Tuesday, October 23, 2012

goodbye dream with G

Last night I had a vivid dream about G and me. I was performing my piece and G was with me at the performance. It was a sold out audience. Before I went on, Gabrielle said, "Heath, I don't think I will get another chance to teach, do you mind if I say a few words?"
"G, duh, of course, please." 
So G went on to teach my audience members about dancing and staying embodied. And then everyone started dancing and G pulled me aside and said, "Heath, I never got a chance to dance with you. Let's dance, k?" Her husband, Robert came over and interjected, "G, actually you have a flight to catch."
"Ok, Robert, then go pack my stuff, I am dancing with Heather."
And so we danced. We danced close and laughed. G kept saying, "touch me, like, touch me and let's do contact." 
"But G, I am going to crush you, look at you, you're so tiny!"
"Honey, that shit doesn't matter anymore."
So we did some contact and it felt so loving and maternal and warm. Her face was glowing and she kept laughing and smiling. Then she said, "baby, I gotta go now."
"Should I come with you?" I said.
"You can't. You got work to do, girlfriend."

I woke up this morning to an email from Lori that Gabrielle had passed away last night. I immediately texted Nilaya that I am sending her so much love and support. 

She texted me back, "Thanks girl. Now time to go rock the SHIT out of your piece!!" 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

blow Gabrielle a kiss from me

I dropped Lori and Kathy off at the airport last Thursday on their way to say goodbye to G. I told them to blow Gabrielle a kiss goodbye from me. I was conflicted as to whether or not I should go to NYC to say goodbye. There are so many people already there who are so close to her and I've only known her for a summer so I decided to stay back and join the masses of people pouring in with love and support on G's FB page. There are 4,000 people who have joined already. The woman kicked some serious ass in her lifetime.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Heard from Nil

It's been a couple weeks since I last talked to G and my friends Lori and Kathy say it's not looking good for G. I don't want to believe it. I emailed Nilaya and heard back from her. She told me that, "the more I can do on my own now, the better." I am in disbelief about this.
I've also heard back from Gabrielle's close friend Ina Meibach, who has read the work G and I did. She told me that she found the work to be very moving and beautifully written but that it needed work theatrically speaking. She got the direction that Gabrielle was heading. She told me to send her a video of my performance and that she would be in touch if she had any ideas for directors. She warned me though, that because of the subject matter of my piece, and the fact that she worked mostly on Broadway, that she wasn't sure she would be able to come up with a good match for a director. I am just grateful for the call and her feedback. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Inspector genius called back

I: "Hi Heather, this is the Inspector calling to follow up on your sexual assault kit. So your kit is still in the que down at the crime lab."
H: "The que? Are you kidding me? The que must be pretty big at this point since it's been 2 and a half years."
I: "Well it doesn't exactly work like you see on CSI. It takes a long time to process DNA and forensics and a lot of money and there are many, many cases that take priority over yours. For instance the Mission Street Rapist awhile back, he was actually breaking women's neck and injuring them. So here's what I suggest, go ahead and put in your e-calendar to call me back every 6 months to check up on the status of your case."
H: "How many rape kits do you think are at the SF crime lab at this point?"
I: " It's hard to tell, we don't have the best communications with the crime lab."


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talked to G today

I dropped my friend and teacher, Kathy Altman, off at the Oakland Airport today. She was heading off to Georgia to do a workshop. After pulling away I quickly pulled over again to take G's call. I updated her on my piece and the work that the documentarian in San Francisco wants to do in terms of touring HGR to young high school boys as an educational piece. G said that it sounded like a great idea and that she just needed a little more time to recover from the pneumonia and radiation that she had on her hips. I told her that the documentarian was hoping that we could have the piece staged by mid-late October. G said, "I can definitely get it done by then. Don't worry baby, I won't abandon you." She told me to read over my piece and memorize the first couple pages or whatever I felt most comfortable and certain on with the writing. I told her that I missed her and that she was SUCH a trooper and to hang in there and that I will be back to NYC as soon as she's feeling better. She told me about all the pain she's in and I could only keep repeating, "I am so so so sorry, G. You are a trooper. Hang in there. I love you, I love you, I love you. I hung up the phone and burst into tears. It's so unfair and fucked that she's going through this. Cancer blows.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SF General Medical Records and a sexist SFPD

