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The Fucked Festival

It all started when I tried to make a phone call on my husband’s IPod. “What are you doing? he said. “Huh?” I said, “trying to make a call.” “That’s my IPod!” he said, as I tapped the screen with my forefinger. “Oh. Really?” I said. Oh oh.
I thought I was keeping it together really well. I was like, “Wow I am under duress and I am handling it very well.” Then these kind of things started happening and I realized I wasn’t handling it well at all.

A few days later I picked up my cell phone and listened for a dial tone before I dialed. Oh oh. This is the kind of stuff that happens to me when I’m stressed.

I got up this morning and told my husband I wouldn’t be home for dinner tonight because I had a rehearsal. Then I emailed another director to ask if I could bring a guest to tomorrow night’s screening of a film I was in. Then I got a call from a friend and she consoled me when I told her how I had spaced and had missed an audition last Thursday afternoon. Then I emailed my scene partner to tell him we could work tonight if we went up early because my rehearsal was at 8pm. AND THEN I got an email from the film director saying, “The screening is NEXT WEEK.”

I ran to my Filofax and realized I had it flipped open to the wrong page and had made all these plans based on NEXT WEEK’S schedule. So I had to call my husband, email the director, email my scene partner and change everything and find the sides for the audition I DIDN’T MISS. This is not good.

I have an ex-boyfriend from high school, Bob, who is basically a shut in. He was the coolest guy in three towns, gorgeous and in a band, had a car and killer blue eyes. Funny, how a lot of the cool guys are losers or go to jail after peaking in high school. Bob stays up all night watching TV, gets up at 2pm, takes his psychotropic medication and starts watching TV again. Once when we were talking he said, “You know Crank, I know all about what is going on. I know all the news and everything. But they never tell you what DAY it is.” I immediately sent him a couple of World Wildlife calendars with a note saying:

Dear Bob,
Not knowing what day it is NOT ATTRACTIVE.
Love,
Cranky

Now Bob and I are in the same boat! And I had to fix it. So I looked at my life and identified the stressors. A sick relative that I take the loser bus on a horrible trip to depressed upstate to visit. Can’t change that. Rehearsing a show. Don’t wanna change that. The specter of co-producing a piece that I wrote with a summer festival in NYC. Ah-hah! Must change that.
I realized that my mind has been going in circles ever since I got accepted into this apparently disorganized festival. If you hear the word festival, run. I was notified in April that my play had been accepted and would get the performance dates by May 6th. I needed the dates to figure out the timing of casting and rehearsals. The festival runs for a month, and if my dates were far enough from the dates of the play that I’m IN, then I was gonna perform the piece myself. But if the dates were close to the play I’m IN, then I would cast another actress. It’s a 20-minute one-woman piece. Also, just in general, it would be kinda nice to know what I can and cannot do for the rest of the summer. And a 20-minute monologue needs some serious rehearsal time.

So May 6th comes and goes and no dates. So does May 7th. 8th, 9th, 10th, 11, 12th. 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th. 17th. 18th, 19th, and 20th. I send the festival four equally spaced emails explaining that I cannot proceed until I know the performance dates. Do I get an answer? NO. NO. NO.

All this time my mind is stuck going in circles. “Should I start working on it? Should I talk to the actresses I know and love? Should I start working on it? Should I have an audition? I wonder if that blond actress I like is doing anything now? Is someone gonna wanna learn a 20-minute piece for three or four performances?” I feel like the festival is now torturing me. On purpose. How long does it take to make up a schedule? Does the festival care about the playwrights? Or does it just wanna collect the door? Is this usury? Do I hate them now? AH, YEAH. So I run to my computer and write this email:

Hi All,
I’m sorry to report that I have accepted a role in a production that runs until mid-July. I have been waiting to hear the performance dates for my piece since May 6th – the original date given to me that we would be receiving our performance dates. I’m terribly sorry, but I have to withdraw from the festival, as I can no longer keep my life on hold waiting to figure out my schedule for the near future.

I know you must have your reasons, but it seems inconsiderate to me and a sign of a lack of organization. It does not give me a good feeling about the festival to be continually put off about what I will be doing with my life for the summer. I do need to be able to make plans and say yea or nay to job offers.
Cranky

Ahhhhhhh. And the minute I send it, I can think again.

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2 Responses to “The Fucked Festival”


  1. 1 Rose Bianco June 8, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Great blog post. I feel your pain — a little. I’m no longer in New York but rather the boondocks of Atlanta. I saw a play last night where almost all the elements were great. What a rarity.
    Good work getting into a show.
    Rose

  2. 2 Kid In The Front Row June 4, 2009 at 10:10 am

    You actresses are so dramatic!


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