Harmony is Too Pretty A Word. Try “Ballswelloquent”.

NOTE:  the below post includes references to a masturbating holy figure.  Please discontinue reading if this will offend rather than amuse.

This is one of those mornings (not Those Mornings).  One where you get up, feel pretty good, have a cup of coffee, get to the gym, and then get to work, and everything is kinda humming right along.  You feel good.  You feel like you’re in sync with the rhythm of the world, like you’re circadian rhythm is lined up right next to the sine wave of the universe… like you’re in your car, and the rest of the world is in the car next to you as you both hit the red light at the same time, and you, very cockily, rev your engine.  Like you can outgun the cosmos.

That, my friends, is what I call a Good Friday.  Not to be confused with Jesus’ Good Friday… which I’m still confused about – was it the day they all decided they couldn’t abstain from whatever they had just given up for forty days?  (First, who chooses 40 days?  That’s not a clean number at all, so I don’t think it was a choice.  King James was a bit of a censorship nut, so no one knows the real story:  I think Jesus & his Lenten posse made a bet to see who could give up stroking it the longest… like that episode of Seinfeld.  I’ll bet Paul came back within 7 minutes & said “I’m out!”, but the rest of them made it forty days, and probably could’ve kept going except Jesus called it off because he rubbed one out during an especially enlightening prayer session… on a Friday, and they all went “Good!” and immediately sowed some orthodox oats.)

It’s April 1st.  It’s snowing in NJ, and I’m spending 3 hours of my day on a conference call – yes, just ONE conference call for THREE hours.  But I’m okay with that.  I’m revving my engine, toeing the line, ready to sprint.  The only word I could reasonably come up with for this feeling of “all is right with the world” is harmony… but that’s too pretty.  It lacks machismo.  It lacks bravado.  It lacks braggadocio.  It gives no sense of the up-fuckery sentiment – like it’s so good that you feel you could easily do anything, even things you’ve never done before, and it’ll all work out, and you’ll have added your own little dose of oats (orthodox or otherwise) into the mix.  You’re doing what you’re meant to be doing, and it’s changing the world.

… maybe that’s a little too far.  But harmony is too pretty a word.  We need something braver, bolder, faster, stronger.  Something with more balls.

I submit the following recommendations as terms that could be defined, loosely, as “the feeling that you can beat the world”:





Feel free to vote or contribute your own candidate in the comments.  My personal favorite is Ballswelloquent.

High-Five Yourself.

So 2010 has started.  It’s 1% over already, actually.  What’s next?  First a quick look back since the last time:

In November I auditioned for Bay One Acts.  Two weeks ago, I also auditioned for The Lion in Winter with Chanticleers. I didn’t get either one.  The first one hurt a lot & I had to pump myself back up for a few weeks.  I almost backed out of the audition for Chanticleers because I was probably the least confident I’ve been in the last year.  I couldn’t find much drive or ambition.  It took some strong conversations with the wyf – she could easily tell the wind was out of my sails, and I was getting frustratingly namby-pamby in all discussions about the acting stuff while we were back East for the holidays – to remind me that it’s completely unreasonable to expect to do a great job in EVERY single audition I get.  I can’t expect a high-five from the auditors every single time.  Which is tough, because who doesn’t love a high-five (aside from Howie Mandel)?

In critical retrospect, I was pretty unprepared & consequently ur-nervous about the Bay One Acts audition.  I didn’t rehearse my monologue much because I thought it was a shoe-in.  Then, the second half of that audition was a cold read during which I did a HORRIBLE job reading for comedy; I read for drama because I was nervous & didn’t want to risk being not funny.  I read their scene with three other people, and feel like I was the only one of the four who looked like a completely uncomfortable body on stage.  Now I look back on it and struggle not to shudder remembering how awkward I must have looked.  Horrible.  Just horrible.

The feedback from the director at Chanticleers was that I spent too much energy trying to memorize lines for the cold read instead of just acting with the script in hand.  I didn’t have enough variety in my tone & volume – I got the impression I came across as a dial-tone actor (think Topher Grace or Randy Quaid).  Not for nothing, though, it was a difficult reading scenario; I read with the director’s wife, a self-declared non-performer that did a bang-up job of doing nothing but staring at the script and reading the words in front of her.  It kind of felt like being on stage by myself, and instead of taking advantage of that & owning the scene, I hung back limply & worried about how to react to someone who isn’t doing anything worth reacting to.  Hence, delivering a dial-tone performance.  What I learned from it, as I’m sure it won’t be the last time, is that I have to constantly sell myself as the character I’m reading, no matter who or what else is on that stage.  That takes confidence, which I can’t afford to lose again.

So, next.  I need confidence-building activity.  I’ve checked TBA for future audition opportunities & haven’t found much that sounds practical.  I’ll check again this week once their staff is back in the office & have updated listings, but I’m leaning towards a class for the first few months of 2010.  I’ve picked out three options, all in ACT’s halls:  Voice Building for Singers (so that I can stop being scared away by musical auditions), Improv (a safe way to go that’s almost guaranteed to help my confidence), or Audition Technique (to help de-mystify the process a little further & hopefully learn some coping skills for mistakes I make).

Let me be clear:  I’m NOT giving up on doing this for a living.  Challenges be damned, I still KNOW how great it feels to be on stage & entertaining folks.  That’s what I want to do.  I want to be awesome at it, so when I’m complete crap in an audition, I question myself.  But every actor deals with sucking every once in a while – some get addicted to it (coda to Topher Grace & Randy Quaid). I don’t know exactly what I have to do to get where I’m going, but I have accepted that it will be a process with pitfalls & peaks, like anything else.  That’s the whole reason I built this website, actually… to document the process.

So I need to be honest here if nowhere else.  Hence the documentary above about two failed auditions.  But I’m moving on.  I’m gonna high-five myself.  After all, high-fives are the glue that hold society together.  That’s actually all a clap is – a self-fulfilled high-five.  So high-five yourself and clap hands in 2010.  Then buy my t-shirt.  (Stay tuned.)