Week 11 comin' down the lineby Jeannie Barroga on 01/27/12
Week 11 (I see I mis-dated my last blog which was really Week 12)
There's drilling right outside my back door. PG&E is renovating water pipes from our residences to the east, so far without turning off any water. But, hey: taxes are 90% organized (yay) once I get all my 1099s. Being a playwright for umpteen years I think my last F/T W-2 was, hmm...as artistic director, sans last two paychecks. Definitely a non-profit existence, writing. Still, I list on my tax form: Playwright.
Playwright. For (get this term) 'theater professionals of color' honing ALL our theater skills through the partially subsidized art projects of the '70s and '80s, the title really is Chief-Cook-n-Bottle-Washer, should you be serious about getting your plays seen. It's wearing a few hats that, today, are hard to doff off to others, e.g., this week, tweaking phrases, hooking groups for ticket sales (can't say no). Back then, I wondered if I'd ever just "be the playwright" and hand over the script and show up Opening Night. Ah, it's not quite my style, if I can lend any advice that's asked for. . . In NY '95 for "Rita's Resources", I felt so indulged: I could sit there watching auditions* vs being the monitor as well as a scene partner; during rehearsals our stage manager, bless her, climbed the very rickety stairs above the LaMama's office to fetch us food, corral actors, and actually tend to both needs of the director and myself. *The same director was holding auditions for another play of mine in Hawaii "Talk-Story".
Only when my plays were produced outside the state when I'd show up at Tech Preview did the many hats come off. More than one production of WALLS would, on Preview night, hover near disaster. After notes to those directors, and bless them, too, all through Opening Day, each of them worked through the issues, so that by 8pm that night, the audience was engaged, affected, and their mood sustained after Curtain. Audiences really don't need to know the background of our process for their experience of the play. Truthfully, for "moods", the high point for me is right now, and I hear it in the director Tony's voice recounting his talks with designers, his ideas sparking like crazy; I see it in other folks' reactions when I catch them up on the latest developments. They're all starting to SEE the play, the one I've had in mind now since 2005, actually 1995, the first "ding."
That said, BUFFALO'ED now has its final role cast!!!
Alleluia (thanks) and Alleluia (to my collaborator). (She's currently in Cherrie Moraga's "New Fire" at Brava -- mesmerizing.)
So the three things I'd been waiting for mentioned in Blog 12 are finalized--but not yet for public consumption. Stay tuned.
So with tax info in order -- I took the opp to lunch with a friend at the Boiler House (old Ford plant on Richmond's former shipyard pier). Twice now the East Bay's weather after being in fog was warm and welcoming. My friend gave me some much-needed feedback on some "Buffalo'ed" scene. I had to beg off joining her at a PF reading that night. Choices these days are either to work on my many projects, or see others. So I'm selective. On to a commission (more on that later) and a revision of "North Side Story" - on Milwaukee, late '60s, the Selma of the North. . .