Anthony R. Miller checks in with tales of inactivity.
Hey you guys, so last Monday was the TERROR-RAMA 2 reading/ fundraiser. I gotta say, it went pretty great. We had a packed house and a very game audience, it was nice to see two plays we had put so much energy into making great be so well received. Not to mention I finally got my Olympians play done (OK, OK the first draft, I gotta fix a few (hundred) things. I just turned in a huge amount of work for that freelance dramaturgy gig I do. So on Tuesday evening, as I got home from my trusty day job, it occurred to me “I don’t have anything immediately pressing to do”. Oh sure, there’s things I could do; research for the freelance gig, Olympians edits, (which I’m sure my director and cast would appreciate sooner than later.) Not to mention a preponderance of half written scripts. But none of it was due right now. Since I work better with a little bit of pressure; I took this opportunity to do…nothing. Which is not to say there were no highlights of the last seven days, on the contrary, there are five.
EDITORS NOTE: This article is enhanced by listening to “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars while reading. Give it a whirl.
Netflix and Stagnate
For me, finishing a major project (Or three) is usually celebrated by turning my brain off for a few days. When I’m knee deep in a script, I’m basically a court stenographer for the voices in my head. Scenes that aren’t working or aren’t finished replay over and over in my head. It isn’t until the words “END OF PLAY” are written do they actually stop talking. I usually celebrate this time with a grand re-watching of a favorite TV show (“Lost” and “The Sopranos” are my go-to’s) but, this time around, I have fallen into a rabbit hole of “The Wonder Years” , which was a huge show for me growing up. When Kevin was 13, I was about 13, so as I grew up in the early 90’s I lived parallel to Kevin Arnold’s Baby Boomer coming of age tales. This is the first time I watched this show since it originally aired. So with this aged perspective, I noticed a few things, like how each episode is just Kevin being a selfish prick and learning a valuable lesson, or how it’s clear that Winnie Cooper just isn’t that into him. The episode where they put on “Our Town” is especially fantastic.
“I’m Natalies Boyfriend”
So recently, Natalie, my significant other scored a pretty great job working for Curran: Under Construction. While the Curran theatre is being renovated, a series of smaller, experimental shows are being produced for weekend runs. And like a good boyfriend, I’m there to represent, and see stuff for free. On Saturday, I saw “The Object Lesson” a crazy immersive theatre piece where you are surrounded by hundreds of boxes of stuff. I’ve been loving this series, It’s fun to sit on stage and look into the historic Curran’s house lit up by a giant chandelier. Not to mention, wandering around the place is like going through a museum of SF theatre. The first show I saw in SF was “The Phantom of the Opera” when I was 15. It was at the Curran, so now, a hundred (or 20) years later, I’m standing on that same stage, drinking free wine and introducing myself as the Venue Managers boyfriend, and a playwright, life is weird.
Keep an eye out for what’s happening at the Curran, because there’s a lot of cool stuff happening. As things come together, they’re going to be inviting a lot of local theatre artists to perform on that stage. And it’s pretty cool that such a big money group has decided to put a focus on smaller, off the beaten path theatre and try to be a really presence in local theatre. Another great event they had on Monday was a talkback with theatre critic Michael Riedel. Riedel is a notorious critic from the NY Post and most recently got a lot of buzz for calling “Hamilton” overrated. Riedel has just written a book called “Razzle Dazzle” that tells the story of Broadway from 1975-present. He spent a lot of time talking about the impact of “A Chorus Line” the incredible influence the Shubert organization had and how Broadway became a billion dollar tourist attraction. I am a big fat theatre history nerd, so naturally, I loved every second, I was told that a few time I actually smiled. Oh, and I got a free book. So that was awesome.
Hello Laundry My Old Friend
I think any theatre artist can directly correlate how busy they are to the amount of dirty laundry they have. So upon looking at my empty dresser drawers, I’ve been swamped. I consider it one of the great accomplishments of adulthood that I can go several weeks while still having clean underwear. But there is something peaceful and zen-like about sitting on the couch and folding laundry for several hours. I get reunite with T-shirts I haven’t seen in weeks, that sport jacket I forgot to hang up and is now caked in cat fur, and my two dress shirts that I have to alternate between when I need to look like an adult. This is leisure folks.
I Make A Pretty Good Housewife
So with Natalie’s new gig, she’s been working crazy long hours, and with me being home a bit more, the domestic responsibilities have shifted. It’s been hard guys, I’ve grocery shopped, made my own doctor appointments, and even made dinner a few times. (Please note I make 4 things pretty well.)I made her a sandwich for lunch the other day, I don’t even know who I am anymore. It’s weird being the theatre widow for once, but it’s also nice being the supportive one for a change. For the hundreds of times I’ve interrupted her catching up on “The Leftovers” just to pitch a few story ideas at her, or randomly texted not to say loving things but to make sure the deposit check on the venue was mailed. It’s a chance for me to thank her for always being the supportive one.
That’s all for now guys, I’m halfway through season 4 of “ The Wonder Years” and my submission for theatrepub’s Morrissey night is due in a few days, we’ll talk about theatre in two weeks, I promise.
Anthony R. Miller is a writer, producer and avid procrastinator, keep up with him when he’s productive at www.awesometheatre.org or read about his new play “Christian Teen Dolphin Sex Beach Party” which will be read at the SF Olympians Festival next month at www.sfolympians.com.