Went and picked up my rape medical records today. It cost me $4 dollars. I read those 16 pages that told me all of injuries I sustained...injuries I didn't remember or had repressed...probably for the best. There was no mention of my toxicology report which confused me because I knew that I had blood drawn and a urine sample. My sexual assault nurse practitioner's number was on my records so I called her up. Shockingly, she answered. She explained to me that she wasn't surprised that my rape kit hadn't been processed because they are very expensive. She told me that if I wanted my toxicology reports that I had to go down to SFPD and get them from the crime lab.
I sat in my car after the conversation and went back and forth with myself as to whether I emotionally had it in me to return, yet again, to the sexual assault unit at the SF Superior Courthouse.
An hour later I sat in the waiting room at the Special Victims Unit. An Inspector came out 20 minutes later. I gave him my case number and he disappeared again for another 15. He came back here's the jist of our conversation:
Heather (H): So I am following up on my rape kit. It's been 2 and a half years now. When can I expect it to be processed? And if that is not possible then can I at least see my toxicology reports?
Inspector (I): Well, it looks like your case file is now in Iron Mountain. It's not accessible anymore. The status of your case is open/inactive.
H: Ok. but what about my toxicology reports? Can I at least get those from the crime lab?
I: Why do you want your toxicology reports?
H: To see what kind of drugs I was given?
I: Well, the likelihood of drugs showing up in your report is very slim. Basically the drugs leave your system the moment you wake up. And actually, alcohol is the more likely culprit for your blacking out...
H: But I only had two drinks.
I: Well, see, those two drinks, this is how we are trained to talk about this subject. See, you're a woman. Women metabolize alcohol differently because they are more hormonal, weigh less, have menstruation. Plus your metabolism would have changed if you ran the race that day. So while men... men could drink two drinks and steadily metabolize the alcohol the same way every time, women just don't. So it's more likely that you blacked out that day than anything else.

I left the SVU completely astounded at how medieval the SVU sex assault unit is in dealing with female rape victims. #WTF

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

SF then back to NYC

Welp, I am back in San Francisco. Gabrielle has pneumonia and needs some time to recover. I'm gonna do some fundraising and get my violin and head on back to New York.

Jan Reicher is letting me stay at her place since mine is subletted. So generous!!

Today I went to get my hospital records from my drug rape. Fun. Times. I need them to see my toxicology report.

So just FYI -- in case you ever need to get medical records from SF General hospital:
1) You will NOT get your medical records the same day you request them.

2) You CANNOT have your records emailed or faxed to you. You must pick them up in person.

3) Your medical records cost 0.25 cents a page. ("Even if I'm requesting rape records??" I ask. "Yep, still costs 0.25 cents a page. You may pay with cash, debit, or credit card.")

I'll be back in a week, SF General. Rape medical records here I come.

Monday, July 30, 2012

1 throw away song, 1 maybe keep some of it song

Ok so the full first song sounds something Patti Griffinish because duh, that's who I have been listening to for inspiration... But it's not really me. So scratch it. I've been fooling around on garageband and found a couple sounds that fit together. There are no chord changes or progressions. It stays in the same key the whole time! Ugh. Embarrassing. But it's super annoying "composing"  because I'm literally using my computer keyboard to write out the music. How unmusical. It feels so creatively dead. Guess I'm not destined to be a DJ. I need to get my violin shipped out here. Thinking of sending this song "sketch" attempt to my band as well to see if they have any instrumentation inspiration.

Here are the lyrics to my first garageband song. It's about the victim blaming I went through:

You shocked the girl
storm of grenades
in private passages
vulnerable veins

love me I scoff
kin we are not
the dog will always
track the bad blood

refugee tramp
don't call me again
i'm better off this way

like a bird
i have flown
the crystal ball is clear
you've shown no regret
the laceration is too deep

you're always right
mommy dearest why 
my bullet train
should have sped
on by

it stopped because
we've let each
other inside
I no longer take passengers
that won't look me in the eye

I have gone all the way for you
gone all the way for you

refugee tramp
don't call me again
i'm better off this way

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Vocal Interludes

So nothing has been coming to me in terms of a full song about the whole rape experience. What has come instead are these vocal bits and pieces, kind of like interludes. I'm not working with instrumentation so I've just been using my voice to layer rhythmic sounds over my main melodies.   I've been recording them in garageband.

