Letters to Holly

Tuesday, February 19

Days 6 & 7: Act Two Details

Dad started chemo yesterday and called last night to say he felt alright. They doped him up before and after to fight nausea. Five more treatments will be administered every 3 weeks, spanning into June. This puts him on temporary disability, just a few years before was was going to retire. He sounds fine, if tired, and he says he's eating fast food to slam on the calories. Because the chemo will hit his immune system, he's somewhat homebound. I want to keep my visits short so I won't wear him out, and we hope to stop by this weekend.

I gave blood Sunday and received the hard sell to donate twice through apheresis. So I relented. Your Sis sat in the car and read while I leaked for an hour in the bloodmobile. What they don't tell you is that the IV solution that brings your plasma back in the veins gives you a sugar rush, and I spent the next few hours babbling and giggling. And then Your Sis bought me half a pint of Bass, and I went loopy. As the French say, "loo-pay." As they say in Germany ... something German. I believe very much in giving blood, and I was glad to do it. But when the room-temperature plasma went back into my 20-degree-warmer arm, I turned into Keanu from The Matrix. The scene after he takes the pill and the silver slides up his arm? Yeah, that was me.

We sat down to watch a DVD Saturday night, and I let her choose the film. She put in Lagaan, and it ran for 20 minutes before she accused me of being bored (untrue), and we switched to Blade Runner instead. It's going to be one of those weeks where we won't see much of each other as she does school and I do theatre. Speaking of which ...

Friday night saw us run through the first two scenes of Act Two. I was achy and tired and it may have helped me play older. The director wants us to learn the lines verbatim and stop drifting into paraphrase. It's a tricky script to learn, and we're constantly editing out the awkward British dialogue. Really, who says "daren't?" Who squishes together four prepositions within ten words? We have to adjust it. I was doubled over with laughter at one point because my line ("And what the hell is what she does to do with you, may I ask?") simply wouldn't come out.

We might be able to get our stage a week early, giving us two weeks of on-site rehearsals before we open. That'd be great. We also learn our first Sunday matinée will be on Easter, and one wonders if people that day will flock to a psychosexual murder thriller. There is word that 20 tickets are already purchased for our first Saturday because a local group wanted to see a mystery. However, this isn't a mystery. The murder takes place on page 24. There's no doubt who did it. The tension is in how far my character can be bossed into subjugation. (Answer: Quite far. And then he cries.)

We spent rehearsals Friday and Monday night testing out our initial blocking directions. We stopped often to rework moments, and we ran the scenes an awful lot. We need to, sure, but the third scene is my character's most wracking. Displaying a nervous breakdown for three hours is exhausting. I wore my contacts Sunday night to see if the director preferred that. He didn't say anything, but everyone said I looked tired. Again, maybe this will help me sell "older." Our current gun is inconsistent with the caps, leaving me to yell my lines and improv the gun sound. "Maybe we will be together ... in hell. BUT YOU'LL GET THERE FIRST!!! ... Oh, um, bang. Peyow. I'm, like, shooting you and stuff."

Trivia: Our fake mink coat is made by "Lykafur." Because it's like a fur.

Picture of the Day
We played a little Guitar Hero. I officially loathe Carry On, My Wayward Son.

In the News
You asked about pundit links to the comments I mentioned. I couldn't find them, unfortunately. But the next time you hear about a mass shooting, switch on right-wing radio. Give it an hour. And you'll hear the accusations and sophistry.

I did hear our local hillbilly preacher use his radio show to ascribe school shootings to hippy parents who taught their children nihilism. Logic says this was exactly opposite of what hippyism was all about, but this man wouldn't recognize logic if he came home and found it fucking his wife. I'm tempted to contact the man and suggest he use his daily Prayer Time slot for, well, prayer, but he's playing to his elderly frightened audience convinced we live in the end times. And I'm sure his accusations will lead to requests for money.

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