Wednesday, October 31, 2007

a life in the theater

First of all, happy birthday to my mom. She's 56 today, and looks 40-ish. I hope I age that well...

Today (well, technically, yesterday) was a strange show day. In my show, I have this dramatic moment in the latter half of the play where I compose myself before rushing offstage. It lasts maybe 5 seconds, but it's just me on stage, and the audience is usually all, "what is he going to do?" and the silence is deafening.

Well, in the matinee, some guy belches HELLA loud, right in the middle of my moment of silence. And you could hear a woman's voice, right after, whisper, "Oh my GOD," like some old guy's being chastised by his wife for disrupting the show. I couldn't help but shoot a dirty look in his direction before leaving the stage - something you're not really supposed to do.

In hindsight, that was hilarious.

I was cruising along during the evening show, and I come off stage for my quick change before the tail end of the show, when all of a sudden I had to go to the bathroom. The last three scenes of the play are each about ten minutes long - and I'm onstage for almost every minute. And my change was too quick to go then.

So I got dressed, and headed to make my entrance. The guy who is in the first of the three scenes (he shares my real name, by the way, which is always confusing during rehearsal) is holding a prop for me, per usual. As I grab the prop and we head backstage, I tell him, "I gotta piss, so I'm going to do this at rain speed."

And I did. We finished 4 minutes early, which is a ton of time to take off a show. But when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Need to sleep - a big day t'm'row!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

icky show

Really crappy show tonight. It was horrible. I mean, nothing ridiculous happened (as opposed to last Tuesday, when I completely blanked out in the middle of a scene - nothing scarier than that) but I just felt like I was acting underwater. Not good times.

What makes this especially interesting was that I had one of the best shows of my life on Sunday. I was doing everything right - listening to my fellow actors, actually reacting in the moment, feeling the emotions (but not in an out-of-control way). It was a pretty awesome moment.

But something got lost on the off-day, I guess. It usually does, at least for this show - it's really hard to do that first show of the week, after 50 hours off. I've got two chances t'm'row to make it up, so that's good...

Early bedtime for me tonight. I'm out.

Monday, October 29, 2007

busy busy bee!

Very busy weekend for me, which explains my absence from this spot. A quick recap:

Friday - went up to Rockport to see my friend Big Bird, who helped me shoot an audition. The big theater in Valley City - a place I've wanted to work for years - well, a couple of their people saw the show I'm doing now, and they've asked me to send a tape or DVD to the director of one of their plays. I usually shoot two or three auditions on tape a year, but, of course, I don't own a video camera. So I ended up spending several hours out there getting that done. I was there so long that I wasn't able to drive back to Valley City before my show, so I ended up sitting at a coffee shop for 45 minutes. Then I did my show. Then I hung out with Fred and Ginger.

Saturday - my parents came into town! It was awesome. They LOVE Rockport, so we ended going up there between shows for dinner. They really liked the play, which was nice. After the second show (which my parents and Big Bird and his wife saw) we all went back to Valley City and had drinks at a very loud club with Fred and Ginger.

Sunday - I drove my parents to the airport at an ungodly hour, and I was too tired and hungry to go to sleep. So I did a couple of things around the room, and then headed to a sports bar to watch most of the Steelers-Bengals game (which my team won 24-13 - five and two, baby!). Then I did my show. After the show, I got dressed as fast as humanly possible and drove to Valley City, because several of my friends were doing a play that ended 30 minutes after mine ended. It was great. After the show, I grabbed some dinner and figured that I was going to crash on the couch for the rest of the night...but Trouble called and invited me up to Rockport to carve some pumpkins. I hadn't done that in forever, so I headed up there, and it was lots of fun.

Today - I worked on putting the damn DVD together all day. I was only expecting it to take a couple of hours, but I didn't finish up until halftime of the Monday Night Football game. My computer was being weird, which kind of scares me. Bad times. I did get a lot of internet-type stuff done today, so that was good.

So now I can relax, and I'm probably going to do something that I've been putting off for a while - assembling a Facebook profile. Several friends have been bugging me to do this for a while. I had thought that I was too old for Facebook, but now that some of my late-30s friends are joining, I really have no excuse. So I guess I'm taking the plunge.

Back tomorrow with more. I'm back in New York one week from tonight...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

PBW report

Not much to tell, actually. We had a great time. We were together for two hours and I don't think there was a single lull in the conversation.

She's really awesome - and she also seems to realize that the guy she's with isn't the answer for her. That's promising... I think that we would make a great couple. Ginger keeps saying that we would have beautiful children.

But the reality is that she lives in Valley City, and I live in New York. And even though there's a very good chance that I could be doing a job or two in Valley City/Rockport a year, that's just not enough time for me. And, as much as I love this region - I think I could be very happy living here, and may think seriously about relocating when I'm done with NY - I'm still very ambitious career-wise, and I just can't get it done here.

