Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a cure for stagefright, or

'paying attention to detail.' that's the conclusion of a book on the subject, both in the preparation - making sure it's thorough - and in the moment of performance.

since we live in an onstage society, this an unrecognized dis-ease, often called shyness. yes, our whole educational system dedicated to drama, as our news broadcasts and sports are.

facing the crowd not a natural situation. after all, ethnic groups of the past very small. you knew everybody. you didn't pass a thousand strangers in the street everyday. i'm listening to a book called cowboy & wills, the story of parents raising a high-performing autistic child. only the arrival of a dog finally allows the boy the make friends and perform in front of the class. his inclination: to take refuge in concrete schedules and literal interpretations of the world. obviously, he's overwhelmed by the input of the modern cacophony.

and the author of the stagecraft book wrote, 'when you feel yourself getting shaky, focus on a narrow circle of objects around you. once you settle a bit, expand that world.' the famous actor lawrence olivier could have used this advice. for six years in his fifties, he experienced a terrifying self-consciousness when walking onstage. arriving suddenly, this unexpected state made him say to himself, 'either i walk off and never act again, or i fight it.' and struggle through the terror he did, until it disappeared of its own accord.

as the end of fire season approaches, you can imagine my own concern. i've had months of quiet and solitude (a slow season) and soon i'll be back in town. my room assumes the place of a mountain-top. i seldom entertain and prefer to go out for my socializing. yes, a certain fear of overload prevails. still, i need people and the stimulation of the city. a counselor once told me i needed to commute, the country for quiet, the urban blast to revive my energy. and damned if that isn't what i've done.

a few new photos taken with my droid x camera-phone:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

the examined life can wear you out

i mean, i know what socrates meant, however didn't he really ask too many questions? he could have left the young men alone. oh no, he didn't do it. i suspect he never looked at his own mud-pie face in the mirror. and as for his wife, xanthippe made sure he never forgot she did him a favor (marrying him).

gees, imagine being married to the socratic method. did he have any kids? i suspect he avoided them this way, drinking all night with aristophanes and that crowd, discussing how love and tragedy were the same. here comes all the french philosophy of the 20th century. i exist, therefor what a shame.

okay, i admit it, i scrape over the cold coals of my life day after day, trying to revive the damp fire. true, eva begins to resurrect me, not an easy task. most of the time we joke around. and now she's gone to sit on another mountain. i tell her, "you just rode up this mountain to get away from a job you hated. the tower instilled me with a certain manna." hah, now we'll find out the truth, providing the internet works on her volcano. yes, she'll be waiting for that sleeping giant to awake starting tomorrow.

not only did eva leave, yesterday i visited my dying friend randy in the hospital. he opened his eyes when i spoke with him - and many people tell me those in a coma can hear - however he seemed to look right through me, focused on the pathway he'll be taking in a day or two. he's certainly one of the best human beings i've known. for years i've remembered his phone number and found his voice reassuring. today i felt a flash of survivor guilt. now i know what the people of wwII camps felt, leaving so many behind.

these events actually stun me, and i don't want to ask if my life has served any purpose, done anybody any good, or even if it's been rewarding for me. socrates drank the cup with a quip. unlikely i'll ever do the same.

many new photos taken with my droid x camera phone. this reduces all the mechanical to the most basic. maybe i'll sell my fancy equipment and pay for my ashes to be dumped over the ocean like my friend paula.