Gabrielle loves a lot of my interlude thingys!  But she still wants me to try and write a whole song. She asked me to go back into the time period of my rape and try to write from that place, from what I was experiencing then. I have five or six songs from a band I was with in the year after my rape. I need to take a listen to that material and see if I like any of it. She also suggested that I use some sort of instrumentation. So I am going to fumble my way through Garageband's instrumental offerings. Ugh. I am totes not skilled at this and pretty impatient with trying to learn. I'm sure it will be really simple but whatever I guess I have to at least try. I wish I had my band on me. We would kill on this.

Friday, July 20, 2012

2nd read-through with Gabrielle

I've been non-stop editing and editing and editing my piece which is a way different energy than being in the writing flow. It's stop and go and return and return and return to a single sentence for 10, 20, 40 minutes. And even then I'm sometimes not be satisfied.  I'm trying to make the piece as sparse as possible and still move the story along in a descriptive, paced way. This writing style is very different from my other piece. Plus Gabrielle is just trusting me to do the edits on my own for now which makes me a little uneasy since I could have ruined my piece last time but I am taking her direction and going for it.
Today I did a second run-through at G's loft. It was completely sweltering but the air conditioner in the main room of the house was too noisy so we went in her back room and I read the piece aloud Nilaya and her. At one point G closed her eyes and I immediately thought, "Oh great, she hates it. Now what?" Her eyes continued to stay closed and a few paragraphs later I stopped and said, "Um, did you fall asleep?"
"No, no, no, I'm just really hot, babe. I'm right with you. Keep going." I finished the piece. G said that she was really proud of me. "You've resurrected your piece. Now I have something I can work with. Good work. I'm so excited to be working with you."
She said that we now need to find a reputable dramaturg but in the meantime she gave me the next step -- musical composition. She told me to write a song about the whole drug rape experience.
I don't have my violin, guitar or band with me so I will just have to get creative vocally.
I can't believe I essentially wrote a whole new piece in 3 weeks! I am glad to step back from the writing. Definitely need a break from it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July read-through with Gabrielle

Today I met Gabrielle at her loft and read her my draft. She said it’s good but it might be too long as your voice was like, "dead by the end." I promised her it was from the tail end of my cold. She asked me a lot of questions about parts of the story that weren’t clear. She mused on particular parts of the story that could be brought to life theatrically especially the part about the inspector trying to sway me from pressing charges against the suspect. Her husband Robert (former defense attorney), came home so she asked him to come into our meeting. She asked him enact being the mock defense attorney and cross question me. He launched right into a barrage of questions that left me stupefied and backed up against a corner. Everyone agreed that we had to incorporate this somehow into the piece. As we were wrapping up, Jonathan's girlfriend, Morgan, stopped by. She showed us a blue dress she had found on sale for $20 bucks at Nordstrom rack. Gabrielle asked her if she knew anyone in college who had been raped. She said she only knew one girl but that she thought that a lot of women didn’t speak up about rape in college. Then we talked about dogs. G told us about Kim, a police trained german shepard that was given to her because Kim hated working with policeman. G was walking Kim when a man in a car flashed a knife and exposed himself to her. He told her that if she wanted to live, she knew what to do. G said, "my dog will fucking kill you." Before she even had a chance to command the dog, Kim had knashed right into the man’s leg and didn’t let go for several blocks as the man tried to run away. 
It's Fourth of July so I met Chaela and her BF back at her BF’s parents place to watch the fireworks on the rooftop. As they first started to spray over the Hudson river, I became teary-eyed. I thought, holy shit Heather, you’re doing it. You’re like, an artist. This is what you’ve always wanted to do and it’s happening. So be grateful to yourself and everyone who had supported and believed in you along the way. Just stop and take it all in.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The writing flow

