Chaos Attraction

Dropping Bombs Show

2020-06-12, 11:04 p.m.

Not really gonna talk about work too much today, other than we had to say goodbye to one of our temps (the one that's getting transferred) and she was referring to working here as crisis management. “This is legit crisis management. People are suicidal.” and “That should be like 80% of your job description.” Everyone was complimenting her personality as being perfect for working here and I was all, "I wish I had her personality."

Quote from my boss: "Why is nothing easy?"

Other than that, I spent the morning dealing with Important Documents and the afternoon on emails and figuring out some kind of process mapping with my boss....oh, who cares?

Let's go on to talking about the Dropping Bombs experience!

The first show, "In The Woods," went first. I'll note that this was written by my castmate Mike's wife, who directed another show in this as well. Four people, two couples, go camping in the woods. Turns out that two of them are having an affair, and of course that comes out during the course of the play. I was amused that Courtney's "OMG THIS IS GONNA BE BLAIR WITCH" monologue that I did in the audition paid off--let's just say that was a deliberate foreshadowing thing.

Lines I wrote down from the show:

* "I'm smoking weed!" "Cool cool cool, why would you listen to the people with the medical degrees, what do they know? " -Trish on Drew smoking pot instead of taking his medication. This was followed up by....
* "Dude, if it helps, I am all for the weed...I assume that means you have some with you?" -Trish
* "Hey Court, congratulations on surviving your potty adventure." -Trish on Courtney throwing a fit about peeing outside.
* "I hate hoppy beer, it tastes like pine needles." "Seriously, Trish? Nobody likes Cool Ranch." --Courtney is picky picky picky on her food, even in the woods.
* "Sure, DEAR. Whatever you want, DEAR." -Trish is clearly over this relationship, but I would say the same after she rejected all the foods.
* I missed some of the talkback (we were supposed to have a cast meeting during it, but the show ran late, Mel and I were all "if no one else is here, let's just go join the regular Zoom") but I did notice that the playwright said she was scared by Blair Witch!

Oh, if we’d had any Deaf audience members, the playwright had an ASL interpreter on hand for my play. Sadly we did not have any, so we didn’t get one, but I would have been soooooo excited!

We had a Slight Technical Difficulty when Rene said we could start and it turned out that Mike wasn't on yet, so we started over again. Ah well. I also forgot to change my background during the transition (ergh), but otherwise it went well and people thought I'd memorized my lines. I saw Jim, Bridget, Dawn, Loretta and Meg in the audience, and Rene let me know later that she'd let my mom in. Mom later told me she didn't get in until five because she was cleaning out her desk at work, which worked out since that's about when it started), so I was surprised there. I figured odds were at least 50/50 that she'd go under the circumstances, or didn't want to, or whatever....

In the talkback, Beth brought up the plot holes we’d been wondering about, and the playwright (Kelly) said she would have liked to have talked to us earlier. Which is a thing we discussed, but Beth wasn’t feeling well for most of rehearsal, so oh well.

It was Kelly’s first time seeing it and she thought we were great, says that this is Kate’s memory of this conversation with her mom and it does jump time and start in teh past.

She did write it from personal experience: (a) her mother killed herself when she was five, and wondered what a conversation with her would have been like, and (b) (mentioned later to me) my character was based on a friend who did the same and is wondering how to break it to her daughter. Beth was all, “I put these actors through hell digging really deep.,” and “These people made me cry more than I am willing to admit.” Also, “I’ve never directed on Zoom before, so this was cool.” She got to meet some really awesome people she would never have met otherwise. Even though this wasn’t how the festival was planned, it worked out for the best.

She thought it was fabulous and we really nailed the characters. She said I picked up on Leah’s playful nature and have a comedic side to her even though the plot is serious. Someone told Kelly she didn’t need the server in the show and she disagreed and we agreed. (“You crack me up, dude.”) Someone (I didn’t write down who) said he showed how Leah drops bombs and we would have lost that without him. I have another comment down about the juxtaposition of the intimacy vs. the randomness of the server. Kelly loved how we orchestrated it on Zoom and it still felt very interactive.

I’m going to point out that Mike was eating the key lime pie during the talkback.

