Selective Memory

November 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm 13 comments

Well, Internet, that spectacularly filthy show I’m in opened this weekend, and it felt a little bit like this:

Except with more fishnets and sexual innuendo.

You see, it’s a full-length production of a staged reading I did two years ago, so while most of the cast was familiar with the script, we still had a grand total of two weeks to rehearse/memorize/get our shit the fuck together and get this mother up on its feet. I am very pleased to say that we did just that, and our two performances this weekend were extremely fun and well-received.

At the expense of our collective sanity, but so what?

After curtain call on opening night as we were heading back to the dressing room, my friend (and fellow pregnant cast member) said to me, “This is always the best part of the whole process.” And she’s right: at curtain call, when the crowd is (hopefully) on their feet and applauding all the hard work you’ve put into the show, you suddenly forget about all the late night rehearsals and subsequent zombie-like days at work. All the snippy exchanges between cast members (“We exit up right.” “NO, we exit down left, GOD!”) vanish from memory, replaced with an overwhelming urge to legally adopt the group of people you’ve gotten to know unnaturally well over the past weeks.

Don’t get any ideas, sister.

There’s always a moment during the rehearsal process where you wonder WHY in the FUCK you agreed to give up acres of personal time and energy to a certain project when you could be at home watching “The Office” and doing your laundry on a regular basis like a regular damn person. And this feeling isn’t just specific to theatre – any passionate pursuit that requires you to provide effort, energy, and you know, to actually give a shit is going to feel thankless at times. But you’re in it for a reason, and when the project comes to fruition, it’s a kind of euphoria you can’t get anywhere else.

OK, ALMOST anywhere else.

People reading this who have jobs they actually love and care about (I suppose these would be – how you say? – “careers”) probably go through this hellish effort/reward cycle much more than someone like me, who looks at her job and sees only “PAYCHECK” (giving a shit: optional!). But I feel lucky that, even if my job is not-so-rewarding, I have something in my life that is rewarding – something I actually want to do and have the talent and the training for.

My other talents: crossword puzzles, spelling, and gift-wrapping. I once took a career-placement test that told me I’d make a great butcher or religious layperson. WTF?

But that the show has opened, it’s time for me to predictably switch tracks from “OMFG, I can’t wait until this thing opens and I can finally have my evenings and weekends back” to “OMFG, now I have nothing to do in the evenings and I’m so bored; remember how fun rehearsals were?!” It’s crazy, I know, but it’s the reason I find myself involved in more shows that I ever intend to do. Once one is over and I’m no longer forced to do my grocery shopping at 11:30pm on a Friday night, I rejoice in my wealth of free time before I start to feel the distinct lack of exhaustion in my life. Before you know it, I’m wearing a ridiculous costume in front of 300 people and praying none of my coworkers is in the audience.

And then there was the time one of my elderly great-aunts saw my name in the paper and decided to come see my play…in which there were several prop dildos and the word “cunt” was shouted repeatedly .

Right now, though, I have an entire month of Friday & Saturday night performances ahead of me, so I’m still in the honeymoon period of enjoying my free nights and weekends. And even if I do get the urge to do another show after this one…I won’t. It seems there’s the small issue of a PERSON GROWING IN MY UTERUS that I have to contend with. Maybe it’s because the show has finally opened and the end is in sight, or maybe it’s because my very pregnant sister is set to pop in about 4 weeks (or less!), but holy shit, it’s really been hitting me lately that I’m going to have a baby. In a hospital. And they’re going to send it home with me and expect me to name it and take care of it and stuff.

I hope they at least give me a pamphlet to read.

But for all my (many, many) reservations and anxieties, I have to admit I’m excited about having the next 5 months or so without any theatre commitments so I’ll be entirely free to cook and clean and nest my little fucking heart out. Five months might seem like a long time, but those are the last five months I’ll have before becoming a personal slave to someone who routinely excretes on my shirt. Doesn’t seem so long now, does it?

Yesterday was actually a perfect example of the kind of day I’m excited to enjoy before the Great Baby Upheaval of ’09: Slept in, made a big breakfast, did some yoga, played some Rock Band, watched a movie, took a nap, and went out for a nice quiet dinner (steak, because the baby needs its protein and I need my STEAK). Then we hit the grocery store and I fell asleep watching TV with the cat until 2am. At which point I struggled to get up from the couch in my groggy state, because it is in these moments of semi-consciousness that I totally forget there is an ever-growing belly taking up real estate in my midsection. Then I remember the belly, the contents of the belly, and what the belly will bring forth in a few months’ time. Cue early-morning half-asleep freak-out.