She's a classy lady, though. I definitely dig her.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Power Broker West

Remember, back at Xmas, when I met the Power Broker? It was a whirlwind few weeks, culminating with her telling me about her almost-boyfriend. (I'm still kinda-sorta e-mailing her, but communication has kind of fizzled once I left the city for the summer and started dating Snapple.)

Well, I've met a similar woman who generates almost as much excitement. I met her last year, at my friend Ginger's wedding. Ginger had literally been telling me about her for years, and I was always like, "Yeah, yeah," but I was really impressed when I met her. So we've been e-mailing back and forth for the past year. She lives in Valley City, so I hung out with her a bit this summer while I was in Rockport.

The reason you never heard about this? She has a boyfriend - met him the day after Ginger's wedding - go figure. And, at the time I met her, I was kind of dating Maxine, and I wasn't interested in the long distance thing - and then I met the Power Broker. So Power Broker West (they are really kind of similiar people, and they work in similiar fields) was kind of on the back burner.

But lately, PBW has been showing interest in The Rover. (Which he welcomes.) Ginger and her husband, Fred (you knew that was coming) really don't like PBW's boyfriend - he's a nice guy, but apparently gets verbally abusive when he drinks, and he takes passive-aggressive shots at her in public, and she really doesn't seem to like him that much - it's just not a good fit - and they've been talking me up. The four of us have hung out a few times, and it's always a blast. After a function a couple of weeks ago, PBW mentioned to Ginger how great she thought I was. And I realized that I've never hung out with just her.

So, on Wednesday, before my show, we're having dinner.

But she hasn't mentioned it at all to Ginger. And didn't mention it at all when the gang got together this weekend. Hmmm...

She's a total keeper. I mean, for reals. Smart, and funny, and interesting, and fun, and gorgeous. And if she were interested in me...well, I would have to try and get more work in Valley City or Rockport.

But she has a boyfriend. And doesn't live in NY. So...I don't know.

I've decided just to go out and have a good time, and get to know her better, and see what happens. No other expectations. I'll keep you posted...

7 randoms

So Hot Librarian tagged me the other day. I had kind of a busy weekend, so I'm just getting around to it now. The rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random and some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of post and list their names.
4. Let them know they were tagged by a comment on their blog.

Very complicated. All right, let's see what I can scrounge up.

1. I used to be a serious fingernail-biter. I've mostly kicked the habit, but if I've got a hangnail, chances are good it's coming off. Although I might pull it off now, instead of chewing on it.

(Gross. I'm sure you're really looking forward to my next 6. I promise it won't be as bad.)

2. If I had my way, I would spend every fall afternoon doing nothing but watching football. When I was younger, I used to decline phone calls so I could watch my games undisturbed. I'm much more flexible than that now, but I do love a lazy Sunday watching the NFL. Maybe that's why I don't have a girlfriend...

3. I have a 32 oz green Nalgene water bottle that travels with me everywhere I go. I usually try to drink two full bottles of water a day, but as of late I've been slacking off.

4. I have an amazing amount of debt. Most of it's for school, which is saying something, because I didn't pay for undergrad. I think the total amount I owe is in the ballpark of $80,000. This is especially hilarious given how much money I usually make in a year...

5. I balance my checkbook religiously, at least twice a week. And, for the past two years, I've kept track of every single cent that I've spent. Gotta justify it for tax time, but it really does something for your fiscal discipline to look at what you spend your money on.

6. I am a phone person. I probably spend 10-15 hours a week on the phone. I talk to my brother 4 or 5 times a week, my parents and Maxine twice, the Brooklyn Squirrel two or three times, and then I generally try to catch up with someone at some point. This means that I have to charge my cell phone a lot.

7. I have abnormally muscular calves.

Seven people to tag? Hmmm...let's see...

1. Desperate Husband.
2. So Gone.
3. Mermaid Girl (glad you're ok).
4. Melissa.
5. Urbanblight.
6. Wyntir.
7. Belle Chanson.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I'm really tired of not having any money.

It's not like I'm asking to buy a house with a swimming pool or anything. I just want to be able to buy stamps without thinking about it, or not freak out when I find out I've mistakenly paid the wrong credit card (which happened today - thankfully the good people at Bank of America are quite helpful).

As much as I love my job, there are some days where I don't think I can do this much longer. Not because I don't get enjoyment from what I'm doing, but because it's SO difficult to pay the bills and student loans.

Maybe I should set up one of those websites where I solicit cash from people to pay my debts. Or, maybe, I'll finally find that sugar mama I've been looking for all of these years...

In the meantime, I just have to keep plowing away, eating dinners at home and settling for only one drink at the bar instead of two. I'll make it one of these days, right?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

still guilty

I seriously want an answer to this question: when will I stop feeling bad about the Snapple thing?

