Virgo 15° (September 6)
Last night was definitely the last night of our official fun-time summer, some of which managed to be quite fun despite the state of the world. But it is already back to school for us today and we had planned a beach walk but just cut ourselves some slack and are doing a bit of cleaning up and getting our brain around the colossal work and schedule at hand the next four months, which also entails a slew of doctors and overdue checkups and procedures which are never fun but necessary. This time last year I was preparing to do a show (pinch hitting for a thoughtless narcissistic performer who bagged out last minute) along with an entire festival and a series in Cambridge at A.R.T. where I went for a show on my birthday at the end of the month. I was looking forward to a move to Europe—it was such an optimistic and rewarding time. Now, I cannot complain because things are still going well for me despite all this isolation and sadness and death. What a difference a year makes but part of being this yankee helping to save our democracy is pulling oneself up by the bootstraps and digging in to fight the good fight We are in a cold civil war with a militarized uneducated racist population of white supremecists and they have the guns. We will have to find a way out here and leave behind a life we built; I’m not so naïve to think we are easily going to elect a new president and experience a seamless exchange. It’s going to be a fight no matter what. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend.
The following blocks of text are exceprts from my first year of Blagues, nos. 801-805. I am reading through all of my Blagues, five per day, and posting some samples here. Now, in my sixth year of writing this Blague, by the time I get to my seventh, I will have journeyed through all the daily Blagues of my first five years. If that’s confusing I apologize. Year seven, I’ll only have to read through year six, once a day.
Question No 15: Is there a very personal way that you can reach out to Boston people, or people anywhere really, to tell them what you’re doing, generally, even if they don’t live here, and ask them to help fund what you’re doing. Someone like a childhood friend you grew up with. Everybody really. Maybe it makes sense to create a FB page with very clear instructions and invite everyone on your FB list one at a time? Maybe ad a donate button? Dunno.
Yes this is the main thread which has been working through this questionnaire format and also through the theme of this particular day. I’ve been making a lot of notes on the subject. The trick is to be succinct and get the point over. I do believe I need to make myself a document with a bunch of different blurbs on it which I can cut and paste at will and fling at people doing what they do. I don’t want not to give someone the opportunity to help me and it’s possible that everyone on my list is potentially someone who could help in some ways if only to tell their friends, in Boston or Cambridge, for instance, what it is we are actually doing. I want to refer to this as the great comb through.
But I wonder why you underlined this childhood friend bit that does seem curious. Do you feel that people from your youth owe you or something. Or do you…I…think that, no, I just think they’d like to be a part of what I’m doing non-profit. For the cause. The cause. What is the cause?: The cause is to save theater and live performances in places where it is something of a legacy but is in danger of being lost to commercial ventures in the “entertainment” industry and overall gentrification. Otherwise the entire genre dies. Yes I know works get developed and moved to Broadway from ART and what not but its not as grass rootsy as what we do. I love what the REDCAT in L.A. does; and of course we produce and perform at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York and San Francisco and New Orleans and Austin and Portland and Seatlle and Philadelphia and Chicago and other American cities, not to mention all the European and UK capitals, readily provide a home to what might be considered “alternative” live performance artists.
I’m looking ahead to the next question and I see that I’ve answered part of it and, yes, I should add names and addresses to my mailing list. Duh.
Question No 16: Do you think it makes sense to have one document with condensed bits of speech at the ready to cut and past for any occasion? Should you feed addresses into your mailing list?
Question No. 17: How does what you do non-profit marry to what you do for-profit. Are they both cosmic on some level. Is it about upliftment on some level?
Well it is all about lifting spirits which I do through my metaphysical work with clients in private sessions or in writing what I hope are empowering books for people. I see theater and performance as doing the same thing—our spirits are lifted through the experience of live theater which is about creating an alternate reality—which is what therapy or any kind of counseling does, it opens the subject to a new way to experience.
