Sunday, November 30, 2008

leaving Bluff City

Leaving Bluff City tomorrow morning. If you're struggling to remember anything fun about this place, you're not alone. Easily one of the most nondescript places I've been to. The theatre is pretty good, but I don't have a burning desire to return here any time soon. Of course, I'm not really in a position these days (and in this economy) to be turning down any offers.

Back posts will go up later today (if I get my packing done early) or tomorrow (more likely). I've got one month to go with 365, and I'm looking forward to not having a life revolving around a blog. I seriously thought about quitting at the end of the year, but instead I'm going to commit to making one quality post a week. I think I can handle that.

Onwards and upwards, people.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

grandma's rolls

Should have brought some of these home...

Friday, November 28, 2008

a mostly good Thanksgiving

Back from my quick jaunt to grandma's for Thanksgiving. It was excellent. We kept my cousin away from the turkey, and it was delicious. We also had nine desserts, for fourteen people. A bit excessive? Maybe.

The only thing that sucked was listening to my blowhard cousin and his wife tease me and Maxine about not being married. I wanted to smack him. Actually, I wanted to put him in his place, but I didn't want to ruin Thanksgiving for everybody. Sometimes I hate being an adult.

Pictures coming soon.

So now I'm back in Bluff City - for three days. Back to NY on Monday, just in the nick of time.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

my Thanksgiving work

I seasoned her myself. Isn't she beautiful?

Deep frying is the ONLY way to eat turkey. Trust me.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

i had planned to write an open letter

I came home from a museum jaunt (nothing else to do in this town, I swear), and there was a mysterious package hanging from my door knob.

Of course, I immediately thought, "Someone's trying to poison me!"

When I worked up enough courage to open it up, there was a plastic cup full of blueberry cobbler. Still warm.

I decided that good cobbler > being poisoned. I ate it. It was delicious. I decided that I was going to thank the mysterious cobbler-donor on the blog.

But then I found out that Mama made it. (Of course - who else would have done it?)


Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

a questionable Facebook conversation

I became a fan of In-n-Out Burger on Facebook. The following is the exchange that took place with a friend of Ginger's (who flirted shamelessly with me at her wedding).

THE FLIRT: awe, you and i share the same passion! i eat there about once a week. are you [out west]????

ME: [Bluff City] right now, far away from my beloved In-N-Out. How are you?

THE FLIRT: great, thanks! are you in a show there? what are you up to now? come to cali and get out of the cold and enjoy some in and out with me. :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

i got a new phone (again)

I wish i could actually take a photo of the phone's pretty sweet. I think the quality of my mobile posts is about to improve...

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Friday, November 21, 2008

my letter to myself

At the camp I work at in Sleepy Hamlet in the summer, we make our students write letters to themselves three months in the future. They're usually writing these letters on the last night, and it provides a nice pick-me-up down the road when they get these great messages from their confident selves.

My kick-ass camp friend and I decided to participate in the exercise as well. Today, my letter arrived. Here's what it said.

[R] -

How's Bluff City? I'm sure that you're having a fun time w/the show, having the ol' crew together. And I'm sure that you're a bit frustrated at only working a little bit each night.

Remember how many people are proud of you.

Remember how much support you have from your friends and family.

Remember how all these students looked up to you.

Remember that you're doing exactly what you want to be doing. Not temping. Not checking IDs. Not sitting at home. YOU'RE AN ACTOR.

Now, save some $, read some books, call your mother and your grandmother, and keep your head up. And keep the faith.

- [The Rover] 8/15 lounge, next to my kick-ass camp friend

ps - only 2 1/2 more months of blogging left! you can do it!

Good advice. It's been a tough couple of days, and that definitely helped.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

good night for Pittsburgh

via text message to my brother, after a Steelers win

Pens won, too. Good night!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

bug spray prep

Question for the group:

Have you ever had to empty all of your cabinets when the exterminator sprays in your house?

The building that I live in requires us to empty EVERY kitchen and bathroom cabinet. I have six cabinets full of stuff. Where the heck am I supposed to put it? I'm leaving here in ten days - can't they just wait until I go?

The worst thing about all of this - I don't even have roaches! Grrrr.

currently, I'm...

...waiting to go on stage...

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

our audience is dead

I mean, nary a peep out of them. And this is not a "passive" show, either.