I spoke to a mutual friend of ours tonight, who told me that I needed to stop talking to her - a decision that I came to on my own four or five days ago, after a particularly uncomfortable conversation. Our friend said something to the effect of, "I know that you liked her, and cared about her, and you're a good guy, so when you talk to her and you say nice things - that's all she hears."

And, in the "irony of ironies" department, she's flying in to Valley City (bound for a job in Rockport) on the very day that I leave (which was why we had the last conversation).

I don't know I guess I feel bad because I do like her, but my actions have made it clear that I don't care about her enough to be a boyfriend. And while it would have been much easier to let her come and visit me, and keep things going, in my heart of hearts I would hate myself, because it all would have been a lie. And, as I learned with Lil' Bit, it's much better to nip things in the bud than to have her go crazy and try to buy plane tickets without consulting with you first.

Anyway, is this normal? Should I be feeling this bad about things three weeks after the fact?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Did any of you see this article?

Please read it.

Apparently, Dick Cheney and Barack Obama are...related.


I can't believe it either.

I don't know what to say.


Wow. I have no energy and no motivation. I really should go over to the little hotel gym and hit the treadmill for half an hour or so (I had Popeye's chicken last night, and that isn't going to go away on its own), but I really just want to sit around here and do nothing.

Maybe it's 'cause I had such an exciting weekend.

It was really awesome having the ladies here. Next to my parents and brother, they are the people I'm closest to in the world, and I was really happy that they were able to spend four days out here, and see my show, and just generally hang out. Even though we only live 20 minutes away from each other in Brooklyn, I feel like we don't always get that much quality time. And I've been a bit lonely here. So it was really great.

I think things with Maxine and I are ok. We talked about it briefly on Sunday. I know that it was a stupid thing to do, but I wasn't trying to be mean or cruel or anything, and she understands that, I think. I'm having a whole lot of other thoughts about that whole situation, but I think I need to keep them to myself until I have a clearer grasp on what's going on here.

That's all for now. Key is forthcoming, I promise. Right now...time for lunch.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

oh, shit

Mortified this morning.

Maxine and our friend (henceforth to be known as The Brooklyn Squirrel) came into town for a wedding. They got here on Thursday, and so far everything has been great.

But last night (at the after-reception), I got a little too tanked and blabbed a little too much to Maxine.

Let me make this perfectly clear. I don't regret what I said - I said what I feel, and it was true. I just shouldn't have brought it up at that time. She's happy with her life, and I shouldn't interfere in that. And it's never cool to make a wedding all about you and your feelings - you're supposed to be celebrating the union of others, and seeing old friends, etc.

Essentially, this is what happened. We've been talking all weekend about the potential of us getting back together, how we get a smidge jealous when one of us is dating, etc. So that's been in the air. And we've seen a lot of people that we used to know, and it kind of takes you back, you know? So when I showed up after my show last night, I kept joking, "We really should get married." I guess it wasn't funny the fourth time, at 2am, because she kind of called me on it. And I told her that I wasn't really joking. And I made her cry.

So, I'm mortified.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

rant coming

There are a dozen or so big regional theaters in America, and I would like to work at all of them. There's one in particular that I keep flirting with. I send them love notes (headshots), they ask me out on a date (audition). Sometimes I have other plans (I'm working). Once we actually went out, it was great, we made out a bit, but it was nothing serious (callback, no job).

(Do you like my metaphor?)

Anyway, I've known the casting director for years. I know she likes me, and we keep trying to make something happen, but the timing's always off.

This year, though, I have an ace in the hole. The woman who directed the play I'm in now is also directing at this theater in the summer. That, combined with the fact that I'll be back in New York in four weeks, had me in great shape. I figured, I go back to the city, I'll audition for them in November, and voila! I'll have more gainful employment. And, trust me, if I go to this theater, you're gonna want to hear ALL about my adventures there.

So what happens?

I get a message on my phone this morning, "Hi Rover, this is the Casting Director's Assistant. Can you come audition for us in New York on October 24?"


When I called them to see if there were other possibilities (like, could I send them a tape?), CDA said, "Well, you can audition in Chicago in December, or LA in January..."


That sounds great. Then I can lay out money for an audition for a job that, statistically, I have a slim shot at getting! Wonderful!

I hate this process sometimes.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

coming soon

Yeah, yeah, you're getting a lot of posts from me in an extremely short period of time. Whoop-de-damn-do.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'm getting close to posting something that many of you have been asking for for a while now - a key! That way you can keep track of the places I've been, and the ladies I've...whatever...with. (If you need a real-life translation, well, that's another story.)

I'm hoping to get it up (heh heh) by Thursday afternoon, but if I don't, it won't go up until next week, because Maxine and my other friend are staying with me this weekend, and since she doesn't know where exactly this blog is located, I'm not going to help her by posting while she's here. Unless I sneak down to the hotel lobby or something.

