I would just like to formally apologize to every actor who came to callbacks for The Cake last night for how much I was frantically writing during every read. If I were you, I would of course assume that I was making a long list of everything that was annoying about my body and voice and just me as a human, in general. But actually, when a playwright sits in on auditions for their play, suddenly all of the emotional holes in the scenes become clear, and the playwright must frantically write these holes downs along with any ideas re: how to fix them before they escape. Unfortunately sometimes this must happen while an actor is beautifully emoting. Basically La La Land is a documentary, and sometimes, I AM THE VILLAIN IN THE ROOM I’M SORRY.
I woke up REALLY needing to find a picture of the book I learned words from as a kid, and HERE IT BE:
I think this was all of elementary school, opening this owl and shoving its contents into my head. I was always good at memorizing, not so much internalizing. And so when my vocabulary sort of froze at the age, of, what, 24? Is that when the brain stops growing? I ended up with a moderate but far from impressive collection of words. I know no fancy synonyms for moderate or impressive. For a writer, my arsenal is limited. When I read I do so with Dictionary. But every now and then, I meet a word that I like, and it sticks in my head like gum I can’t see. And so I try and trot it out, and it’s usually awkward like trying to make a friend as a grown up, HOW IS YOUR LIFE TODAY, PERSON? But if I persevere (a word that I know ONLY because I have a cousin named Perseverance) I can normalize it and stop saying it surrounded by question marks, like I’m on stage at a spelling bee. And so today, I declare to you, I will use my new words with alacrity, which is just a sharp and beautiful little word that I always say in my normal life, by which I mean, with willingness and cheerfulness.
Me as little as two years ago: “I put my email address on my blog because I really like to be able to share plays upon request, and answer questions, and in general just be very accessible as opposed to mysterious and hard to reach.” Bekah as little as two years ago, let me be the first to say, aw, that is so sweet, and you are so cute. Me today: “AHHHH MORRISON PLEASE HELP ME TAKE MY EMAIL ADDRESS OFF MY BLOG, AS MUCH AS I WOULD LOVE TO HELP EVERY THEATER STUDENT, no but really I would love that, IF I GET ONE MORE POLITE REQUEST FOR A PIECE OF MY BRAIN I AM GOING TO DIG A HOLE IN THE GROUND FOR ME TO CRAWL INTO WHILE SOBBING
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It’s crazy how quickly we forget that we share this world, that there are animals and trees and we just happen to be stronger (sometimes), or at least more intelligent, and have shoved both aside to make room for our buildings. Case in point: walking to the store this AM, I heard a strange sound and I immediately reached for my phone, like what is this strange sound my phone is making? It was not my phone, y’all. IT WAS A BIRD. AN ACTUAL ALIVE BIRD JUST MAKING ITS BIRD SOUNDS, and my mind did not even think to go there. Okay so: stronger, more intelligent, and narcissistic to the point of comedy.
Looking at my schedule for next week, I realize I’m meeting with four different people so that they might ‘pick my brain.’ As a classic Gemini, I’m of two minds about this. Mind Pt. 1: I am happy to do it, especially in honor of those who did it for me when I was just starting out. If I can offer any insight that might help a person get to where they want to be, then good on me, good on them, and good on kindness. Mind. Pt. 2: my brain is currently in a million places. It’s held together by frayed bits of old friendship bracelet and sour punch straws and the subpar bobby pins that really don’t hold any hair in place at all. If anyone were to, at this point, ‘pick my brain,’ it actually might lose its structure entirely.
At some point, I decided to stick these words at the end of the The Cake script:
END OF PLAY.
NOTE: This is the end of the play part of the play. Ideally, upon exiting the theater, the audience is surprised with an actual CAKE, waiting for them. The wonderfully terrible grocery store cake that you never let yourself eat. Ideally, everyone then stands around together, eating cake.
And I will NEVER. REGRET IT.
Sister Anne got us a gift certificate to Framebridge as a wedding present, and I must say, never driving to a frame store ever again. While in the past I’ve spent hundreds of dollars framing things because it seems to be what grown up humans do, with Framebridge, for a mere 100 bucks, I got this beauty framed AND shipped to me. What’s more, for no extra charge, an ACTUAL HUMAN DESIGNER PERSON looks at your picture and recommends a frame for you in the forest of choices. NEVER GET IN YOUR CAR OR TALK TO ANYONE AGAIN! HERE’S TO ROBOT PEOPLE WITH FRAMED PORTRAITS IN THEIR STEEL AND LED LIGHT HOUSES! (Sidetone, re: robots, were they ever to revolt, The Foster-Keddies and Brunstetters combined could clearly take them.)
THIS MORNING I REALIZED I HAVE NOT ONE NOT TWO BUT FIVE BLUE AND WHITE STRIPED SHIRTS. OBVIOUSLY I LAID THEM ALL OUT ON MY BED TO TAKE A PICTURE OF THEM TO MAKE FUN OF MYSELF LATER.
AS I TOOK THE PICTURE, I RECEIVED THIS PROMOTIONAL EMAIL FROM WILLIAMS AND SONOMA:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN
AM I BEING WATCHED
WHAT AM I BEING TOLD TO DO
PROBABLY JUST BUY MORE BLUE AND WHITE SHIRTS
OKAY FINE RUSSIA WILL DO, BYE
I have always fancied myself a nighttime writer, whose brain is the most open and active and night, who types best cloaked in darkness. Maybe that was once true. But lately, by ‘most open and active at night’ I mean ‘only ever wants to watch Food TV and refuses any sort of creative thought.’ I think, with age, I’m turning into a morning writer. Now, in the AM, as soon as I open my eyes, my brain whirs with ideas, and I have to fully wake up to catch up with them. Like this gem from this morning, as my alarm went off: There are all different kinds of alarm sounds, some small like bells, some big like sirens. They could be separated into bins like candy and scooped out with giant spoons, taken home like fish. GOLD, RIGHT? GOLD? GOLDDDDDDDDD
Yesterday, in one of the stranger Hollywood but not Hollywood afternoons of my life, I had the privilege of attending a Golden Globes ‘gift suite.’ Basically a bunch of jewelry designers, skincare makers, and charities gather in a penthouse and wait for celebrities to visit their booth, so that they can tell them all about their product or cause, in hopes that the famous person will then champion the face lotion / cause. The celebrity or out of place TV writer gets sort of marched around the room and handed free things, and a sort of stressed out ‘host’ has to introduce them to each vendor, and genuinely try but mostly mispronounce their name every time perhaps as Backah Brunsettler, and then hold the free things the famous person gets handed, because famous people and lower level TV writers cannot hold things with their hands. It was a strange glimpse into the life of a person who just gets given things for no reason. Highlights were the Vagina cleaner, the woman who gave me a sample of her perfume then pitched me her pilot idea, and last but not least, Viola Davis, who floated behind me with an entourage of what appeared to be granddaughters, generously thanking everyone, giving each person time and attention, showing the rest of us how it is done.