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Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Monday, October 04, 2004
 
I'm sick of superheroes. For the past week, I've been attending rehearsals for "American Way", my one-act that's getting a production at The Blank Theatre Company in Hollywood (pictures and info at www.theblank.com). The cast is great, the director is brilliant, and the audience reception has been decent enough. We'll have reviews printed in Los Angeles Times and BackStage West this week.

However, not having had any sort of training on my playwriting, I have moments of self-doubt that are both frequent and extreme. I alternate between "This is really an incredible work that I've done. It's very funny, and yet says something about our society and while it's surprising, everything leads up to the surprise to keep it from being manipulative," to "This is the shittiest thing I've ever written. Look at this, I've got these poor actors dressed up in these outfits, running around and yelling on stage, trying to make sense of this material, which tries to be funny at the beginning and tries even harder to be serious at the end, and fails at being either. What have I done?"

At this moment, I'm in the latter. This would make me depressed, except for my knowledge that I'll be back into the former state of mind soon enough. Hopefully when the reviews come out. I'll keep you updated. At least for now, I've got some really great pictures. And my name on the theatre's marquee, larger than life (or at least larger than my hand).

So, there was something that I wanted to show all of you that read this journal o' mine. This was something that I wrote while riding the train to San Diego on September 16th. I hope you enjoy:

"If I could spend the rest of my days writing plays and riding on trains, I'd be content. I stare out the window, passing lines of frustrated motorists. Whisking past beautifully ugly industrial areas. Seeing the backsides of homes nicer than I'll probably ever have. The broken down ugliness of Santa Ana, the "shopper's paradise" sadness of Irvine, the Italian village beauty of San Juan Capistrano. I saw construction workers at a recycling mill, and a glass of grade-schoolers having their P.E. class. Things you cannot see from a freeway.

This is my first experience riding a train, and it seems to me like the transportation equivalent of a backstage pass. An all-access ticket to the most and least desirable aspects of this part of the country. As the ocean pops up to my left, I wonder how long the beauty of this transportation will last. My view of the magnificent, sprawling Pacific is frequently obscured by rows of houses. I wonder how long it will be before our entire nation is taken over by housing and industry. When our sweeping landscapes and scenic views will be tainted by overpopulation and corporation. Kurt Vonnegut predicted that the population would double to seven million by the year 2000. He was damn near right. I just overheard a man sitting a couple of rows in front of me mention that in the 1960's there were almost no houses between Irvine and San Diego. Now, we have so many people that we're running out of room for nature.

Now, my view of the Pacific is clear. I may be imagining, but I think that I can actually see the curve of the earth off into the horizon. If it wasn't less expensive to drive everywhere (sounds crazy, but it's true. My car has great mileage), I'd be a train man all my life. I guess I have to take advantage of this one moment. Soak up the purple mountain majesties (I always laughed at that line, but now that I take a good look at the mountains, they do seem to be a certain shade of purple), and try to drown out the cell phone calls going on around me.

I was about to wrap this up, but I was just reminded of the one completely untainted piece of nature I'd ever seen. It was a plan ride from northern Idaho to southern Idaho, the rare case in which neither the starting point nor the destination is desirable. But en route to Pocatello, I found myself over a stretch of mountains in the middle of winter. No structures, no wires, no buildings, no living creatures of any kind. Just a breathtaking, neverending mountain ridge covered in white. If Olympus existed in America, this is where it would undoubtedly be. I felt like I had gone back in time, and that all of us on the plane were the only people left on earth. It felt scary...and also very nice.

Well, if there's one thing I know, it's this: It's going to be REALLY hard to go back to work on Monday."

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