Hey, you win some, you lose some.

Intermission is here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

it is too cold here

via text message; responding to a message from a friend bragging about the weather in southern California

I hate you. I am now going to go build an igloo.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

long weekend (not the good kind)

Oh, nothing drastic happened. Just five shows in two and a half days. Not much fun.

Too tired to type. Going to check out a museum tomorrow - nothing wrong with getting some culture.

Friday, November 14, 2008

questions you ask your friends in my line of work

via text message

Hey, did you ever do a show called MANSWERS?

what i do

via text message, to a friend in Bluff City about my part in the play

My role isn't super huge, but my shoes are so clean you could eat off them. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

i hate my work internet connection

Is it too much to ask to have a reliable wireless connection at your place of employment? One that won't drop a signal every five minutes? Come on.

(OK, some of this frustration may be related to my inability to stream NFL football or Hulu movies and TV shows to my computer in the dressing room. But, is that a crime?)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

my opening night haul

Always nice to get things from people on opening night. I usually wait until I get home to open all of the cards, but I think tonight I'm going to make an exception and get right to it. I'll let you know if I get anything good...

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

my grandma is awesome

It's her 81st birthday today, and I just got off the phone with her. I haven't talked to her in a few weeks, so there were two big things to go over.

First, G'ma broke her leg pretty severely back in early August; she was in the hospital for a few weeks before moving to a rehab center. Yesterday, she was finally allowed to go home. And, believe me, she was thrilled. Having privacy, and being able to prepare her own meals...I know she's excited about that.

Second, of course, was the election. My grandma's mind is sharp - better than mine, actually - and I always love hearing her take on things. She was very excited, of course. She said that she hadn't seen crowds like that in Times Square since "the end of the war" - meaning World War II (I found out she was in the Square when that happened). She also talked about the changes she's seen in her world, from seeing "Colored Only" signs and not being served in restaurants and stores to being forced to sit at the back of the bus. "I never thought I'd live to see the day, but I always hoped that you and your brother and your cousins would," she said. It was pretty moving.

She's an amazing woman, and I love her very much.

Monday, November 10, 2008


I had dinner five hours ago, and I'm still in a food coma.

There's a woman in the cast we all call Mama ('cause she plays a mother), and she loves to cook. She loves to cook so much that she will throw dinner parties on her day off so that she has someone to cook for.

Tonight, the entire cast reaped the rewards.

We had cheese and crackers and chips and olives and fried chicken and baked chicken and greens and red beans and rice and yams and cornbread and fried catfish and lemon meringue pie and peach cobbler and wine and cider.

Soooooooooooooo good.

Thanks, Mama!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

i am re-addicted... Friday Night Lights. I got season 2 on Netflix, and I've been watching one episode before I go onstage, and one episode after I'm finished. It's very weird to be watching DVDs in the dressing room (or using a computer, for that matter, like I'm doing right now) but I need something to kill the time - I just don't have enough magazines!

Anyway, there are a few shows that I really get into (Kitchen Nightmares, Chuck, The Office, 30 Rock) and one that I absolutely LOVE (Mad Men). FNL was one of those shows that had fallen by the wayside for me (like Heroes or ER or Lost). But now...the love is back, baby. Not quite at the Mad Men level, but I am definitely enthralled.

All right, I need to start getting ready to perform. Sounds like a good house tonight.

Friday, November 07, 2008

i like this drawing

Drawn by Patrick Moberg

Thursday, November 06, 2008

getting another chance

written in my journal

Just finished my work for the evening. Oh, the show still has an hour or so to go, but my character is gone. I've been in the last scene of most of the recent plays I've done; I'd forgotten what it feels like to be finished and have the story continue.

Tonight was our first audience; waiting backstage before my first entrance, I heard the familiar music. and I was immediately transported back to Steak City. I remember, during that last show, trying to capture that moment, because it would never be recreated. It's very rare for this kind of thing to happen. But I'm so glad to be a part of it, despite all of my prior complaints.

Back to my phone - I get the NFL Network on it, and the Browns and Broncos are starting the third quarter shortly.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

what now?

I've dreamed about this day for a long time, and I've been thinking a lot about what I would have to say. I think that this e-mail I wrote to my girlfriend (who is in Chile with her father for a couple of weeks) earlier today sums up most of my feelings pretty well.