I've been writing nonstop for the past five days and checking in with my director daily. She was worried I was writing the next American Novel. I promised her that I was a slow, ADD writer. Writing about the rape from a current voice was provocative for me. There was a lot of anger that came up and confusion about what to do with that anger since the event had happened two years ago. I had a dream where I was vomiting and barfing non-stop. I also wondered about what my rapist was up to now. And a lot of not really caring since so much time had passed. I got to a point where I just couldn’t write anymore so my director said, send me your stuff! I sent her the first four pages and said a prayer that she liked it. She left me a voicemail, saying, “it’s great heather, it’s really great.” I was on the subway to harlem when I heard her vm. Flood of relief. I knew she was a tough critic. 
So I was planning to back to San Francisco to sublet my place and tie up some loose ends before coming back out to NYC. But my director said, I don’t really see why you would break up your flow right now. You are in a great writing groove. If you need your violin just have it shipped or better yet, just rent one. 
My friend Chaela and her boyfriend had just moved into a new place in Harlem and offered me their extra bedroom at a reduced rent for a couple months. I said, fuck it, let’s do it. I just bought a bed. I have three dresses, three pairs of heels, about three changes of clothes, and my computer. I guess I'm set for now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Meeting at Gabrielle's apartment

Yesterday Chaela and I went to yoga. The new york yogis do not fuck around and my muscles were shaking in 5 minutes! I met Gabrielle in the afternoon. She lives a few blocks from Union square. She came shuffling down the long hall of her modern loft in her plush gold-flowered maroon slippers and wearing all black. I felt like a fat cow compared to her thin, gaunt frame. Her well styled black hair was pulled back into a bun. She told me that she had been reading my piece and that while it was a beautiful writing it was not theater. She also said that my character has no transformation and that people go to theater to be transformed. She said, “as of right now, this piece leaves me no room to direct.” Then she said, “you know if you don’t mind, let’s get right to work, ok?” She set me up on the couch and her assistant sat with us. She told me to just talk about the rape with no filter, no censor, as if I was telling it to a friend. So I did for 20 minutes, looking mostly at the director's assistant because I was so nervous. Gabrielle stopped me at some point and said, "ok, hon. You need to go and find your voice. I see the framework and you fill the frame with your voice. Not the voice of the dazed, disassociated woman in post traumatic shock that your original piece is written from. The voice of the Heather now. The feisty, transformed, vulnerable, humourous, woman who had the bravery and courage to write this piece." She gave me some suggestions of what that voice would sound like. She said either you can write it on your own or we can do this back and forth together. I told her I would think on which approach worked better for me. She gave me a hug and we agreed to be in touch.

I rushed home and changed into my most “New York” outfit ($20 bucks at Ross) to meet up with Jan and Suzette at their friend's brownstone on the upper east side. I came home and stayed up until 4am talking with my Chaela about my piece, about rapists, about what I'm trying to say, about how much I've changed since the last time I've written, about what the director wants me to do.

Today, I spoke with Gabrielle. She said, "Heather, I’ve thought about this arrangement of us working together. I think you need to just write on your own other wise I am going to take over. Not because I want to but because that’s just what will happen. So go to a coffee shop or to the park, you’re in a new city, that can often be good… and get to work. And keep it quick and short. Lots of lists. Humor. Terse. That is the voice I am looking for."

I cannot believe I am rewriting my piece. From the beginning. But here I go into the flow of writingland...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

