The Therapy Journals of the Fat-Headed Klingon Woman

One woman's journey to becoming Her True Self

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

A is for Actors April 1, 2016

Hello, all!

Welcome to April, where blogging-wise I am in over my head.

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One of my Facebook friends posted about NaPoWriMo and a few others talked about the Blogging A-Z challenge, and I thought I would be the classic Overachiever and combine them. So I am going to try to blog every day in April except Sundays, AND write a poem, AND stick to a theme that follows the alphabet. Heaven help me.

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So, Day 1.  A is for actors.

Tonight I went to a local high school and watched their performance of The Sound of Music. A couple of my theater friends went with me and it was a nice evening.

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I mainly went for the sake of one kiddo- he was one of my actors when I stage-managed Grease in 2014 and I have watched him in his HS production of it as well. He played the character of Max tonight, and I thought he was wonderful, a joy to watch every time he is onstage. I can’t wait to see what his future holds.

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I wanted to talk about the theater experience and how we learn and grow as actors and how we get better at every audition, hopefully. Recently I auditioned for our local theater’s production of “I Ought To Be In Pictures” and wasn’t cast. I was pretty down about it, but I realized I had given the best audition I had ever done, and it was obvious I am learning and getting better, so I was happy about that. Appearance Bias in theater is another A-word that has been on my mind lately, but that is another post.

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So. In of  honor of my favorite Greaser, and myself, here is my first poem of the month, and it is also titled with an A-word.

Actor In Training

Actor in training,
Move across the stage.
Show us who you’re playing,
Their joy
Sorrow
Rage.

Actor in training
Move us with your song.
Tell another’s story
Make us sing along.

Actor in training
Give the boards your all.
The show goes on
The lights don’t dim
Until the curtain falls.

DD
4/1/16
9:26am

Until next time,

D

 

 

 

 

Finally, A “Z” Post and What’s New May 19, 2014

Filed under: A-Z,Ambitions,Poetry and Fiction — DDKlingonGirl @ 9:35 am
Tags: , , ,

Hello all.  I have to say I really hate that I bombed out on the A-Z challenge.  It was my first one to really attempt, and I kind of blew it.  But hey, life goes on.  I knew from the beginning that the Z post I wanted to do had to do with that handy little tool that used to be part of WordPress.  It was down at the bottom of the ‘new post’ screen:  Powered By…..Except I can’t remember the word, but I know it started with a Z.  (I want to say it was Zapata, but I’m not sure that’s right.)  A while back, when you went to work on a post, this handy little program would automatically link keywords for you, and give you suggested images and links to related material to choose from.   I always saved that for the end of the post.  It was so nifty and now it seems to be gone.

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So yeah.  That was what my final post was going to be about.  How I miss the program that did half the work for you when it came to links, images, and related materials.

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What’s new is that I am going to try, repeat: try, to work on submitting poetry to some competitions and anthologies.  I have just barely gotten started.  I submitted a few in February and a few last week. I know, that’s a pitiful consistency record.  The new goal is to perhaps make a chapbook and submit it to a few contests and if nothing happens with those, then just self-publish.  But my goodness, the instructions look… shall we say, daunting?  There are so many different ways to make them, and bind them, and I would really like mine to be nicer than just stapled down the middle, but I’m not sure I can figure out the instructions for making them fancy.  It would require purchasing an AWL, let’s just put it that way.  Oh, and the other big negative?  For some contests, anything I’ve posted here is ineligible for submission.  The contests are for previously unpublished material, and it’s considered published if it is posted online anywhere.  Which really bites because a couple of the pieces I have posted here, I did so because I considered them among my best.  Ah, well.  We roll on, and I will just have to create something new and even better.

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So, short post today, but it serves as my final entry in the A to Z Challenge and my transition into what’s coming up.  Also stay tuned for more news about what’s going on for me in the world of my beloved community theatre, ALT.

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

D Is For… Dark. REALLY Dark. April 4, 2014

Filed under: A-Z,Poetry and Fiction — DDKlingonGirl @ 11:03 am
Tags: , , ,

Hello all.  I am really busy today.  My employer is packing up and moving offices.  We are getting a lot of the packing done today and plan to actually move on Monday.  I started to call this post ‘D is For Deconstruction’ and ramble on about the move and the transition and all, but in the end, that topic is really not all that entertaining.  On the other hand, currently it’s just a little bit crazy around here, which is why I bring you the following A t0 Z Challenge post for the letter D.  Short and sweet.

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But first some backstory.  I am a poet.  As you can see at the top of the screen, there is a tab that says My Poetry and Fiction.  Unfortunately I haven’t posted any fiction there, no short stories or anything like that, although my Cruise Report is a really entertaining read if I do say so myself.  But I digress.  I am a poet.  I have written poetry since about 8th or 9th grade.  Writing poetry, like most creative endeavors, is somewhat cathartic for me, healing, cleansing, purging, etc.  I have been through a few dark periods in my life, and my poetry usually reflects that.  Also, I have a tendency to have mood swings that would give a person whiplash.  I won’t go so far as to say I have Bipolar Disorder, but I have felt that way at times, and many people have suggested to me that possibility.  So here is a very brief verse I wrote years ago, sometime when I was really struggling with the moody.

