics, Chris Rock takes the title, with Jerry Seinfeld as the Prince of One-Liners and Rita Rudner as the Queen of One-Liners.

Then an interesting question popped up. If we're taking the monarchy/comedian metaphor all the way, then would the Court Jester of One-Liners be funnier than the King of One-Liners, since he's the court jester? Here are our arguments:

SIS: The jester, being the jester, would already be funny. But since he's the Court Jester of One-Liners, that means he's double funny and therefore surpasses the King of One-Liners.

ME: The Court Jester of One-Liners is merely a metaphor, meaning that he is lower in class to the King of One-Liners. If the jester was better at one-liners than the king, than he would dethrone the king and become king himself.

What do you think? Let me know. Write me a message or leave a comment telling me your viewpoint. We'll settle this once and for all.

Oh, and my show previews tonight. Wish me luck, please. Except for you, Marchese!

Good Luck!! When I saw "Assassins" I entered the raffle and actually won 2 tickets to your show! So.. I'll probably be there tomorrow night or saturday! Can't wait to see it! I'm sure you'll be great!
Okay, so this is WAY too late to post, but I agree, and so many other people I know agree that Eric Marchese is an a-hole. Yeah, we all know it, but everyone just wishes he would know...but in the meantime, he just acts like a ****. Great blog, Jeremy!
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