Cerebral Flotsam And Jetsam - My Mental Maelstrom

16
Oct
2021
2:48

A Tale Of Two Roles

…or a journey into my ever-overthinking mind.

I recently auditioned for a play. Because the casting decision have not yet been made and I don’t know how much information is okay to give, I will not be revealing the specific show or roles.

When I was a younger man, I thought the title role (henceforth known as “Role 1”) was one of my “bucket list” roles. Then in 2014, I actually read the play and decided that actually the other male lead (henceforth known as “Role 2”) was really my bucket list role. Meatier, deeper, more complex. I actually identified with both roles in completely different ways.

Cut to 2021. I’m doing another play and one night backstage I just happen to mention that Role 2 is a bucket list role for me. One of my castmates tells me that a local theatre company is actually doing that show next year. When I get home that night, I look up their website and see that they’re actually accepting video auditions at that exact moment and for the next couple of weeks! I video a short monologue and send it in. A few weeks later I get an email telling me they’d like me to come to callbacks! At this point I reply telling them that I’m really only interested in Role 2 and I hope that’s okay. They tell me it’s totally okay and thank me for letting them know. I download the sides and start reading. Once again I fell that dichotomous connection to both roles and end up thinking that they are both really great and might both be “bucket list” roles. However Role 1 says “early 20s to late 30s” while Role 2 is “late 30s to late 50s” so I figure they probably wouldn’t be interested in me for Role 1 anyway.

A week or so later, I get another email about specifics for the callback. On a whim I replied explaining that the reason I said I was “only” interested in Role 2 was because I just figured I was technically too old for Role 1 even though I do still get cast a lot in the mid to late 30s as well, so if they wanted to see me for that role, I’d be happy to read for it as well, or could also be happy only reading for Role 2. They reply that I could definitely read for both roles so that becomes the plan.

Immediately my brain starts wondering if I did the right thing. “Now you’ll have to split your audition time between both roles instead of really digging in to Role 2! The one you REALLY want!” Is it though? Role 1 is pretty amazing too. Getting to read for two amazing lead roles is a GOOD thing, I tell myself.

Callbacks arrive. First I read for Role 2. They give me some notes and a few minutes to prepare and I come back and do it a second time. Then for the next 2 hours and change, I only read for Role 1. I read 5 more times I believe. 3 different scenes with 4 different scene partners. So naturally my brain tries real hard to feel a little bummed that it sure seems like I’m out of the running for Role 2. Despite the fact, that I had an absolute blast in the scenes for Role 1 and felt like I really connected and brought something special to it. Regardless of whether or not I get cast, I felt totally happy and solid with my work in both roles and I had a blast with great scene partners and a director who seems amazing and a kindred spirit. So really, I feel nothing but great but have to laugh at my whirling maelstrom of a mind that wants to overthink and second-guess everything.

It’s up to the universe now. Well, that and the director.

05
Oct
2021
14:25

Dream Theatre 70

Woke up from exhausting cliché theatre dreams.

In this one I was starring in yet another production of Cyrano (my 3rd, and my 2nd go as the main antagonist, De Guiche). Clare Costello was Roxane. This was pretty much my typical theatre stress dream.I had just come off from a scene as pirate (there aren’t actually pirates in Cyrano, but the Gascony cadets are similar) and had to change to come back on as De Guiche for a scene with Roxane. I couldn’t find my costume pieces so I decided to check the other end of the theater but the only way to get there without the audience seeing me was to go outside, run around the side and then enter this side door that led to a little nook for a Stage Manager or something. When you opened the door, there was a very tall chair right at your level which allowed whoever was sitting there to view the stage through a high window. The floor was a good 10′ or so below. I managed to make my down safely but realized there was nowhere I could go from here without being seen by the audience.