NYC baby

So I was very unprofessionally laid off from my teaching job a week ago so I have no job come this September. Awesome. Why not head to NYC and visit my good friend Chaela and hang out with Jan until she heads to Israel this summer. Suzette was also going to be in NYC and since the Jan and Suzette were going to be out of town for the summer, I figured it would be good to try and meet with both of them before they headed off and discuss next steps. Plus Gabrielle said she would meet with me while I was there. I flew standby and barely got on. The attendant had me waiting down the walkway with the rest of the plane boarded until the last second when I was rushed into business class. I arrived into JFK in the early AM today it was already 80 degrees. A girl in a tye-dye told me to take the train to Penn station. An hour later I was at my best friend Chaela’s boyfriends parents place on the upperwest side. I texted the director that I was in NYC and then passed out for 4 hours. When I got up I knew the exact place I wanted to be. The room filled with Monet’s waterlilies. Unfortunately, I picked the wrong museum and ended up at the MET. Still, the African/Oceanic Art collection was awe-inspiring. 75 foot slit gongs used for villages to communicate from island to island. It was also pride. There was a tranny give a tour. “So ladies and gentlemen, here is yet another modern art piece by yet another white man, are there any other kind?” Gabrielle called me and we agreed to meet on Monday afternoon the 25th. Now I am really hot and jetlagged and need to get some sleep.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pre-workshop jitters

Tomorrow is the workshop at Suzette's. I have been running through the show 3 times a day. I can do the piece in my sleep. It's nauseating to say my lines but they are so much more in my body than they were for March 17th.
Since Jan's workshop, there have been some exciting developments. There is a reputable documentarian who is interested in possibly creating a documentary about the progression of my piece from a victim to an activist point of view. She will be filming the June 4th workshop. I do not know this world at all but I trust her; she is a fellow Brandeis parent (a school I used to teach at) and a friend of Jan's. I am a bit intimidated at this audience but I keep having to remember that I am just telling my story, getting it out there, speaking up.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chance Performance for Gabrielle Roth

Today I performed my piece for Gabrielle Roth. She is the creator 5 Rhythms, a dance practice that I've been doing for 8 years. My friends Lori Saltzman and Kathy Altman - who have been teaching her work since its inception - were telling her about my show. G said she was interested in seeing it. Lor and Kath called me yesterday and asked if I was available. I had a tech rehearsal scheduled for my upcoming show but I immediately rescheduled it and said, "Uh yeah! Just tell me when and where." I knew Gabrielle has been involved in the New York theater scene for most of her adult life so I was excited to get some feedback from her. My friends drove me to her small apartment in Mill Valley that she keeps year round. There was a trampoline in the shared yard. It couldn't have been a more perfect way for me to warm up and burn off some nerves. I performed for her while she hung out in her bed. Afterward, she, like most people who have seen my show, was appalled at how my rape had been handled. She said that the writing was well done but that it wasn't theatrical writing. She said that she would be in touch with her feedback but that she needed to think it through some more. Then she told me to come and lie on her bed with her. She gave me a hug and said, "I'm so sorry this happened to you, baby." I ran back to Lor and Kaths and printed her a copy of the script. My friends returned as well and said, "Heath,  She's interested in working with you if you can make it to New York this summer." I texted Gabrielle and said I was definitely interested. Oh man, if I can perform my piece for G, then I won't have any problem performing for the impressive list of invites on June 4th!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bay to Breakers year 2

A year makes a little difference. Two years makes a lot of difference, especially with all the work on my story that I have been doing. Today I knew that I needed to stay out of the city. Period. I wanted to go over and hang out at Jan's but I didn't want to risk it at all. I stayed on the other side of the bridge. I went for a long walk around Phoenix lake. I had band practice.  We are trying to find a new drummer which is sooooo fun. Today the candidate was wearing those webbed toe shoes and talked about being big on meditation and toyota prius's. No matter how talented a musician, band dynamics and chemistry is everything. Needless to say, the search is still out.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Post-show partum

