Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Shuffle off to Buffalo

Somehow I was convinced over margaritas to teach tap to a group of professionals at a friend's company. That's right. Tap. Why does lady tequila make me say these things? Once I volunteered to decorate a Mexican restaurant we were eating in for Christmas. The next thing I knew the restaurant manager was sitting at my table asking me what kind of budget I had in mind.

Note to self: Tequila + Me = Dancing Lessons and Wreath Hanging.

I used to teach tap to kids when I was in high school. I guess I just wanted to make absolutely sure that I wasn't cool. It wasn't bad enough that my birthday cake was decorated like an "Evita" poster. It wasn't bad enough that I was choreographer for our show choir's medley from "Oliver!" It wasn't bad enough that I volunteered to sew sequins on my sister's prom dress. No, that just didn't make me feel gay enough. I had to teach tap.

My stepdad was the athletic director at my high school and was really upset when I quit track so that I could play Moonface Martin in "Anything Goes". Imagine how thrilled he had to be that his swishy stepson was teaching dance in his garage. But hey, the guy sold Amway products, so it's not like he could point a finger.

I'm thinking this whole tap thing came up as a way to avoid thinking about the show. There are rewrites to do. And I've got another big project breathing down my neck. So maybe I'll just go teach tap! Tap. The answer to all of life's problems.

Stomp-hop-step-flap-step!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Telephone Hour

So last night, the BF and I are at a poker party when I get some thoughts about the show. Wasted, I call the home machine four times to leave myself notes. I realize that this probably sounds nuts, but they say that Sondheim likes to write when he's drunk and stoned, so I figure why waste a good buzz? And I always play poker better when I'm slightly crocked, so in a sense I'm multi-tasking.

In the messages, I'm yammering on and in the background I hear the BF regaling the poker players with our trip to Germany. We went a few years ago and decided that we should make a trip to Dachau. We're on the train there, when the BF says he's hungry. The conversation goes like this.

BF: I'm hungry.
Me: Well, it's gonna be awhile before we eat anything.
BF: I'm sure they'll have SOMETHING.
Me: It's Dachau. There will be no concession stand at Dachau.
BF: They have to have some kind of food. There are a lot of people going through there.
Me: It's DACHAU! It is a death camp. It is a place for solemn reflection, not corn dogs.
BF: I guarantee you, there will be some kind of, you know, machine or stand.
Me: IT IS DACHAU! There is no candy machine at Dachau. You have to trust me on this one!
BF: Well, we'll just wait and see.
Me: Yes, I'm sure you're right. I'm gonna feel so stupid when you're eating that funnel cake while walking through Dachau. I'm gonna feel so dumb for challenging you...

Turns out there was no food to be had at Dachau.

I transcribe my notes, which seemed really good at the time, but as the day wears on I think maybe I'm a better writer when I'm sober. But at least I made $150 bucks at poker, so the night wasn't a total bust.

Friday, March 04, 2005

It's a good day...for now...

I write musicals. Which, when it's going well, is like one big party. The kind with an open bar and lots of shrimp cocktail. However, when it isn't going well, it's about as fun as being ass raped by monkeys.

Today was a good day. One of the shows I'm working on just had a pretty successful reading and the show looks like it has a future. But I've starred in that movie before and it didn't have such a great ending. Still, hope springs eternal. So today it's going well. There is cocktail sauce all over my shirt. But, of course, these things can always take a turn for the worse, so I'm also greasing up for the monkeys. It's not that I'm a pessimist. I just like to be prepared for catastrophic failure at all times.

One of the hardest things about writing is getting notes. You spend months and days and hours and years finding the perfect rhyming couplet and someone comes along and says it's clunky or just not as funny as you'd told yourself it was. But after years of doing this, you learn to breathe and think of a better way to approach the problem than leaping from a window. You learn to talk yourself down from the ledge. And you surround yourself with people who like you no matter what happens with your little show.

But today is a good day. So I'm trying to be positive. Upbeat. And if my life were a musical, I'd burst into song. Something with tap-dancing, maybe. Or set on a yacht in the 40's. Cue the music and limber up, kids. We're about to start the big opening number! Everybody ready? Away we go! And a one, and a two...
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