Does not so much appreciate the early-morning half-asleep freak-outs.

The one thing I keep trying to tell myself is that if I can make the selective memory thing work with my theatre-related experiences, I’m sure I’ll be able to apply it to my this-baby-won’t-sleep-and-I-have-poo-on-my-sleeve-and-OW-my-vagina experiences. Although that’s probably how most couples end up with 5 children under 10 when they originally only planned for one.

These crazy bastards, however? DEFY EXPLANATION.

Also, I just got word that my director is looking to possibly extend the run of the show into the first two weekends of December due to the buzz the show has been creating. So…maybe I won’t be doing all that nesting after all? It’s just as well. I’ve got to make sure this kid is good and embarrassed in utero, or it’s going to be totally unprepared for steady stream of crazy it will undoubtedly witness as our child.

These are your parents, kid. I’m sorry in advance.

REMINDER: Earth-shattering Steelers game tonight; Earth-shattering elections tomorrow; Earth-shattering Chick-or-Dick ultrasound on Wednesday afternoon. I CANNOT TAKE ANY MORE EXCITEMENT THIS WEEK, UNIVERSE!

OK, OK..I’m trying!

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13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. hillary  |  November 3, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    umm, I kind of want to have a baby now so I can use the term Chick-or-Dick ultrasound

    Reply
  • 2. MLE  |  November 3, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    So, when you determine hot dog vs hamburger, are you going to tell the internets so we all know the state of Spats’s genitalia?

    Reply
  • 3. krysta  |  November 3, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    what happens if they tell you at the ultrasound there is a chick and a dick?

    Reply
  • 4. jiveturkey  |  November 3, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    MLE: Definitely.

    KRYSTAAAAA!!! Noooooo!!!!! I have already obsessed over that scenario! Unless you mean “twins” instead of “multi-gendered baby.” Because “multi-gendered baby” is the scenario I obsessed over. Perfectly good way to spend one’s time, no? (Oh, and two early ultrasounds have confirmed that there’s only one in there. PHEW.)

    Reply
  • 5. MLE  |  November 3, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    I always wonder what parents of intersexed children do, especially nowadays with ultrasounds. Kid comes out – oops! It might be a girl, or it might be a boy. Let’s do a chromosome test to figure it out. Our society is so gendered, this must be really difficult.

    Reply
  • 6. kristin  |  November 3, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know you that well, but I think you’d make a GREAT butcher. Think of all the free steak!

    Reply
  • 7. Sara  |  November 4, 2008 at 1:26 am

    No! The Duggars! Oh, my eyes! Seriously, they freak me out. And she’s pregnant AGAIN! That baby should fall out of there any day now.

    Reply
  • 8. Husband of Said Turkey  |  November 4, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    God, I’m an ugly woman.

    Reply
  • 9. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  November 5, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Yes. We are in tech week for my show this week. And we also threw this mofo together in just two weeks. And my boyfriend and I basically spent the last two solid days tearing down all the lights that the PAID lighting director completely fucked up, and rehanging and repatching and rewriting cues for tonight’s run-through. I’m exhausted.

    But: PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA! YAY! THAT MAKES IT ALL BETTER (except that I missed the acceptance speech because – tech week).

    Reply
  • 10. Sara  |  November 5, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Hey, 4th Reader (and anyone else who missed it): Go to my site; I have Obama’s speech posted: http://www.howeverabasurd.com.

    Reply
  • 11. Sara  |  November 5, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Gah! It would be helpful if I could type:

    http://www.howeverabsurd.com

    Reply
  • 12. MLE  |  November 6, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    OK, now I’m less-than-patiently awaiting the announcement of what’s between Spats’s legs.

    Reply
  • 13. Deep Thoughts: Careers « Jive Turkey  |  March 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    […] fucking snowed again that night too. BUT: as I have worked with the fine folks producing this show before, they gave me a call and asked me to read at the callbacks. Score! So I sloshed downtown amidst the […]

    Reply

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