A few years ago I was thinking about going back to school to get my masters in a combined degree of theater and spirituality, the stage as a sacred place, religion and theater being once one and the same. Something along those lines. I might get back into that notion in the coming years and try and put something together for myself. Theatre schools are expensive—I recently had the thought to pursue this by way of some divinity school or another. We shall see. I do feel it is a direction I will one day go. I really like teaching acting especially. So who knows: could be fun just to get that degree. There was an actor teacher who was pretty famous who had my same real name. I actually had to ask his permission to use my full name to get my Actors Equity Card. Once upon a time I had a temp job and ther person hiring me heard that someone with my name was coming in to be her temp—she was in a state of fear that it was her college acting teacher.
And then there is the following question…
Question No. 18: Have you given any more thought to going back to school. What about Harvard? Have you thought about getting that ball rolling toward getting some kind of MA?
I have thought about Harvard extension but recently I met someone who went to Harvard who was sort of making fun (in a nice way) of a friend who was in the extension classes at Harvard who was telling people he went to Harvard. I didn’t know that was super cheesey. I was planning on doing the same thing if I got my MA through Harvard extension. But I guess, to those who “really” go to Harvard, this is seen as a bit oh-no-you better-didn’t.
Question No. 19: Why do you like papier maché and did you recently have a dream about it where you were making giant papier maché figures, dressing them in real antique courtly constume?
Was a running out of questions when I wrote this or did it seem important to pose this question, I wonder. Anyway, yes I love papier maché very much. Not that I have much experience with it. It’s just that, when objects, big or small, need to be made as a set piece or for, other, well, i don’t know if I’ve ever done pm but for making set pieces, it’s something I seem to be able to do quite easily. Need a top hat? I can make you one out of pm that, at least from a distance, looks just like a top hat, especially if I tie a ribbon around it. I can make masks out of the stuff or wee objets and the like.
Oh right, yes, I had a dream the other night (maybe a week ago) that I was making all these giant figures out of papier maché and then dressing them in sort of Tudor gowns. That’s what you get for binge-watching that entire series, which was on Showtime, ten years after it began. But for the one-note-notiness of Jonathan Rys Meyers, who is often, himself very good, the show really is brilliant, particularly when it comes to the direction and photography. The show looks beautiful and is shot from very interesting angles and with just the right effect. I remember seeing Natalie Dormer’s demise as Ann Boleyn many moons ago and it lost none of its effectiveness in the revision. In a way it really was the pioneer of many series which have come after, some kind of cartoony English fodder—Merlin, Mary Queen of Scotts, on and on—but also I can see Game of Thrones in the Tudors. My guess is many people moved from that older show to the newer one. Many of the actors, besides Natalie Dormer surely did. In both, she is a queen trying to keep her tenuous hold on her power while having a gay brother whose going to be persecuted for being so.
Anyway the figures I was making out of papier maché and then dressing in silk and damask were absolutely giant sized. Like enornous totem puppets. Ornate, beautiful but a bit scary. They weren’t animated but they were, on some level, alive, like a wall of silent guardians or archetypal totem poles were to be consulted and considered in the making of ones decisions or the taking of actions. They formed this sort of Greek chorus and maybe they weren’t totally fixed, perhaps they swayed or swiveled a bit, their finery also blowing and swaying in some artificial breeze. As I write this I think of the first ever production of Rites of Spring. The effect of this theatrical moment in my dream, whether or not these figures were created (by me?) in papier maché
Quesiton No. 20: Can you have fun being more itinerant, moving around the Cape and Boston and all New England, really, connecting the dots. Don’t you miss taking and posting pictures, being out and about. Try to search your feelings and ideas on this. Having gotten through all the other questions and feeling rather caught up on your ideology. Do you think you can create words and pictures now as you move forward and realize you are never truly behind but right on time and if you end up getting to the next project which requires the raising of money don’t you trust that you’ll put out an all-points bulletin to get the help, financial and otherwise, you need to not sink below your necessary fundraising goals?
