The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

To D or Not To D April 6, 2016

Hello, all!

“Oh, to struggle against great odds, to meet enemies undaunted!”

“That sounds to me like you’re daunted. Say it again like you’re UNDAUNTED!”

Another word for undaunted might be determined. I need determination right now in so many areas of my life. I need determination to work on my health and weight loss. I need determination in my theater pursuits, to not get depressed when I don’t get cast, and to help promote the theater and the arts. I need determination to do the best I can as a parent and to deal with and face any challenges with my kids that might come up. I need determination to re-train my brain and learn to love and appreciate myself.

So much determination! I don’t know at this point where it will come from, but I know I have to find it.

Today’s poem:

Daring and dauntless

reach for the brass ring.

Grasp the dream and live it

Determined.

Nothing stands

between me and greatness.

I am there.

 

DD

4/06/16

11:26pm

 

Until next time,

D.

 

B Is For Bias, Bodies, and Boyfriends April 3, 2016

Hello, all!  Day 2 of the April challenges is here, so let’s get right into it. B is for Bias and Bodies. And Boyfriends, while we’re on the subject.

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I mentioned in my last post that I had auditioned for a show recently. Ardmore Little Theater is currently in rehearsals for “I Ought To Be In Pictures.” It is a play by Neil Simon with a cast of only three people: a man, a woman, and a late-teenage girl. Initially I went in thinking I didn’t really have a snowball’s chance of winning the adult female role. I really wanted to play the character because I felt like I really understood her. I had some concerns about some parts of the show, but overall I would have loved the chance to work through and around my issues and play the role.

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So I went in thinking I didn’t really have a chance, but at the time, I was thinking it was because there would be someone who was obviously better than I was, and they would get the part. Well, after the first night of auditions, I was kind of surprised. I had done what I thought was maybe my best audition ever and I thought Maybe I actually had a shot. The second night of auditions, when I discovered we were going to be reading the same scene again, I asked one of my friends if I should try to do it exactly the same as I had the night before or do it differently, and she said to do it differently. So as I watched everyone else read, I thought, “How can I be different from everyone else? How can I do it better than last night?” And I came up with the idea to take it in the opposite direction emotionally and take a completely different tone.  After the reading, I felt like it had been a good choice. Nobody else had gone that direction but me, at least not that I could remember. There was one lady who I felt was pretty good, but I felt like I showed more realistic emotion. Or something. I am not even sure now. I think I just generally thought I was better. BUT. She had one huge advantage. She was much thinner.

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When it came to the guys, two of them were similar but seemed pretty good to me, and the third just seemed a little bland and emotionless. Not very realistic. And there again he was the thinnest of the three. So guess who got cast? The two thin people, which really should not have surprised me, and perhaps really didn’t, because at one point they were onstage together and I thought, “I’m looking at the cast of this show right now.”

*

Anyway. One of the things about theater is that the result of an audition is never truly in our hands. We might think we are the best choice, but it is all about the director’s vision and only he or she knows what that is. But in this case, I felt like the primary deciding factor was appearances. That may or not have been entirely the case, but that was how I took it. How I felt. And it did something to me. Well, several things, but mostly it reminded me of the fact of appearance bias in theater and every other field and facet of the world. No one is immune to it.

*

But on this occasion, the reminder of that bias was almost crushing. I felt very angry that day. I thought I could see very clearly that large people are only allowed to be characters in a few specific situations: they are poor, they are Southern, they are stupid, or they are morally deficient. I tried to think, all day when I was at work after the cast was posted, of specific examples both from our local theater and from professional theater and in TV and movies, that supported my theory:  extra large actors and the roles they play.

*

The problem is that theater is the very definition of unreality. See, in the real world, fat and unattractive people get married, have sex, and get divorced. In the world of theatre, nobody wants to see that up on stage, larger than life in spotlights in a play about love and sex. It is not fair but it is reality. No sense whining about it when it’s what we sign up for.

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Anyway, the long and short of it was that it made me reconsider the possibility of ever playing a big role, or one I really wanted. I thought I didn’t want to do it if I was up against that bias. I thought I didn’t even want to play roles I might be perfect for, if I had to play them at the size I am now. I started thinking about dislike for self and downright self-hatred and how it spills over onto others and I wondered where my compassion went. (I also realized it is getting harder for me to look people in the eyes at work, but I am not sure there is a connection there.)