Ugh. I'm so drained. In so many ways. I got to the theater at 4:30. We started our dress rehearsal at 5. Maxx (lighting tech) and Edna (sound tech) both assured us that they were ready for a full run through with no stops. Afterall, they have had the script for three weeks and should know all their cues. We didn't even get through the first half of the piece because Edna and Maxx did not know their cues or lighting/sound levels AT all. At 6:15, when I finished warming up and went to change, my workshop director was still going over the cues. 15 minutes before the show I was running up and down stairs of the Phoenix theater to finish warming up. I ran all the way to the 8th floor of the building and did vocal warm-ups. There was a moment right before I went downstairs when I asked my mom (she passed when I was 17) for her help and guidance. I don't know if these kinds of things work but I guess I also just missed her and knew she would be proud of what I've done. I know it wasn't my best performance and it took me about 20 minutes to warm into the piece, plus I forgot lines here and there but I got a standing ovation! Everyone was so gracious. When the lights came up people just say in their seats and didn't move for 10 minutes. I debated whether or not to do a talkback but decided against it because I figured I would be too vulnerable to take feedback my first time performing. Maybe I should have? We struck the set and a group of us went out to dinner at a local Italian place. I asked my best friend Jessica to join us and she said she would meet us there. She showed up as everyone was leaving. I stayed over at Jan's. We drank whiskey until 4am and I broke down crying. She said that was normal given all my hard work and build-up for so long and that she wouldn't be surprised if I did that for awhile. The next day I went out to brunch with my workshop director. We were both exhausted. I could barely even talk about the show except to say that I was really disappointed with the lack of support I received from my best friend, Jessica. She wanted to "talk" with me about the show. I sensed that there was going to be some criticism from her in some way  I texted Jessica and told her that I needed a break from her for awhile.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Showtime distraction

Ok, there are 60 rsvps. My sister is flying in from DC.
We found a lighting designer who met with us on Wednesday to do the cues. He was very professional and we were in and out of the theater in 3 hours.
I have been rehearsing my blocking cues in the theater for an hour three days this past week.
And now I've finally reached the big day!!
 I woke up so nervous this morning that I literally passed out from anxiety. I woke up from a 3 hour nap and there was still 4 hours until call. So I went over to Jan and Alex's house for some distraction. Alex and I found some pink streamers and took turns wrapping each other up like mummies. Then we "un-mummied" each other and left a ratty pink shredded mess that I made Alex clean up. I just helped Jan load up the car with wine. And now I'm headed off to dress rehearsal and (aaaaaah!) the birth of my piece. I can't believe I'm finally here. Just hours away. I've worked my ass. Hours and hours and hours boil down to 70 minutes. I do have to remember, though, this is only the first time. So I will do my very best AND know that there will be plenty more performances in the future. The next time you'll hear from me, It will be post-show!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Lighting guy is out

Gregg bailed. He stayed at the theater after we finished our disastrous first rehearsal to continue rehanging the lights and he accidentally left a cord dangling. The tech manager called to inform me about this and told me that I needed to rehang the cord asap if I still wanted to perform my show. I was in band rehearsal when she called so I left a message with my workshop director and asked her if she could contact and tell Gregg to go down to the theater and move the cord. He was irritated, but agreed. However, when he got down to the theater there was a class going on and they would not let him in. He called my workshop director at 11pm to tell her that he had tried but that no one told him there was a class going on. He said that due to our lack of professionalism, he could no longer move forward with the project. My workshop director drove into the city from Nicasio at 12am to restring the cord. She got home at 3am. I can't deal with this. Now we have to find another lighting designer and arrange an extra time to do sound and lighting. I am to the point where I feel like crying about the production aspect of this piece. It's difficult to wear all three hats: actress, writer, director.
 At LEAST I finally succeeded at my piece after performing it so flatly at the tech rehearsal. My workshop director and I met all day monday whereby I totally failed at performing it two times in a row. My workshop director was literally catatonic by the end of that rehearsal. She kept telling me that I needed to work on singing and resonating the words and I got very confused and frustrated.
Then tuesday, I nailed it. The piece came out of me effortlessly, naturally, and I remembered all my blocking. I also did really well at performance space on Friday. Thank god! The "actress" part of me can rest easy until the dress rehearsal.
The writer part of me is still making last minute changes -- taking out parts, rearranging other parts. MWD agrees with the edits. I think she's exhausted. I don't blame her. This whole self-production thing is a bitch. Plus she's not getting paid. Yet...
I really do hope that money will come through soon. I will focus on fundraising after the show.   

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tech rehearsal sucked!