I climbed my way back up avoiding a roach on the bottom of the door frame and ran back, around to the backstage area. Luckily I realized that I had more time than I thought but I had mostly wasted it with my trip around the theater. While frantically searching for anything that might work for a costume, I realized that the next few scenes felt very unfamiliar. It was closing night and I suddenly wondered if we had accidentally skipped these scenes the previous 2 nights. I asked Clare if we had done these scenes the last two nights and she wasn’t sure but also said she wouldn’t mind if we hadn’t or skipped them again because that was less to worry about, then she went on stage for a scene with and older man. I really hoped everything would just come to me once we started the scenes because they were my favorite scenes of the show, and I was also bummed that I most definitely wouldn’t have the right costume but, if I was lucky, something thrown together that would work and didn’t look like a pirate.

I started looking for a shirt that would work thinking that it would be easier and quicker if I didn’t change pants and that these pants could probably work. Someone told me to go check this deeper storage area where some costumers had been putting away stocks of stored unused costumes, but that area was already mostly cleaned out and bore no fruit. Back in the main area some costumers were hanging up some new bulk costumes they had ordered. On stage, Clare’s elderly scene partner was totally forgetting his lines and Clare was trying to help by whispering them to him but since everyone was mic’d up those whispers were loud and obvious. The man eventually laughed and apologized to the audience.

At that point someone decided that since the founders of Theatresports were in attendance, it would be good to maybe take a break and do some comedic improv games. They started calling some of the cast out to play and they called my name. I was standing in a shirt and underwear at the time so I shouted “I’m putting pants on” which got a laugh from the audience. I found a pair of pants I thought would work and I set them down so I could change take my shirt off as well to change. When I then reached for the pants again, I couldn’t find them. I was baffled, I literally had just set them down. There were boxes of new pants arranged by sizes that the costumers were hanging up though so maybe they had just grabbed mine to hang up thinking they were just laying around. Regardless, I couldn’t find them. I saw another few piles of pants of the right size but they were tux pants and not nearly right for the show.

Someone ducked backstage to once again ask if I would come out and play in the improv game break, and I said I was trying but couldn’t just come out in my underwear and was trying to find clothes to get dressed. They acknowledged me and went back to start some games with those already there.
At this point, I woke up exhausted.

26
Sep
2021
2:08

Unendingly Refusing To Lose Faith In Our Bond

You and I are not inexperienced in the strongest of romantic emotions
You are well acquainted with the agreed upon parameters as well as I
Total devotion is the concept dominating my mind
This you will find unattainable with all other potential male suitors

I only have the strongest desire to speak my innermost emotions to you
Must ensure that you fully comprehend

I will unendingly refuse to lose faith in our bond
Steadfastly shall I never fall short of your expectations
There will be an absolute absence of skullduggery and abandonment
You shall never weep due to my actions
I shan’t ever bid thee “Adieu”
No false words shall leave my lips, nor shall I cause you even a moment of pain

-Sir Richard of House Astley

11
Sep
2021
16:52

Dream Theatre 69

In the first part of this dream, I dreamt I was going to visit my ex-girlfriend (from like 25 years ago), Raegan. I parked in the parking garage and entered her building which for some reason I felt like was a dorm, even though I don’t think she was in school and it was also like a big hotel/apartment building/event center/mall. Something was going on there because there was a lot of people and activity which slowed my arrival significantly to the point where I noticed I was 30 minutes late, and felt really bad about it so I called her to let know what was going on and that I wasn’t just some kind of jerk who didn’t care about being and that I valued her time and was really excited to see her. I think there was definitely a feeling of possible rekindled romance on the horizon.

Continue reading…
08
Sep
2021
0:19

Dream Theatre 68

I was talking to this girl I was in love with. In the dream I don’t think she was actually anyone from real life, but at the same time my subconscious knew she represented a person or maybe two people from my past. We were school mates, I’m not sure what grade, but either High School or college.

She was informing me that she was going away. Moving or something maybe. I realized that she meant immediately and wouldn’t even finish out the school year. In fact, I realized this conversation was the last we would ever have. Goodbye forever. Somehow I knew I would never see her again. I don’t remember if we were dating or if I was just in love with her but I know it was a warm and friendly conversation though I was dying inside. After she was gone, I was empty and I drove around in a van crying my eyes out, listening to music, and knowing that I had just seen and spoken to her for the last time.

Then I woke up and tried to shake that heaviness off.