Beth did set up a goodbye Zoom meeting for us after the show and invited Kelly, so we got to talk to her then too. Both that and the talkback went really well, I think.

* Kelly said she wondered about the e-cigs and “I laughed so hard when I saw you had a pen!”
* Mel was saying she couldn’t find her emotion and Beth said “you could read that monologue and you had everyone in tears,” and “you just gotta channel the emotion you had on that cold read.”
* Kelly was thrilled that she got chosen for this, as this one hasn’t been picked before. It hits a bit too close to home for some people. “It should hit you.”
* Beth admitted this hit home for her more than she wanted it to and her therapist was less than pleased with her doing it.
* Kelly said that the friend Leah was based on was afraid to watch it tonight because of the talkback, and I emailed her the rehearsal video (Kelly loved it) so Original Leah can watch it if she likes.
“The server did have an affair with the pastry chef, we all know that.” -Mike
“It was great to see these characters come to life.”
“This was the one I really wanted to see. I appreciate it so much.”

Compliments from the chat:
“loved the contrast between Kate and Leah..really helped show their characters who they were”
“drew me to tears too at the end.”
“I appreciated seeing the effort of the mom to ease any pain for the bombs she dropped and Howard came off wrong for the daughter.” (I’m guessing she meant “how it came off?”)
“I liked the actors’ portrayals. I laughed aloud and cried.”
Meg: “Love Jennifer’s performance.”
We all did a wonderful job bringing it to life. “You guys brought a beauty to it that was really lovely.’
“I concur with Beth, this is an amazing way to learn a new method for theatercraft.”
“I thought everything was great and just wanted to say thank you to Kelly, the actors, and the hosts and everyone for this performance.”
(Actor) Jim: “so very fabulous! thanks so much for a great evening of theatre!”
‘It was just great. Loved it all’

Mom called me afterwards to say the following:

* “Jennifer, you looked gorgeous!” Literally the first thing she brought up was “Did you make your vest?” I always say her thing about me that she’s the most into is the crafts.
* “You were perfect! I loved your delivery! I filmed it on my phone. I loved the wig! It looked very natural.”
* “I thought everything was adorable. I thought it was perfect.”
* “Were you channeling me?” (Yes) “I could see that.”
She thought the show was fun and I looked like I was having a good time. Also interesting fact: “You were really not you. You were the character. This one you seemed very genuine and totally a different character.”

I guess this answers a lot about her behavior over the last year...she just thought I wasn’t a very good actor!

She also asked about watching my next play on Sunday, but I pointed out it was the second half of a show and maybe she should just watch the YouTube when it’s all up.

Quotes from people who liked the show:

"Your performance was wonderful. The relationship between the two of you was totally believable. You left me with wanting more." -Loretta, who also noted that I played another character with a name of hers. I'll be amused if I ever get cast as someone with her last name.

“Your show was entertaining which is the purpose of show biz. It was good to have something different to do, and it didn't feel like a zoom meeting. I felt involved and enjoyed the stories. I was pleasantly surprised to see the interaction after each performance.
Of course, the highlight of the evening was seeing you on a performance HIGH that you get. You look so happy when you perform (or rehearse).
Acting is good for your soul!” -Dawn

“Hey....congratulations on "Dropping Bombs" last night! You and your "daughter" were both great. Oh and the server too ..I was smart to have the little humorous interludes, you start off thinking it's going to be a comedy but then it gets serious, nice contrast.” -Bridget

“It was great to see your play. I really enjoyed it. I think you did an amazing job. You stayed in character and were believable. I love the vest you knitted. I think that the interaction between cast members was really good. I love that you are in these plays.” -Meg

I emailed the playwright our rehearsal videos and "it was fantastic. I appreciate you so much." Awwww! *blushes*

After the show was over, I watched the tail end of the Queerantine variety show. I would like to recap the set by one KJ Whitehead that I came in on:

* “You should see my dildo collection, I am definitely tough.”
* “My mother is a pastor and my father is a dick.”
* Her explanation as to why Jesus is black:
(1) Carpenter, so at least Latinx
(2) Naturally swole
(3) He paid for sins he didn’t commit.
On the other hand, he got off 3 days later...
* She has already been through hell working as a kindergarten aide.
* “No trans man would be dumb enough to name himself Keith.”