It couldn't have gone worse. Gregg, (lighting design) rolled in and immediately took charge. He has a very alpha male energy that was quite abrasive compared to the bubble that mwd and I have been in. His energy was great for certain things -- he quickly rearranged the audience in a much more intimate fashion, he helped stage the piece, and he got right to work on re-hanging the light board. Then it was time for a run-through. Mwd told me to warm up beforehand but that was really difficult to do because I was busy blocking out the stage and fielding questions. Mwd seemed a bit overwhelmed by Gregg's energy as well and sort of just defaulted to his commands. This bothered me a bit because I felt like her job as workshop director was to take control of the lighting design and tech and let me focus on performing my piece. That did not happen. Gregg interrupted my run-through every like, 20 minutes with his opinions about blocking, props, writing changes, lighting overrides. I kept feeling smaller and smaller onstage and I started getting pissed that mwd wasn't saying anything. By the end of the run-through I was delivering my lines in an angry and forced way. Edna (sound design), couldn't make it until the last hour of the rehearsal so mwd had to help her with sound cues but she forgot a soundboard attachment so we couldn't get sound over the loudspeaker. That was a fail as well. I ended up pouting all the way home and I never expressed my frustrations to mwd. I just turned them inward and starting doubting about going through with the piece.
I emailed Amanda about the rehearsal disaster and she said, "Congratulations! That means your dress rehearsal will be a success!"

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bigger chunks at Berkeley performance space; sound design

I'm now performing 20 minute chunks of my piece at the Berkeley performance space. Mwd emailed me feedback saying that my last performance was really strong and that she could feel my sass, coolness and vulnerability. Thank god for mwd. I really hope that I can start to pay her soon; she deserves it. The memorization is still not all the way there. I still find myself going into my head to try and recall a line which takes me out of the story. Amanda says that I should be running the piece from memory in it's entirety as much as possible from this point on. That feels like a tall order. At least the blocking is done for now. We took the last three days to do a rough sound and lighting design of the piece. I have supermario music stuck in my head! I sent off the piece with cues to Gregg (lighting design) and Edna (sound design) for our upcoming dress rehearsal. I'm relieved that I decided to stop all work except teaching. I need all the time I can get.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

7 glorious days of memorizing all day every day; sound design

Mid-winter break. All of my private lesson clients were fine with the break in music lessons. I did lose one nannying family. Understandable. This entire week I have been doing nothing but memorizing all effing day. I'm about 75% done. I am getting nautious memorizing in my apartment so I've been going on walks, going to Baker beach, Ocean Beach, Golden Gate park to memorize in nature. I found this cool memorizing tool online, you put all the material you want to work on into this conversion application and what you get is the first letter of every word you are trying to memorize. This approach has helped me get the initial skeleton of each section down and then I return to looking at the text and going from there. But oh my god is there nothing worse than memorizing. I guess actors and actresses just get used to it and their technique grows stronger the more roles they have.

I met with the sound designer, Edna and we went over my sound ideas for my piece. I'm going to use supermario music. I asked her to compile all the supermario music she can find and burn me a disc so Mwd and I can start creating the soundtrack for the piece.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Jan and John; coordinating tech rehearsals

Alex's mom, Jan, has just generously offered to donate wine for the pre-show gathering! Awesomeness. Also, my ex-boyfriend John, has offered to house manage and use his carpentry skills to build me a door; my main prop. More awesomeness. I set up the tech rehearsals. The only problem is that my light tech can no longer do the show so I have to find someone else. The search is out...my girl Vanessa may know someone. Mwd has started doing another performance space on Wednesdays which is in the same space as Fridays. You can come and practice your material that you are going to do for Fridays. I hope that I can make it to some of them. I am getting to a point where I just can't juggle all of my work and feel like I am having enough time to adequately prep for the workshop as well. Today I wrote all of my nannying and private lesson clients and asked them if it would be ok for me to take a break for the next six weeks. I really need the time in order to pull this off! It's gonna seriously hurt my budget since I am financing this piece myself. I may need to borrow some money, UGH. Hate. doing. this.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Title: Heather Got Raped?; Berkeley performance space; sound and lighting design

Ok so I am in the midst of a title crisis. Mwd and I think the piece should be called, Heather Got Raped. This is based on a dream that I had where this woman gave me this thick book and it was titled, you were raped. I shared this title with some close friends, whose opinions I trust and nobody, not a single person liked it! Except for my ex-boyfriend... The general consensus is that it's too caustic and will turn off the average theater go-er. Here are the other suggestions:

Bay to Rapers
Must've been what I was wearing
Nobody asks for it
RAsPbErries: a rape tale
Go get Seth

I don't like any of these. I still like Heather Got Raped the best.

