Wednesday, July 30, 2008


sometimes I think my life is extremely full, sometimes exhilarating, sometimes exhausting... but always, packed. And often, sort of intense in many different areas. It is hard to explain-- I have several interests and sometimes I am pursuing them all simultaneously and at times this hurts rather than helps perhaps but I'm very decisive when I can be and don't force the point otherwise.
Anyway, here is today:
I woke up to a text from Adam forwarding a text from Steve who is acting in a one-act I wrote and directed that is playing in LA right now. Apparently last night there was sort of a fancy benefit performance (not to pay the actors or playwright or director anything, mind you...) and the following 'names' were in attendance: Natalie Portman, Devendra Banhart, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Alec Baldwin and some other people whose names are known. I was not in attendance since I'm 3,000 miles away so I don't know if they laughed or cried or patted each other on the back or what.
Cut to 20 minutes later, I am sitting in a hot not-in-use Kosher Dining Hall called Upper Greylock listening to the esteemed playwright John Guare talk about life and art and New York and LA and theater and movies and money and art again. A few of my favorite parts:
he & Lanford Wilson & Terrence McNally all had balconies that opened onto the same courtyard garden on 10th and 4th Avenue around 1964 and they would sit out there and typitty-type and try to torment each other that they were writing more... but of course they were not the names they are now then, they were just three guys. Sam Shephard was just a guy who was a waiter at a cool restaurant downtown. Guare's rent was 32 dollars a month.
"People used to go to plays to see the outcomes of extreme behavior... Oh, there's Othello... oh look, that's what happens if you get jealous..."
"Don't keep it in your head."
"All you can do is throw yourself into the action."
"Make yourself available-- try to swim in the water."
"You don't realize magic while you're in the middle of it."
"A big question-- is the choice I'm making going to humiliate me?"
"Why don't we make theater a place of poetry? Why ever just try to recreate reality?
"Nobody needs us ever.. well, okay, so in spite of that how do you give words to your heart? Why not bet on yourself?"
"Poetry in the theater is where you don't need big sets, effects... it's where the language itself is making the theater."
"I hate to write about people who can't speak. I think people are incredibly eloquent."
I also loved when he talked about Sam and Amy and Noah. I know those people. And I am in their fan clubs too.
He told great stories about being in the Army and the day he met Joe Chino and about how he got to know the kinds of people that don't brush their teeth so that they don't have to worry about their teeth later, because if they were enlisted and their teeth rotted out the military would give them a nice set of dentures free. "These people that are not us-- this is what they're doing... that we don't even know about."
And all of this and it wasn't even noon.

I want to tell you about sitting outside under a tree with Kristen Johnston and about going for a run in this gorgeous incredible place and about sitting at the library reading and getting ready for the reading I'm doing this week, and about shopping for birthday presents and about seeing the first preview of John Rando's production of Flea in Her Ear, and working concessions and meeting some great old-times who haven't missed a Williamstown show in 54 years... and all the thinking I am doing right now about big big things. But there is all this life happening outside and I am feeling pulled and in the middle of it and like Guare said, sometimes all we can do is throw ourselves in, right?

1 comment:

Adam Harrington said...

this is a great post.

"Don't keep it in your head."
"...the language itself is making the theater."
"throw yourself into the action."