Letters to Holly

Friday, January 30

I Do Not Run to the Rescue

Cast your mind back to Tuesday, when I was asked if I would direct the upcoming sex play. Now, return with me to yesterday when I received another farce call. An actress (the accused from the 2007 courtroom play) called to give me the sales pitch for auditioning. She tried to describe the play, and I interrupted to inform her I helped pick it last year. I told her I had championed it against the other farces we read. I did not say how much I wanted to do this play nor did I say exactly why I couldn't do the play. But I did pass on it, and she asked me to think of and alert other youngish actors to try out for the play. Hence the Facebook notice.

She didn't know why the original director bowed out. I told her. She told me the new directors were a husband/wife team, half of which played Scrooge just last month. That makes the idea of tackling the play intriguing for lots of reasons, but I still can't commit to the play. One wonders who they'll corral if they don't get the young actors they need. Can you do a sex farce with 60-year-olds? Do we want to see that?

Again, I feel like I'm abandoning this group when they need help the most. But I look at this comic in progress, and that's what I want to do now. So there you go.

Speaking of plays, my college buddy with whom I had lunch Wednesday thought I was a lawyer because she saw my courtroom photos on Facebook.

Picture of the Day
Bling bling beep boop wah-WAH.

Thursday, January 29

Lost and Found

Via Facebook, I'm talking to lots of folks I haven't seen in years and years. I had lunch yesterday with an alum of my first college. A gal I hadn't seen this century. It was a great lunch. Asheville now has a breakfast bar that stays open after lunch. It's called the Over Easy Cafe, and it's a few doors down from mellow Mushroom. Hot cakes for lunch is bueno. She looks great. Turns out she's dating a guy who now plays for a band we listened to in college.

We're trying to get a Super Bowl party, but it doesn't seem feasible. Either people live too far away, are busy with a new baby, or don't care for football. We now own a party TV. It must be stared at.

There was one line on Lost last night that almost collapsed me into a ball of tears. Another solid episode.

Picture of the Day
This is me doing the comic right now. I'm now drawing the comic every day. I'm getting up and drawing for about half an hour before work and hitting the drawing table for at least an hour when I get home. It's strong progress so far, but I dread the inking process.

Tuesday, January 27


I walked in the door yesterday, and the phone rang. It was my spring director, preparing me for a great big request. The director of the upcoming play was just ordered by her doctor to avoid stress for two months. The auditions are Thursday. She can't direct. Would I direct the sex farce?

This makes the second time I've been asked to direct since summer. Again, I turned it down. I can't commit to it now. Also, the previous objections remain. No one knows me. I've done three plays. Why would any well-acquainted repertory listen to me? No matter what, this play is going to have issues. It's a wordy script. Lots of back-and-forth and repetition for humor. Whoever directs it has missed out on weeks if not months of preparation. A director shouldn't approach the script as cold as the auditioning actors. They need guidance.

Let me be the diva for a second: They really need me in this play, and I can't do it. I don't know who they can corral into it, and I bet they don't know either. The possibility exists that they will bump this play back to the summer, and use this new downtime to renovate the theatre further. This is probably best for all involved. They could also start the next show's rehearsals earlier and get that play nailed down tight.

I got more details about the Sunday play screw-up. The two onstage actors jumped ahead to the next act and didn't realize it. Two other actors walked onstage -- without cues -- to right the ship. The original actors not only didn't recognize what was happening, but they managed to get the new actors offstage. Somehow they later realized what was happening and returned to the Act One material. The replacement director for this play was brought in to rehearsals with only three weeks til curtain, and she discovered the original director -- wracked by leukemia -- was too distracted to have blocked anything. He was removed from the play after two rehearsals where he passed out multiple times. Like you, I'm much more curious to see a train wreck, and I might go on Sunday.

I did agree to join the spring director's artistic committee to act as a secondary theatre board. It sounds like a small commitment that can build the momentum the theatre needs to get its head together.

Picture of the Day
The secret to House.

Monday, January 26

Noses to the Grindstone

I met my personal deadline for the comic this weekend. I wanted to have the comic completely thumbnailed. I wanted to design my superheroes. I wanted to design my space ship. And I wanted to make the panel grids on the full-size art boards. They all got did. I plan on making a Facebook photo album documenting the whole process. I now have five weeks to complete a six-page comic, and I feel good about where I am.

Your Sis spent the entire weekend reading books for her new semester classes. She went through, I think, four version of Beowulf, and an Elie Wiesel anthology. Her brain is numb. We spent spare moments vegging in front of the TV and then would break the huddle to get back to work.

I ran into members of the current play and learned they had a similar onstage disaster. Somehow they jumped ahead to Act Two before finishing Act One. The original director became too sick to complete rehearsals, and a last-second replacement turned the noir thriller into a comedy. I can see that actually, but that changes timing and delivery. I wish I had the initiative to attend the show, but I'm so disheartened by the recent theatre troubles that I don't have the inclination. And I feel like I'm abandoning those putting forth all their efforts. The only performance we could catch is next Sunday, the same day as the Super Bowl.

Picture of the Day
Your Sister after studying all weekend.