I have made it through about 15 memorized pages of the piece at berkeley performance space. Memorizing: this is what my life has become these days. No going out, no listening to music on my commute, no watching my weekly shows on ch131.com. It's all memorizing these days. The piece is fully strung together though! Now we are going through it again and feeling out blocking cues. I have been having trouble with the blocking that we've come up with in a lot of the sections; it doesn't feel natural. Mwd suggested that we go though the piece and for me to imagine like I am actually there, like I am in the moment of the things I am performing about. The difference was immediate. I felt so much for comfortable in the scenes. Now we are going through the piece with this approach and changing the blocking a LOT.
I found a sound designer through mwd who is charging me a reasonable fee. Plus a lighting designer who said he would do my lighting for free because I am a friend of a friend. Sweet deal. I sent out evites too. Omg, it's really happening.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kickstarter video and rewards ready to go...nowhere

Thank god for mwd. She helped me come up with a "speech" for my kickstarter video and then we filmed it on my digital camera in three takes. It's really simple and straightforward. No fanciness, just the truth and the facts. I also came up with a slogan for waterbottles and tote bags: rape is bad. We researched how much it would cost to make these items and also decided to offer signed copies of the manuscript, and free tickets to the workshop. We were all ready to send away for the totebags and waterbottles but then I had this feeling that I should look into one thing: making sure that donations that people gave were tax deductible. Amanda believed that they were but I wanted to double check before giving the absolute green light...
Kickstarter donations are not tax deductible.
This doesn't work for the project at all because several of the potential donors have told me that it was important that their donations be tax deductible.
So kickstarter doesn't work at all! Bah! So frustrating and such a waste of time. I am kicking myself for not double-checking on this before doing all the prep work. Mwd suggested that we move the campaign over to Indie-go-go, another crowdshare fundraising platform. Donations on here ARE tax-deductible and this organization partners with my fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas. I've thought it over and I simply don't have time to do this right now. I will have to wait until after the workshop to fundraise and trust Mwd when she says she is still cool with working on spec.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Joys of fundraising

So I am getting really anxious about the debt that is building up towards paying mwd. I told Amanda about my concern around this and she suggested doing a kickstarter campaign. I researched it and I think it's a good idea. The only thing is that I have to come up with all these rewards and incentives for people who donate certain amounts. I also have to come up an intro video. I went on kickstarter and looked at what people have been up to. Omg, people go all out. Really elaborate, smartly edited videos. I don't have time to do this! I am nannying two different families, plus teaching. plus 10 private students, plus band rehearsal 2x a week, plus I will likely increase to 3x a week with mwd as the workshop is now 8 weeks away. Plus memorizing! 60 pages of text!! Mwd said that I need to have the piece fully memorized one month before the workshop. Amanda agrees.
So, how to get this fundraiser done with as little work and effort as possible...
And how much money should I try to raise? Kickstarter is all or nothing...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Berkeley performance space and editing tedium

Performed rape exam hospital scene at opening of performance space in berkeley. I think I was a little too emotional for the material but who cares. The important thing is that I now have a weekly space to try out my work on a small audience. I'm certain that I don't want feedback from any audience members except mwd. I've started reading the edited parts of the piece to mwd and she is not pleased. She feels like a lot of my voice has been lost in the edits. So now we are going through the painstakingly tedious process of going back through the edits and reverting them to their original state. Plus we are going through the parts that I haven't edited and I am letting mwd call the shots as to what needs changing. I thought that I was doing a great job editing. I guess I was wrong. Makes me really appreciate the value in finding a good editor. Someone can really change your piece for the worst if you're not judicious! But mwd has great instincts and is very well read. So I trust her decisions on what writing of mine need to stay, go, or be changed. And if I don't, I say something and veto the changes. I hope this part goes quickly though because I have a TON of memorizing and blocking to do.