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So. It was a rough couple of days. I identified a part I want in one of the shows for next season, but immediately began wondering if I were good enough. And then I wanted to back out because I want to play the part but I don’t want to play her at this size. And then I thought, well why not? If someone’s going to play her, it might as well be me.

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This entry is getting too long, but I wanted to throw in the topic of boyfriends and how it seems like I always want one, but the only guys I have loved, liked, seriously crushed on, or considered crushing on, have all had significant mental issues, by which I mean depression or bipolar or some variation on that theme. I wonder whether I am drawn to these people or I draw them to me. My counselor the other day said something I have known for years, but because of the current climate of my emotions toward myself and my size and all, it was quite depressing to be reminded of:  you have to love yourself before you can get anyone else to love you. And in the mental headspace I am in right now, all I could think was “Boy, am I screwed!”

Without further ado, today’s B Poem:

Bodies

beautiful or not,

Seen through our own eyes.

what is

or what isn’t

rejoice or cry,

but  always judge.

Always criticize.

Bodies

float

or waltz

or waddle

across a stage

or a screen

and into our imagination

catalogued

by categories of value

based on appearances

Bias is like air

it surrounds and touches,

it is inside and outside

and no matter

what the inside says…

the outside makes the decisions

for all of us

DD

4/3/16

2:04am

 

Until next time,

D.

 

 

Standby… And Go! July 16, 2014

Filed under: Dreams and Passions — DDKlingonGirl @ 11:33 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Hello all.  So the Stage Manager gig is about to come to a head.  Tonight is our final full dress rehearsal, for a specially invited audience.  We have had several bumps on the journey to this destination.  We had to cancel one practice because too many people were absent.  We were about three lines into our first full dress rehearsal two nights ago when a car hitting an electric pole down the block put power out in the entire neighborhood.  We have had really rough scene changes, rough acting moments, and technical snafus, but finally we are here.  One more opportunity tonight to fix the bugs, and then we give seven performances over the next two weekends for a paying audience.

*

Despite the difficulties, I’ve really enjoyed it.  I’ve learned so much about acting, staging a show, costume and makeup tricks, technical things, and how to relate to a variety of different people, different types of people.  I’ve learned that I love being the one with all the answers, or at least the one everyone looks to for answers, even when I don’t have them.  I’ve learned that I love encouraging and building people up, but that every once in a while I can be a ranting hag. Rarely.  I think mostly I’ve learned I really want to do this again, and someday when I’m ready, maybe direct a show.

*

For the time being though, my interest is in returning to the stage to try acting again.  I really want to audition for the next production, but I also know my family needs my attention and my time.  It’s more important that I get reacquainted with my three children (ages 20, 20, and 13, all still at home) than that I satisfy my need for a social life and hobby outside the house.  I really want to be able to balance both.  Somehow other people do it, so I should be able to, also.

*

Looking forward to seeing how it all comes together tonight and hoping I can get through it without a heart attack or something.  Break a leg, guys!!

Until next time,

D.

 

Meanwhile, Behind the Scenes… June 30, 2014

Hello all!  Well, I’ve done it again.  At the end of my last post, I promised updates on my new adventure as a community theater stage manager, and that was approximately a month ago.  Without going back and telling the entire story from the beginning, I think I can sum it up in the following four words:  I. Am. So. Tired!  Here’s a picture partly illuminating why:

Grease set pic

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Stage managing has been great so far.  I was pretty well prepared for all my tasks and duties, having observed all the stage managers of all the shows I’ve been involved with in my year with Ardmore Little Theatre.  Also, having downloaded and printed several stage manager guides from college theater departments, and bought a book on the subject from Amazon, I felt like I knew what I was supposed to do.  And for the most part so far, in this particular situation, I’ve been relatively successful.  The director and I make a good team, but I am already aware that for a different director, I would have to do some things differently, mostly with regard to how I relate to the cast and how I help manage rehearsals (read: be tougher).