First of all , I have to pause to say that, although my blogging hasn’t been perfect and it certainly hasn’t been all about the Cosmic Joke (French: Blague), except that it has, I have managed, after more than “thirty days in the hole”
to be writing the actual Blague entry that should correspond to this day, that is to say, I have caught up to myself, bitches, and when I say bitches I mean lovely people. And perhaps some defeated demons in my head. Other than those I don’t want to deal in detractors but roam among the optimistic and just keep doing what I’m doing and letting enough be enough.
If you did read through this whole Twenty Questions thing I just did (there are actually Thirty, but I don’t feel like revisiting those now and, besides, I said I caught up to myself. Were you not listening? That, in itself, is a good feeling. But I’ll tell you another thing, whitey: You won’t see me skipping a Blague again, not for the life of me. I mean, not where I can’t easily catch up (as he already opens the doorway to dysfunction?), but rather comitting to the original idea of this mother: and that is to do some combination of being funny, day to day, and pointing out some cosmic joke or other, but those are few and far between, while, by the same token, truly funny things are by nature cosmic, so…yeah, I’m brilliant; whatever. Nobody is reading this (other than us).
That exercise as an “action item” (I remember there are action items mentioned in the questionnaire 21-30 which I haven’t, as I said, cared to revisit quite yet), this exercise, I mean of asking yourself twenty questions surrounding something that might seem insurmountable, whether a creative process or a project with myriad moving parts. To ask yourself twenty questions about it, you’re already feeding yourself the answers. Confidence very well might just be confiding in oneself. Which brings me to a new topic: In having this literal conversation here, as both interviewer and interviewee, I’ve been having these fun, joke conversations with myself in type on a screen that is supposed to look like paper, which it does. And…and, and, I’ve been enjoying this reparteé with moi-même and, I don’t know how else to express it: it’s provided excitement in the form of an electric, neural and also, surely, emotional surges and senses of vitality and, dare I say, a sort of self-love at first sight because, up until this moment, I have never been to me.
Oh, my gosh: I was just about to publish this when I realized I never answered the question LOL; so I came back to write something but now I’m realizing maybe I needn’t.
So if you read yesterday’s posting you’d know: I had worked my way out of a Blague backlog where I had to write about thirty posts in a matter of days to catch up to myself; and, in part, to do so I created a questionnaire of thirty questions—I didn’t get to the last third (yet) because I was already ten posts in when I had this questionnaire idea—but I know I have a failsafe liferaft for emerging from another thirty days in the whole.
Okay so here’s the kicker: I was so excited I was catching up to myself that “before answering the last (20th) question I said something like…”before I begin let me say…a whole bunch of stuff….a lot more than I anticipated….and by the time I finished my tangent I forgot to read the last question let alone answer it.
So I came back to the post prepared to “add on” more, and address the question, but the question was so great and a bit poetic because (I don’t know how I knew the 20th question would be the last because I actually wrote 30) but it was in the form of a question that knew that I had reached my destination where I was ready to move forward into the light of day without that nagging feeling of being behind.
Now look, I get behind because I have so much to do. So I was thinking that once I caught up on the Blague I would try to combine writing the Blague into my day which also required a lot of writing (and the taking of pictures) to create content for my four websites—this Cosmic Blague, my two festival websites, and for the Starsky + Cox online headquarters as well. And I had this vision that I would emerge as this seamless itinerant, starting last night, as I headed into the center of Provincetown to meet with friends and visits other friends’ new businesses and restaurants, and see their gallery shows, and all this sort of fun stuff from which words and pictures are made.
I had even spent the journey into town telling Stella this entire story. How I didn’t read the question until after I wrote the Blague and how the question was so poetic and it even asked me, in cheeky interview style something like “could I know move forward in words and pictures” and basically not lose the momentum and create content as I go and make my connections and feel that sort of, yes, there it is, seamlessness. Then I spent the next three hours enjoying a perfect Provincetown night not once using my iphone camera.
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree point of the Sabian Symbol may at times be one degree higher than the one listed here. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365/6 days per year—so they nearly, but not exactly, correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go! Copyright 2020 Wheel Atelier Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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