[Maxine] -

It's only now, half a day after the fact, that I'm able to gather myself enough to string together a few sentences to you. And that, quite frankly, is still difficult.

I just feel so full today, of life, of energy, of optimism (and, unfortunately, of alcohol - we really cut loose last night), and for so many different reasons. I think we elected the right person for the job. I'm excited that our country has a chance to regain our standing in the world (although your article pointed out that we have a tough road to hoe). I still can't believe that someone who looks like me will be leading this country - my country. I feel an ownership of America that I've never quite felt before.

They always say that it's darkest before the dawn. And I don't want you to think that I'm thinking of Obama as some sort of Messiah or something (although my father made a great analogy about following Jesus Christ "no matter what he looks like" last night), but the last eight years have been as bleak as you can get, with hijackings and bombings and wars and the economy in freefall and unchecked's been very, very dark. Last night, I think, was the crack of light appearing in the east, the one that leaves you breathless when you see it.

[One of the guys in the cast] sent me a text this morning: "What now?" which I think is the perfect question. I think that the only way that Obama fulfills his promise is if WE all band together and help him, you know? It's going to require sacrifice and dedication and hard work from the entire country to pull us out of this mess, and I just hope people are as committed to what comes next as they were to getting us to this point. I think it just might happen.

One last thing. [Our director] yesterday came into the dressing room and said something to the effect of, "Hey man, we don't have any excuses anymore! We got to pull ourselves together," which was super ironic, because I had been having those exact thoughts the other day (and [the director] and I NEVER agree on anything). I'm really interested to see where my people go from here, whether we can use last night as a springboard to propel ourselves forward or not. Judging by the faces and emotions I saw last night, I think this could be a seminal moment in black history.

OK, enough pontificating. What a day yesterday was! It was funny to get all sorts of messages yesterday from people. [A friend] said there were people cheering in the streets, and apparently 125th Street was crazy. [Two other friends] said that Brooklyn was jumping. [A third friend] was chest-bumping [a very famous actor] (he's got a recurring role on [a tv show] this season, as if I needed another reason to watch it).

I was sitting at tech all day yesterday, not being used (GRRRR), trying unsuccessfully stream TV coverage on my laptop (GRRRR) before watching a crappy feed on the phone. I don't think I started crying until I started thanking God.

[My castmates] and I raced back to my apartment to watch Obama's speech and have some celebratory drinks, and then we went out and drank too much. But I still feel great. I'm excited for you to come back so that I can see you face to face and you can pinch me and tell me that this isn't all a dream.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

so close

written in my journal

I'm at tech for [my show] in [Bluff City], sitting in my dressing room frantically trying to keep up with election results. I just got off the phone with my brother, who told me CNN says there's almost no way McCain can win. Still, my guard will stay up until Obama reaches 270.

I feel as though I'm about to burst with so many different emotions.

Monday, November 03, 2008

election eve

It's finally here.

After all of the speeches and attack ads and pundits and town hall meetings and debates and SNL sketches, we have arrived.

It kind of feels like Christmas Eve, you know? I have the same kind of anticipation bubbling in the pit of my stomach. It's a good thing that I have tech tomorrow, because I couldn't take sitting around in my apartment all day.

I am a little sad that I'm on the road for this. I would love to be watching this with my parents, or my brother, or my girlfriend. The cast is great (and they certainly have an understanding of what's at stake), but I would really like to be with people I love tomorrow. It will be a little lonely if I'm watching election results alone in my apartment.

Tomorrow, it ends. And begins. I am looking forward to it.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

by the way

I am officially up to date with my back posts. As I've explained before, there are some days where I decide that I'm going to use text messages as my post, and my phone has a habit of eating my messages. It's happened seven times, and I have a reservoir of links for those purposes.

So...58 days left. I've already decided to take a week off of blogging after 365 is over.

this. fucking. election.

This just about sums the whole thing up.


ah, soul food

The rest of it had been fried chicken and collard greens. Mmmm...

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

getting caught up, slowly

written in my notebook in the back of the rehearsal hall

Couple of posts I wrote a while back that I just got around to posting the other day. I think they're worth a look, so check 'em out.

September 27: debt

October 9: only in new york

Happy birthday, mom!