05
Sep
2021
0:51

Dell Ultrasharp 4K Webcam Review

Years ago, when I was first looking for a good webcam for streaming (and since the pandemic, tons of Zooming, etc.), everything I read led to the Logitech C920 series. I ended up getting the newest one in that line at the time, the C922x. Overall it’s been a fine camera but there were a few quirks that always bothered me. Firstly, as noted all over the internet, it has the very annoying quirk of not saving the camera settings. Streamers are always complaining that they have to tweak their cameras every time they use them. I ended up downloading a third party program called WebCamCfg which is pretty slick and let’s you save/load settings using any .txt editor to alter a .cfg file. However I was still annoyed that I needed this at all. Also there were several Logitech software suites for the camera and none of them did everything. They each did some things. I ended up settling on LogiCapture as my favorite because you can actually use the program itself as your video source (instead of the camera directly) which allows you to tweak settings, zoom, etc., while live with camera, which you usually can’t do with every other camera software suite I’ve used. Usually the camera can’t be in use by another program if you want to adjust it. But even LogiCapture did not give me the ability to turn off auto-exposure which I like to do as I like running everything manually for various reasons.

Continue reading…
03
Sep
2021
23:32

Cleaning Out The Mental “Junk Drawer”

I know you’ll never see this, but sometimes things just need to be put out of my head and into the universe.

I’m sorry for who I was after our breakup. I was a broken, desperate, shell of a sub-human in overwhelming pain who didn’t really want to be alive. I wasn’t myself, or even close to my best self or the person you fell in love with. I wasn’t someone I even remotely liked. I hope that’s not the lingering, persistent memory of who I was, if there is memory of me at all. I may have a lot of regrets, but falling in love with you and sharing a life for a little while are not among them.

30
Aug
2021
22:00

Dream Theatre 67

In this dream I was visiting Alie Ward, wonderful human and host of the Ologies podcast (one of my absolute favorites) among her many jobs, as well as her husband, Jarrett Sleeper. I think Jarrett was convalescing from some illness or injury (as is true in real life at the moment) so I hadn’t really seen him much. It was the end of my visit and Alie and I both had some last minute errands to run before I left.

For some reason I assumed she was taking Jarrett’s car (a small blue two-door like a Kia or similar make) and I decided to take Alie’s car, which was a big, old, 70’s clunker, like a Buick or something. After I had left I suddenly realized I hadn’t asked her if I could borrow it and felt really self-conscious about it. Maybe I could get back before her and she’d never know it was gone. Hopefully I wasn’t wrong about her taking Jarrett’s car.

I wanted to go to a shop not far from their home, which should have been a simple trip. I had to go down, take a right, then presumably just take another right to get there but somehow the neighborhood ended up being more complicated than that and I had a hard time finding it. I did eventually make my way there. It was a cool, kitschy two-story shop in a small “Little China” type district. As I browsed, there was this teenage boy who was approaching random customers and asking them weird nonsensical questions in an obvious attempt to be entertaining and humorous. I don’t remember what he asked me but it was meaningless fluff something along the lines of “Yeah, do it. Right?” as he nodded with a knowing smile. “Absolutely, do it,” I agreed, humoring his little game.

I got whatever it was I needed, and jumped back in Alie’s clunker to head back to their place. I remember being surprised that this was her car. I made it back down to the end of the street where I had previously turned right and had not seen the house. I went back the other way and somehow missed it again. One more time back and I still hadn’t seen it, so I parked and decided to walk back for closer investigation. Walking up and down that street, I finally saw it and remembered that it was a very small, subtle wooden door in the wall of a busy thoroughfare in that Little China district that was not very obviously a residence and was also set about 6 inches off the ground, and there was a giant gold Chinese symbol of some kind on the wall. Now I needed to go retrieve the car to bring it back.

I tried to walk back to the car but suddenly now the street wasn’t really a street any more and my path back was obstructed in many ways by tables, objects, a small stylized red Chinese pedestrian gate with, etc. I was baffled as I knew I had just driven this way moments before. Then I woke up and tried to shake this frustrating and slightly anxious experience out of my head. Totally worth it to visit Alie and Jarrett though.