This deserves two posts.
I’m too lazy and hot (climate wise) to do two whole posts about two performances at one time.
How would writing two posts demonstrate the sturdy regime one must adhere to when one is as confident an underachiever as I have proclaimed to be?
Suddenly, after decades away, I am called to the Beckman Institute Auditorium to perform on not just one night but two nights and for two different projects about one place. It was a three martini week.
Wednesday evening was the Celebration of the Arroyo. For my part, a poetry seminar for newspaper editors and city councilmen. The next morning, Larry Wilson of the Pasadena Star News would tweet a photograph of me with the caption, “An owl on her head.”
Maybe it was stress. I don’t know. Something went terribly wrong. Trees are growing next to me inside the auditorium. Some of them are NON-NATIVES. I peeled away from the squadron, as my friend Loretta often says, and the whole thing turned into a striptease with trees. It was very unfortunate -as evinced in this rare photo taken by the Arroyo Seco Foundation during my performance:
All systems go.
Saturday afternoon at the TACIT House the preparation begins in the blazing hot outdoor scene shed. We read the play and work out some stage business. I’m just learning how to read, inexplicably. Why can’t I move my eyes off the page? Butterflies. Stage fright. This is why I left the theatre years ago!
We have launch. (It was a pizza from Blaze.)
My character in the play is Dr. Wright, Principal of Muir High School. I don’t come in until page 19, so the director Brian Brophy, gives me a rain water stick and a tube of boingo to make helicopter sounds. I go a little crazy with the boingo, cupping my palm over the end and pounding so loudly that the playwright, Marcus Renner, leaves his seat to get me to stop.
The first line in the play is spoken by the little boy character:
“Why does the Echo Princess stay in the tunnels?”
Jeff is played by a beautiful little girl with long hair stuffed into a boyscout cap. Her real life dad is a nuclear physicist. He is in the play too. A disc golfer. It’s Hahamongna. It’s all about the Haha. But where are these tunnels? Artistic license? Elsewhere in the Arroyo Seco?
I know about the tunnels under Caltech. A play about those tunnels would be far more psychedelic, I suspect. More like the episode of Mad Men when Sterling meets Dr. Leary. Tune in, turn on, drop out (I did, of course, and look what happened?)
It was wonderful to see so many of my friends there for both performances. Afterwards, I forgot to get a program for my scrapbook. Luckily, Kelly gave me hers with her extra special notations on it.
The whole week was so over-the-top fun I can hardly believe it really happened.
Thank you to all who made my participation in these two events possible.
-PROGRAM SEQUENCE ENGAGED-