*

Anyway, for those who don’t know and maybe don’t care to do a quick search, a stage manager is basically the glue that keeps the production together and the engine that drives it.  During rehearsals the stage manager is supposed to watch the time and make sure breaks happen on time, make sure things start and end on time, contact people who are late and find out what’s their holdup, call out actors’ lines when they can’t remember them, communicate  and coordinate with all the non-acting people involved, such as sound, lights, costumes, props, set, and orchestra, etc…THEN when the director has the show shaped the way he or she wants it, and the cast is doing full run-throughs, but especially after there are set pieces to work with, and the lighting and sound have been designed, the stage manager is the one with the headset who tells the tech crew when to raise and lower the curtains, when to fly other pieces in or out, when to cue the lights and sounds, when scene change is completed, etc.  In other words- both during the rehearsal process and the performance period, it is a huge undertaking.

*

I was given this opportunity as a relative newbie to the theater and a complete newbie to stage managing other than the preparations I mentioned above.  They took a big leap of faith and trust in me, primarily because I have been the Queen of Gung Ho since I started with the theater, and because they trusted the opinion of one of my good friends who recommended me when they couldn’t get anyone with experience.  I think they already knew they could depend on me- they honored me with the MVP award for this season.  I won an Oscar-like statuette and felt like quite the bigshot.  MVP pic

*

So.  Thus far, we have had nightly rehearsals, we are now in our exclusive rental period with the facility we perform in, we are in the process of building our set (which is not happening nearly fast enough) and we open TWO weeks from this Thursday.  Tonight is just the first night the cast is supposed to be “off-book” which means they can’t refer to their scripts during rehearsal. The scary part for ME, the scene change and cue-calling part (standby lights one… lights one go.  Standby fly… fly go) is yet to come.  But based on the way I have handled the challenges I’ve faced so far in this adventure, I really think I will probably make it through the intimidating part with only minor snafus.  At least I hope so.  I am doing my level best to be on the ball with this.  I am determined that the powers that be will not regret taking a chance on me, and of course I am hoping to be given the chance to stage-manage again in the future.

*

One huge difficulty here, and one that has besieged me from the beginning of my involvement with ALT, is that a lot of people have started telling me that the problem with this new hobby (and one might even say ‘obsession’ there) is that I am putting the theater ahead of other things, more important things.  Most particularly with regard to my offspring.  As usual, when I get into something, I don’t get into it halfway.  I get into it with a vengeance.  Examples:  figure skating fan, Alaska, books, TV shows, Facebook.  Sometimes it seems like I can only wrap my head around one thing at a time.  In simple terms, I’m away from home.  A lot.  Now, I told the kids when I agreed to do this, that they would be “theater orphans” for the 6 weeks the play was in production.  Yes, the kids all live at home, but the girls are 20 years old.  The Boy is 13.  It’s not like I’m leaving three toddlers at home alone with a bowl of cat food and some water on the floor, ok?  True, they have a variety of behavioral and emotional issues that make it more like leaving 13 year old TRIPLETS at home alone, which is probably not a good idea.  But you get the point.  Sometimes I bring them to set construction and so forth, but mostly they are just not into it, which is fine.

*

Anyway.  I will always have people telling me what I should and shouldn’t do with regard to my kids.  And I know I have made “mucho grande” mistakes in raising them, but I can’t and won’t kick myself for that now.  What I can and will do is enjoy my time at the theater and try to make sure I find balance.  I told them today I was sorry I was at the theater so much.  But that’s not gonna change for another 4 weeks.

*

I guess this means I’d better not audition for To Kill a Mockingbird, which auditions August 11-12 and runs sometime in late September, huh? Sad face.

*

Until next time,

D.

 

 

A-Z Day 3- Community Theater, Cousins, and Cookies! April 4, 2014

Cousins!*

Hello all! Just a quick word while I am waiting for rehearsal to start. I know I haven’t mentioned it, but I am helping backstage on our charity fundraising production of Smokey Joe’s Café with Ardmore Little Theater.  Due to an unexplainable series of events, I arrived at the theater much earlier than strictly necessary.  That being the case, I thought maybe I could take this opportunity to throw a post out there for the A to Z challenge, Day 3.

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And…I got nothin’.  I started to write about cookies, because I stopped in at Subway for supper, and I bought a lovely, healthy-ish sandwich, and made it a combo with apple slices, but boy! Those macadamia nut/white chocolate chip cookies were calling my name.  I resisted them like a boss, and I am quite proud. However, there is a distinct possibility I would sell my left arm for some sugar. Addiction sucks. Can I just say this?