Let me know if there are any other requests...going to sleep now...

some friendly advice

To the family that sat in the front row of my show tonight:

Thanks for coming out to support live theater, folks. Really, we appreciate it. But, can I make a suggestion for next time? Three, actually:

1. Don't bring ten year olds to play with adult and sophisicated subject matter. It's just going to bore them.

2. If you must bring your child, don't sit in the front row. He's going to be bored, and he's going to be restless, and you're gonna have to explain things to him, and it's kind of distracting to the actors. Especially if they're facing in your direction for an entire scene.

3. This is for the lady sitting next to the child. If you're going to sit in the front row, you might want to try not rocking back and forth and talking so much. See point #2.

Thank you for listening. I must also tell you, Mr. Ten Year Old, that you yelling, "You were great! What a great show!" was very, very cute. And almost made me forget how annoying and distracting you were.

win a shot with tila tequila

...may be my new favorite show.

I love MTV.

Anyone else feeling this?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

i don't normally do this

I don't have a specific number of people that read this blog on a regular or semi-regular basis. I know that the number is between 10 and 100. Some of them I know, and some of them I don't. But I have a sneaking suspicion that many of you are like me:

young (under 35)
college-educated and/or intellectually curious
not rich/saddled with debt, school or otherwise
working to create the best life possible for yourself

(if not, that's ok - keep reading, please)

I just finished a fantastic book, called The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America, by Daniel Brook, and I have to say that it's one of the most brilliant books I've ever read. (It ranks right up there with Cornel West's "Race Matters", which I think should be recommended reading for all Americans.) It basically takes on what I call the John Edwards conundrum - you know, Two Americas?

You should read this book if you've ever had the following questions:

Why do I have to choose between doing what I love and making a viable salary?
Why is it so hard to find affordable housing in my city?
Why do I feel as if I can't ever make a difference?

This book challenges some closely held conservative ideals, so some of it might be hard to stomach for those of you on the right side of the political spectrum, but I urge you to read it nonetheless. I'd really like to hear some feedback from people, positive or negative, so if you get a chance to check this out (it's less than 200 pages), please share with me your unvarnished opinions.

And thanks to the young woman who recommended this to me...I'm still searching for an appropriate blog name for you...

Saturday, October 06, 2007


For the first time in recent memory, I did not go out on a Friday OR a Saturday night.

Both nights, I came home from my show - it's short, so we get back around 9:30 - and did nothing. Sat around watching playoff baseball and college football. Continued reading a really great book a friend gave me back in June (more on that later). Set up my humidifier, because turning the heat on in my room dries me out.

Am I turning into an old man? Is this what happens to you when you hit your 30s? Please tell me this is just a phase...

Thursday, October 04, 2007


If you've listened to any urban radio the past month, you've probably heard Soulja Boy Tell 'Em's "Crank That". It's kind of the new hotness. I was first introduced to it by my homegirl HCIC, who's generally ahead of the curve on a lot of things.

Anyway, I've really been into watching video mash-ups of this song - they're kind of hilarious. HCIC has a couple of them on her page (I love watching the University of Miami Ibis doing the Soulja Boy dance), but my favorite is this:

Consider this your hip hop lesson for the day. Your homework assignment is to learn the Soulja Boy dance. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

for you

My director gave me this for our show opening. I thought it was really nice, and I decided to share it.


to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

to talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

to make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

to look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

to think only of the best.
to work only for the best.
and to expect only the best.

to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

to forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

to wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

to give so much to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticise others.

to be too large to worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

to think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words, but in great deeds.

to live in the faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

Monday, October 01, 2007

who i look like, supposedly

All right, I finally gave in and did this thing. I did, like, half a dozen pictures, but this was the result I like best. Two notable things:

1. Apparently, I look like a girl.

2. Alicia Keys and I look dramatically alike, apparently, because she popped up on almost every picture. Does that mean I can't marry her? Natalie Imbruglia showed up a lot, too.

Agree? Disagree? Anyone else?

playoff baseball!

I just want to say that I LOVE playoff baseball.

I used to be a big fan when I was a kid - I played for ten years, and I was a pretty good player - but the strike in '94 ended most of my devotion. (That, and the fact that the Pirates have been pathetic for 15 years.) However, watching the playoffs is a different story. The fans are going crazy, and every play means something - it's really tremendous.

I bring this up because I watched a fantastic game tonight. The Colorado Rockies (a team I have a soft spot for, due to a summer I spent in Denver about a decade ago) beat the San Diego Padres 9-8 in 13 innings. It was everything a fan could hope for - teams going back and forth, home runs, improbably comebacks, a raucous crowd - very satisfying. Unless you're a Padres fan.

In case anyone's interested, I see a Yankees-D'backs rematch in the Series.