Chaos Attraction

I Got To Play Helena

2020-04-05, 8:48 p.m.

Today we did Acts 1 and 2 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Notably, a good chunk of the cast disappeared for one reason or another*, so I ended up volunteering to play Helena in addition to Snout. Why yes, I can pull out my old Audrey costume in five minutes... ;) and briefly put the Snout outfit (plaid shirt and fedora) over the rest of it for my two lines in Act 1.

* Claire noted that due to the difficulties of getting people together, it might be a good thing that we’re only doing it over two weekends rather than five now. “We’ve got casting issues right here in River City.”

Let me tell you: I like Midsummer and have always wanted to play Helena (and/or a fairy, but the fairies don’t do much, although they have cool costumes), but knew darned well I’d never get cast as such in a million years. I knew darned well I’d be the wall. Well, NOW I GOT TO DO BOTH, THANKYOUVERYMUCH! She’s so dramatically overwrought, it’s fun.

Others did dress up--Claire as Puck had on a flower crown and ears and makeup, and Titania had on a great outfit as well, particularly a notable necklace.

I’m not sure what happened with all the understudies--we, we did have two, but the guy one was all, “I have never read this play before, ever.” Hah.

Quotes from “backstage,” as it were:

Titania: “I’m your wife, I’m mad at you!”
Oberon: “We’ll talk about that later!”

Claire: “We love it when a plans comes together! Let’s see if it explodes!” Various other people said, “I hope it doesn’t!”

Hippolyta, on having read the play before: “It totally counts that I read it in the eighth grade.”

Hippolyta, as we wait around for the actress playing Theseus to log on, wondering if she’ll show (she did): “He left me at the altar.”
Claire/Puck: “You might be better that way, frankly.”

Claire: “If it’s a terrible disaster, yay live theater!”

I will note that the neighbor was sneezing and throwing a giant party with booming music going on while recording was happening... but you can’t control the neighbors.

Claire mentioned posting this on a “social distancing theater group” thing. Where is this? I’m guessing this?

Both Hermia and Lysander got into going into the forest. Hermia provided a plant, and Lysander came equipped with pith helmet. “Of course you have a woodland costume.’

Afterwards, some of us hung around for a while for a “cast party.”

We discussed the following:
* Why did Shakespeare give both lead girls similar names that everyone mixes up? Was he deliberately trying to make them interchangeable?
* Dancers’s afterparties after performances involved “feet in ice’ (or “ice masks” if you’re a gymnast), and “passing one soda around. Then we’d start fixing the runs in our tights. Dullest party ever. If you want dancers to party, you can’t have them do it the same night as a show.”
* On being a lightweight drinker: “You’re the one who had to ‘make friends with the wall’ to find the next room.” “It was supportive when I needed it.”
* “See, theater happening, from the safety and comfort of our own homes.”
“ “Bottom, you were fantastic, and you were just as much of an ass as you should have been!” That actor is promising...something... for next week’s donkey head requirement. We do not know what yet.
* Matt the understudy (played Snug this week) had some program where he could appear as a dinosaur, Medusa, a talking hamburger (very disturbing), a talking present, and a wolf in various fashionable outfits.
* Claire said, “You were a glorious Helena.” We talked about how the character is “so extra” and “turned up to eleven.”
* Claire: “I will sing silly songs about anything.”
* “We had an unexpected chemistry experiment at my house...all I did was extort the virtues of vinegar.”
* Claire said that the next two shows she wants to do are The Importance of Being Earnest (I won’t be in that but said I’d watch) and then The Tempest.
Charlotte (Titania) is not into Earnest, because “they’re all boring and extremely concerned with cucumbers,” which led into a discussion of uses of cucumbers, why women are always buying them but never put them in the salad, and archaeological digs in which one can find a “very nicely rendered phallus.” “I’m always good for recreational paleontology.”

So that was fun and I look forward to next week. I hope I get to play Helena again, but who knows. But that definitely made the weekend!

After that, I attempted to do 10,000 steps around the apartment again (registered as 7000+ when I did it this time), then drew a wall on cardboard for next week’s show. After spending 2+ weeks trying to reread a book, I started a new one, “Daisy Jones and The Six.” This is an oral history of a fake band in the 70’s and while I enjoy the tone and language of it--and the lady characters are fairly badass in their own ways--the story of the band is literally every damn band (esp. in the 70’s ever) ever: drug addictions and sleeping around. Not an original plot there at all, really, so far.

I talked to Jackie on the phone (she wanted me to make her a mask, I said I don’t have sewing supplies here, no really, I don’t), Meg on the phone (are you going to go to that spinning group meeting? Since they have the meeting on Monday at 4:15 rather than the usual Sunday, turns out I am not), and finally, Dawn, who I had not heard from recently.

Turns out why I hadn’t heard from Dawn was that her husband had a stroke over a week ago. They managed to get him to the hospital within 45 minutes and gave him that anti-stroke miracle drug (whatever it’s called) so he’s mostly back to normal, if cranky about having to use a walker all the time. Dawn said they wouldn’t let her in the hospital but didn’t know what else was going on there. He is home now and doing fine and she is working from home. Her supervisor is fine with her being flexible around home care stuff.

There was a news announcement about flooding here. Two thoughts:
(a) You know someone’s saying, “We need the rain! We’re going to be in a drought again!”
(b) Everyone’s indoors, who fucking cares if it floods on the roads now?!?
(Though frankly, it didn’t look that rainy out most of the day, just like it *had* rained.)

The hot water is out here, so so much for doing dishes. God, I can’t stomach contacting the apartment manager for help again if it’s not 100% dire and I already showered. I just can’t stand the rage I have every time I do it. I’ll check if the hot water came back om tomorrow on its own, like if she noticed herself it was out or something.

I am still going very slowly on the knitalong (on the last square but having attention span issues), while considering starting a pandemic knitalong and I thought of a cross sttich foul saying I’d like to do: “Wake me up when the virus ends.”

I paid some money for 10 minutes worth of astrological advice about contacting you-know-who.

She pointed out that she figured I’d have a bunch of Taurus, it’s no wonder that the distance is getting to me, I crave physicality, and “there’s a pain and insecurity that comes from distance. When that which you seek is out of your sight, you wonder whether it is ever coming back.” I never specifically thought of it like that, but that is damn true. I don’t trust that absence makes the heart grow fonder--it usually doesn’t, you know? That’s why we have to cut off exes, right?

She suggested (a) checking up on the guy (see below) and (b) “focus on being the most interesting, free, even slightly aloof version of yourself possible.” Let them miss you, display on social media (HAH NO) that you’re having an amazing time and “let them wish they were there enjoying it with you. When the quarantine is lifted, they’ll have seen a whole new side of you. And if they’re the right person for you, it will make them want you more than ever.”

Well. Per that (and well, hearing from Dawn making me want to check if people are alive), I activated the check in text. Scott wrote right back but said he was working and otherwise just doing the usual entertainment things and that was about it. (Actor) Jim eventually chimed in and god bless Jim for getting chatty, at least. He said he’s working on his radio show website and hopefully figuring out how to do it from home. I restrained myself from commenting on my own website work but did talk about Midsummer and signing up for classes and doing online karaoke (still no response from Scott on that one) and the like. So I guess I technically did both things...I just doubt that had any effect.

Back to doing ridiculous tarot readings online over and over and over again for me, I guess. Seriously, I just need to like, ban myself off YouTube for a day or something, this has gotten compulsive.

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