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The theater’s next production after Smokey Joe’s is The 39 Steps. Crazy comedy at its finest. I will not be helping backstage on that one. I will probably help with building just a few set pieces, but that will be it. After that, a brief respite and then the big summer musical.  We did Les Mis last year, which I was in, and of course we will never top it. But next summer is Grease.  I might audition, even though there are very few roles for adults in that show. Mostly teenagers. We’ll see.

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Oh, perhaps you are wondering about that picture at the top.  I posted that on my Facebook timeline for “Throwback Thursday,” as the young’uns say.  It is me and all my siblings and cousins up to that point.  It was taken in about 1982 and I think we got a few more cousins after that.  Were we rockin’ the style or what? 🙂

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Until next time,

D.

 

New Additions Here and What’s Coming Up July 11, 2013

Filed under: Dreams and Passions — DDKlingonGirl @ 4:28 pm
Tags: ,

Hello all.  Just posting a quick update here to let you know that I’ve added a new tab at the top!  The new tab is for my trip report on the cruise last year, and it appears in one long post instead of several installments.  Just for convenience and a good way to kill a couple of hours, because that’s how long it will take you to read it.  Seriously.  Nearly 26,000 words.

*

So check it out, if you’re so inclined.  Read about sailaways, moron moments, confiscated seashells, lost luggage, and laughs.  It was a great trip, and one I’d repeat in a heartbeat.

*

Still enjoying the play, by the way.  Opening night is a week from tonight.  I’m beginning to get nervous, but I’m happy, no matter what.  I will have a detailed post sharing the whole experience and what I’ve learned, etc., after we close, July 28.  Until then…Thanks for reading me!

 

Love to all,

D.

 

That the Powerful Play Goes On… July 3, 2013

English: Les Miserables at Queen's Theatre, as...

English: Les Miserables at Queen’s Theatre, as seen in the day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello all!  My long lost friends!  I do apologize for the dearth of updates lately- being in The Play has taken up all my free time, but Oh! I am having so much fun.  Rehearsals, set construction, hanging out with the cast after hours.  New people!  New challenges!  Bravery, adventure, music, romance.  Well, not that last one yet.  But I have been eyeballing someone specific with an idea toward potentially asking him out if he doesn’t ask me before the end of the show.  I have no idea if he knows or not, but sadly, I don’t think I have a ‘subtle’ setting.  I always fear that the entire world knows the contents of my heart, merely from the look in my eyes, but I could be exaggerating.  I have no doubt whatsoever that this person has seen the ‘schoolgirl crush’ look a hundred times, at least.

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But anyway.  The progress on the play has been bumpy, chaotic, frenetic, and always a little off-kilter from what I expected, but I feel that it will all come together by the time we close.  I mean, open.  🙂  Of course I mean open.

*

And then of course after the close of the play, it’s only two months until The Blathering!  Still very excited about that, and occasionally perusing Charleston ghost tours and carriage tours, and all those other fascinating things that I hope to accomplish during a long weekend in a strange city I’ve never set foot in before, to say nothing of traveling there alone, with not a soul I know along for the ride.

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I started thinking about it, and if you remember, in the last few years I have set theme goals for my personal development.  2010 was Transformation, 2011 was Action.  I basically floundered during 2012- the girls’ graduation and the cruise were the high points, but my weight loss efforts and potential relationships I was exploring were big disappointments.  But I think I have finally decided on a theme for 2013.  Even though the year is half over, I am naming this the year of Exploration.  Between the play, the trip to Charleston, and changes to my thoughts, ideas, and beliefs on some things, this has been a year for me to just try my wings, so to speak.  I am taking risks and accepting challenges, and finding new ways to create who I am.  Doesn’t that actually sound like a great thing?

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It will be interesting to see where the road goes from here!  One thing I know, dress rehearsal for the play is two weeks from tonight.  Whatever happens, I will forever be thankful I was brave enough to give this a shot!

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Until next time,

D.

 

 
The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Broadside

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Mostly Bright Ideas

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If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. If would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in a cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it. -Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Our Little Geekling

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