And then I watched The Wiz, which I enjoyed very much.

Notable things about The Wiz:

* I like the aunt's song.
* No plot about Toto being stolen...or Toto at all, I think?
* The scarecrow appears to be getting bullied by a gang of crows. This job isn't going well for you, is it?
* I rather like the scarecrow's song about how you can't win. Been there.
* "I already killed a wicked witch this morning. And I wasn't even mad at her." is a GREAT line.
* I am also amused at a song called "Lubricate Your Mind."
* "I never met a talking metal man before." "Well, you never met a talking scarecrow before either, I guess it's just one of those days."
* When asked if Dorothy knows the WW of the East: "Well, you could say we've run into each other."
* I also like the song Dorothy sings to the lion trying to get him to buck up. Why aren't more of these songs hits? Some of these things feel like they relate to our reality enough that you'd wonder.
* I like how the lion dealt with the poppies. Good job, sir.
* "End of the line, dog," just cracked me up when there is NO line. Also, the emerald suit! Apparently he is a bouncer at a club.
* The Lion attempts to stand up to the bouncer: "I just wanted to make sure you knew that was a young lady. Peace out."
* "Well, if you don't know whatcha looking for, how can I get you there?" Good point, Wiz.
*"Tell me what you want, what you really, really want." I didn't know the Spice Girls were involved in this.
* I just feel like the songs in this have more meaning, you know? Somehow I don't quite remember them to sing them afterwards, but I feel like they have more feeling behind them than the usual musical versions.
* "I am the all seeing, all powerful Wizard of Oz. I know stuff." Nobody likes the "because I said so," argument, Wiz.
* "FETCH THAT ROYAL PLUMBER!" "Yes, Your Eviltude."
* How does this woman of Oz know who Eddie Murphy is?!? Has Eddie Murphy visited the Ozverse?!?!
* "She sends herself out once a week for dry cleaning."
* The Lion is the one who pulled the plug.
* I love that the Wiz is really a lady hanging around in her bathrobe on the couch like a slacker. (How very quarantine.) So who the hell was the person dancing around in the suit being sassy earlier?
* I KNEW QUEEN LATIFAH WAS GONNA TURN UP SOMETIME. "I'm nothing but a huckster from Omaha. Howdy, neighbor." I am not entirely sure if she was playing the first version of the Wiz (with the bleached hair and bling suit) or not, though I suspected.
* "Respecting danger but still taking care of business?" I love how she's delivering this whole thing.
* Also, "You, my friend, are of that brainiac persuasion."
* I may like The Wiz better than the original, y'all. It's got heart.
* "You have to know where you're going and where you're coming from" sounds like when Queen Latifah was playing Motormouth Maybelle, just saying.
* I must say that the Queen is wearing a very...pale...outfit in her last scene. Was that what she had on when she arrived? I guess? That must really screw with the citizens of Emerald City.
* And finally, we have a Good Witch of the South, because we always wondered where the last one was. And she's named "Glenda?" I'm trying to imagine how the North and South witches get dressed in the morning. It must take hours just on the hair doodads.
* OH WAIT SHE DOES HAVE A TOTO AT THE END! What is that, a big ol' fuzzy chow?

Anyway, I liked it very much :)

I also got an email back from Coleman, a.k.a. Shanna--she said it was fine to call her by her given name instead of her theater alias, so will probably refer to her as that name most of the time. I was thrilled.

Seriously, she’s just kinda poetic in emails. Regarding my wankery over you-know-who, she said that given the current circumstances, “maybe waiting isn’t bad at all. It is giving space and ALLOWING. I try to shift the energy from waiting to allowing. Then I shift it back to Sea Captain!” Also, “That is a tricky fractal web of thoughts. I would not think such heavy thoughts before you enter the lovely dream space. Leave him be, stay open to the newness of another, no way online dating, maybe another will join our Virtual Readers Plays yay.”

And she wants to talk and hear one of my stories after the play on Sunday. Huzzah!

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