 

—”Suicide Note”—

Deep in a Dank, Dark, Dreary, and Damnable mood,

Depression & Despair Dive Deftly to the Depths of the soul.

Daylight Dawns. Depression does not Dwindle.

Despair Deems Death the Decisive and Definitive cure.

7-4-96—— 7:00 pm

 

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Disclaimer:  Not all my poetry is dark and brooding.  Some of it is, but much of it is joyous and/or sensual.  If you go check out that tab, you may think it’s good, you may think it’s crap, you may or may not think it fits your definition of poetry, but it’s mine and I enjoy it.  And further disclaimer:  I am now eons away from whatever crappy day made me write the above poem, so don’t anybody go turning me in to the Suicide Hotline.  Thanks!

Until next time,

D.

 

I’ve Recently Been Inspired… August 6, 2013

Hello all.  If you’ve been reading here for quite a while, or if you know me in real life at all, you know I write a lot of things:  this blog, organizational and packing lists, dorky Facebook posts.  But you should also know that I write poems.  Or what I consider poems, anyway.  They may not fit some people’s definition.  But anyway.  I have posted a lot of my old stuff under the Poetry and Fiction tab at the top of this page, but sometimes I post individual entries that have a new poem in them as well.

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So I haven’t written anything in a while, but I’ve recently been inspired again.  I just wrote the poem you’re about to read a few minutes ago, and as it’s the first thing I’ve really written in quite some time, I wanted to give it center stage on its own before I added it to the Poetry page.  Here you go:

“Actor”

Actor, I see your face.

As hard as you try,

your skills aren’t sharp enough

to hide your pain.

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I see you,

a man spread so paper thin

we can see sunlight through you.

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I know a hint of your story,

but nowhere near the whole.

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I know the things you don’t say,

that the forces you struggle and fight against

often swallow you alive.

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And it takes all your considerable strength

to climb out again.

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In some ways,

I have been there.

How I wish I could be the one

to reach a hand down to you

And pull you up into the light.

DD

8-6-13

1:30 PM

 

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Until next time,

D.

 

 

ValJean, Javert, O’Hara, and Me April 24, 2013

Hello all!  I have needed, I mean literally needed to write a post here for so long, and I just haven’t been able to find a moment.  I don’t have a way to blog at home in the evenings.  Our family laptop is painfully slow, and also always being hogged by one of the kids.  I know it makes me sound like a Slacker Extraordinaire, but I usually write my blog posts at work.  When you’re a church secretary who basically gets paid to sit by a phone that rarely rings, you can do that.  The bad part is that all the things I have needed and wanted to write about have sort of fallen by the wayside.  I wanted to do the A to Z blogging challenge, NaPoWriMo, etc.  I wanted to talk about the bombings and explosions, and loving oneself and loving humanity and like, God and religion and tragedy and survival and all those things that swirl in our collective head when our lives are disrupted by ugliness and accidents.  But when I finally have a moment and sit down to try to write about it all, I just can’t think what I wanted to say about it.  Or I feel everything’s been said and I don’t have anything worth adding, or maybe I deal with certain kinds of things by just blocking them out of my head.

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Or maybe I’m just a remarkably selfish individual, because the things that are filling the space in my head right now are as follows:

First of all is Les Miserables.  (Sorry I can’t do the little punctuation marks in the right places.)  So right now I am obsessed with Les Mis.  I rented the movie the other night and have watched it about 3 times.  I downloaded the 40-song soundtrack on iTunes and have listened to it incessantly ever since, and to top all that off, my local Little Theatre group is putting on LM this summer.  I would love to audition for a part, but I realize I don’t have enough experience for that.  No experience at all, actually.  Therefore, I am thinking of auditioning for the chorus.  (Ok, I am going to audition for the chorus if I can find a really good song to use for my audition. I’ve blown about ten bucks on iTunes instrumental tracks of different songs I could audition with.) I can think of nothing else!  I have been reading the novel, looking at the SparkNotes info on the novel, reading about the June Rebellion and the whole barricade thing, just obsessing in general.  I don’t know why.  I have realized that there is so much more story than the movie could have included, and even reading the small part of the novel that I have read thus far, it’s just so much more tragic!  I just feel I have to keep reading and thinking about this book until I find out why it is just sort of taking root in me so completely.

