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Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
 
Sometimes I wonder if I don't show as much emotion as I am supposed to. This weekend was the final weekend of "Joseph...", and one of the performances will forever go down in history for me out of the many shows I've done over fifteen years of performing in front of people.

During intermission, I was getting ready to assume the esteemed rollercoaster of a role that is "The Pharaoh". Equipped with costume, makeup, microphone and Elvis sunglasses (if you don't know the show, don't ask), I quickly stepped into the men's room for a brief tinkle before Act Two started (like you do).

Now this is an example of how my life works. I have been in several bathrooms, and most of them have a lock on the door. The door will bolt when I move the lock in one direction and unbolt when I move the lock in the opposite direction. This has been a constant standard in my life. I also used the bathroom in the La Habra Depot Theatre dressing room (which is an old converted Amtrak car) on several occasions, and have never had a problem with the door. Can someone tell me then why the one time that the lock decides to stop working properly is when I am in it and it is five minutes until places for the second act?

Needless to say, the rest of the proceeding twenty minutes or so played like something out of a Christopher Guest movie. There were the questions that I could not believe were being asked ("No, seriously, did you try the lock?" "Why was he in the bathroom?" "Why did he lock the door?"), the constant and deafening pounding of various objects against the door, and from what I could only hear, the general bustle of what sounded like fifty-seven minds all trying to find a solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, what am I doing all this time? Oh, you know, whatever. Checking for possible openings, washing my hands, checking my makeup, thinking of jokes to use on stage regarding the incident, reminding myself to tell Brey all about it when I get out, etc. Looking back over what happened, the most emotion I believe I showed was the initial worry at the start of the problem, which was still moderate at best. The most dominant emotion I had throughout the ordeal was a mixture of boredom and slight annoyance, equivalent to being stuck in a long line at a grocery store.

Now, any logical person would probably have gone into a panic at some point. However, I was confident that I would eventually be released before any loss of oxygen, sanity or body fat would occur. After the door was busted open (which required three strong men and one crowbar) people were commenting on how calm I was during the ordeal, and I realized that even being in an small, enclosed space with no guarantee of immediate or controlled release did not bother me.

The next day was the final performance of a show which broke box-office records for the theatre, got extended and contained a cast that was fun to work with. And at the final cast party, several people were crying and others were saying things of emotional significance, the most popular being "It's been a real pleasure. We have to work together again soon" (why doesn't anyone say at a cast party, "Chickens have feathers, feathers get plucked, the show is now over, looks like we're fucked"?). But then again, there was me, with nary a tear and a few well-wishes to a group of people whose company I genuinely enjoyed.

In the past week, I've been offered a role in a show and had to turn it down. I had a surprising development in the show I'm assistant directing ("Land Southward" at Hunger Artists, throughout the month of April...Shameless Plug), I received a heap of praise on a play of mine from one of the nation's top developers of new plays, I watched Goofy cartoons while sitting between two hot teenage girls and had a serious discussion of another play I'm rewriting ("Marat/Sade" at Hunger Artists throughout the month of May...less shame, more plugging). And yet, it seems as if I've reacted to these situations with a stoicism that would make Ben Stein hang his head in shame.

Is there something wrong with me? Do I need a good shaking and a slap across the noggin? Or maybe just a nice, long uninterrupted sleep?

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