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The other thing is The Blathering.  The trip to Charleston in October that I think about every single day.  I check flight prices every day.  I read Twitter every day looking for other writers mentioning it.  I dither and vacillate back and forth on whether I should really go, whether it’s a selfish and ridiculous expense, whether I’ll have fun and make friends.  I think about how much I’d love to lose more weight before the trip, but how every stinking day is a struggle not to put the wrong things in my my mouth and thoroughly defeat that goal, and how I have absolutely GOT to learn to love myself and develop a style and rock my look no matter what.  I think about how maybe I should be planning the tours I want to take and the plantations I want to see, but what if I don’t find anybody who wants to do those things with me?   Or what if the planned group events  take up all the time that I’m there and I don’t actually get to see anything but the resort and the airport shuttle?  I think about how I really want to ask all these questions and find fellow early-planners on Twitter and Facebook but feel like it’s too early to be obsessing over these things, and most people probably won’t even know their plans for a few more months yet.  (Maybe next year I should help organize!  That would put my pre-planning obsessive skills to good use.)

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So anyway.  I have plenty of other things that I continue to worry about, that as I told a friend the other night, are the usual things that decorate the hamster wheel that is my life.   Many things that I need to make decisions about and then follow through and be at peace with, many things that I need to just determine and do, so to speak.  But now is not the time.  Luckily for my dear, devoted readers, as Scarlett O’Hara said, tomorrow is (another post and) another day!

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Until next time,

D.

 

Loving Learning, Sharing Experience, and Being Honest April 5, 2013

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello all!  There is so much I want to say today.  I spent the first half of today at my alma mater, visiting my favorite college professors.  I even got to sit in on a class- Honors Philosophy and Ethics.  It was cup-filling, soul refreshing, wonderful.  I don’t think it’s possible to understate how much I love being on a college campus, roaming the grounds, searching musty-smelling library shelves, sitting in a classroom…there’s just something magical about the whole atmosphere.  I love seeing traditional college students, thinking about what a great time in their lives this is supposed to be- that first foray into adult independence when they go off to school.  And then…I remember that I’ve had that, and you can’t really re-create it into infinity.  It’s meant to be a certain time in your life, not the totality of a life.  That said, I am seriously considering beginning to look into graduate programs and/or adjunct teaching positions solely for the purpose of hanging out in the World of College.

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I have also been looking at a lot of other blogs through links on Twitter, and there are so many writing challenges I would like to be taking part in, ((A to Z Blogging Challenge, NaPoWriMo, etc.) so many great things to read, so many great things waiting to be written.  And possibly some mundane, average, mediocre things to be written, but I enjoy the process of creating too much to back down just because the result might not be amazingly deep or clever.  And I think the rest of the world does too- they are just becoming trained to do it in 140 character Tweets or Facebook status updates, except for the writers and bloggers who can’t contain themselves to such limited venues.  The urge to create and share seems to be an overwhelming human instinct.  Or the current social media landscape is speeding up the evolutionary process toward making it so.  Either way, I’m pretty sure self-expression has never been quite so widespread, varied, and popular.

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Poetry.  I mentioned NaPoWriMo, both above and in my previous post, and I would love, love, LOVE to be posting something new and awesome here that fits that definition, but…how do I say this?  The things inside me that want to come out in that form- I need to save them for myself right now.  They just don’t really fit the mold of ‘Made For Public Consumption.’  I’ve sort of created this blog to be easily accessible from my real world life, and unfortunately I haven’t really achieved my tagline of being my True Self in front of all those people.  I might feel the need to apologize.  Explain.  Defend.  Justify.  Rationalize.  Stuff I don’t really want to do, because we’re talking about my unique feelings and experiences, and I’m entitled to those, in all their gory glory or their desolate, blowing emptiness, or their rich, deep beauty.  They are mine, not my readers’ but when I put them out there for the world to see, they become my readers’ too, to interact with, share, relate to, or even disdain.  I guess I’m just not ready for that level of intimacy.  It’s risky.  But so is life, I guess.

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That may be my point- as anonymous as blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, and all the rest ARE, they are also a form of intimacy, or they can be.  Letting someone into your head- your thoughts and feelings.  Or maybe that’s just blogging the way I do it.  I’m not sure that I’m not just wading in deep BS at this point.  It’s just that people are always trying to break off that intimacy.  You’ve seen it- we’ve all seen it.  A friend or follower decides they’ve had enough of the social media scene, dramatically exit whatever stage they’re on, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever it is, but like a co-dependent relationship, they always come back.  There’s just something about that connection with other people, creating, sharing, that keeps us reactivating those accounts.  It’s understandable and inevitable.

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ANYWAY…

Here’s a short snippet of the poem that’s forming itself in my head:

I was talking about you.

It meant YOU, damn it.

It referred to how it is for me,

seeing your name, your face, your words

and how it’s a fresh gut punch every time it happens.

How I hate the way I’d rather feel that punch

Than lose touch again.

How I know we’ll never be

what we might once have wanted to be,

but what we are is enough.

It is too much.  It is not enough. It is enough.

And I don’t know why, but it is what it is.

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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.

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