Archive for March, 2004


Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

Wouldn’t it be funny to complain about the DMV?

Y’know what, it isn’t. And here are a few more things that aren’t funny anymore

1) Women love to shop, men love remote controls. No shit, asshole, it was barely funny in 1971, it just sucks now.

2) Cell phones. Everything about cell phones isn’t funny. Y’know how people have bad service and they talk really loud in movies and all the funny rings are so weird and gofuckyourself, it isn’t funny.

3) Black people talk at the movie screen. Isn’t that just *rude* how darkie always yells at the screen about how they shouldn’t go in the haunted house? You’d almost think Eddie Murphy *didn’t* say that in a movie that *everyone* saw in 1983.

4) Awkward uncomfortable Jews. Ooooh, look how neurotic! It’s like that Jew doesn’t know how to live his life free from concern! Ben Stiller, go fuck yourself. Take a clue from your dad who walks around like he’s king of the world. That’s the Jew I want to hang out with.

5) Fat people like to eat. Years from now, we’re gonna look back on the “Fat Monica” episodes of Friends the same way we see Amos and Andy now. How hilarious that a *painfully* thin woman used to be, not just a little bit fat, but *obese*. When fat people watch that show, they want to die.

6) The lines at the DMV, Lawyers, Doctors love golf, Actors are shallow, people we worship for no good reason go to jail, WMDs, right wing christians are full of hate, acronym-jokes (except for the “INRI” above Jesus’ head standing for “I’m Nailed Right In”) all of this stuff is actually either pathetic or been done a billion times. So quit joking about it.

Stuff that’s still funny

1) The internet is mostly porn.

It’s funny because it’s true!

The DMV in New York has decided that they can’t accept a faxed copy of my Utah driver license because “that’s how the terrorists fool the state.” What they will accept is a hard copy that I bring in with my own two hands.

That’s right, inter-departmental faxes can be tampered with by me because I never see or touch them, but hard copies that I send away for and then bring in are acceptable. Of course, security is of utmost concern, the letter has to have letterhead.

So, I called Utah and the people there were just like “Oh! Okay! You need to get this form and send it to us, and we’ll take it from there! No problem!” It always amazes me that customer satisfaction is important in Utah at every possible interaction. The Drive-Thru lady is usually awesome in Utah. So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but the culture shock of standing in line at a manhattan DMV and then getting on the phone with the nice lady at the Utah DMV was jarring.

I’m not saying these people don’t believe that a Cap’n Crunch decoder ring brought them the word of God, I’m just saying they are awfully nice.

The Weather

Friday, March 5th, 2004

I think each person is born to a certain kind of environment that resonates with them. Something happens on a morning when you’re nine and while it happens, you smell that rich sweaty odor of Autumn in Oregon, and for the rest of your life that smell and that feeling will make you happy, regardless of where you feel it.

When I lived in Los Angeles, I was sad and scared and, honestly, pretty much drunk or high the whole time. I also chain smoked. But I had a group of gorgeous, amazing friends that used to stand outside and smoke with me.

Los Angeles at night is cold, made more so by the fact that you’ve spent the whole day warm and you’re only wearing a frickin’ t-shirt and your skin still has that hard nippled feel of sunburn. So, when you’re watching a movie with your buddies and you stop it every 45 minutes to go grab a cigarette, you end up huddling in a little group in the dry night-time cold.

I will always feel lovely about that weather. I can’t do it anymore, if I did it for one night I would be coughing up a lung.

Today, it was the weather that I most love. The sun blinking, struggling to get through the early Spring or late fall overcast sky, but it isn’t totally cold yet. And it doesn’t rain. It’s cool, it’s moist… honestly, it’s perfect conditions for getting an angry cold. If you walk around too much, like I did, your glasses will cover in mist, your sweatshirt will get wet and your hair curls up like crazy.

I don’t know if it’s Iowa, knowing that the humid ass horrible summer was ending for months or that the frigid fucking winter was ending for a while, or if it’s London or Virginia or what. I have no idea where the imprint happened, but when the weather gets moody like this, to me it feels erotic.

I walk around and breathe deep, huge gulping draughts of air and I just want to stay outside the whole time. Of course, that perfect romantic moment lasts for no time at all, the sun dips and it turns cold or the sun climbs and the mist burns off. But here in New York, that weather moment lasts for hours and hours.

Today was perfect for a little while. I loved it. I just fucking loved it.


Thursday, March 4th, 2004

For dinner tonight, I made a fritatta with cooked spinach, softened onions and raw scallions. We ate it with fresh corn on the cob, a plate of steaming brussel sprouts and a huge ass salad with some kind of dressing that’s really good.

I’m just saying, that’s what you missed. It was awesome.


Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004

I went to the gym this morning, despite the harrowing I went through yesterday, terrified about my mom’s condition.

As I was doing a chest press kind of thing, I noticed that my back was hurting. Not any more than you might expect, but when I mentioned it, my trainer jumped on it, stretched me, and then worked a completely different set of muscles. She asked me why I didn’t mention it immediately when it started. I said, “because I tend to take everything too seriously, I’m used to everything being hard and uncomfortable and I’m trying not to be fag.”

When are you supposed to know? When is it too hard, and why do we try so hard to do well in some instances and in others, we just figure FuckIt.

I got done with the gym, some two hours later, and I was gonna try my mom’s cell phone. A young professional mother was trying to get all of her shit down the stairs, the baby, the walker, her bags, etc., and was having a hard time. At one point, she just abandoned her purse and small shopping bag, grabbed her son, and went back inside to deal with whatever other stuff she had forgotten.

I got through on my voice mail, and there was a message from my mom. Barely audible, sounding terrible, she croaked that she was fine, that there was almost no pain. “Yesterday was a hard day,” she said, and then qualified, “actually, yesterday morning was hard, last night wasn’t so bad.”

She could barely talk, and she qualified her pain, just so I’d know she was gutting it out. This isn’t that serious, she was saying, I’m doing fine, you don’t need to worry.

Hearing your mother’s voice in pain has to be similar to hearing your child’s, I thought as the kid was being re-strapped into his stroller. The woman had made it, with me, to the bottom of the stairs and had to run back up to get something, this time leaving the little boy with me by the door.

I wanted to say something. I’m gonna try to have kids in the next five years or so, and it’s all gonna start again. Why won’t my mom talk about her pain, unless it’s in huge rhapsodic lunges? Why do I laugh off everything, but secretly harbor horrible feelings of resentment and hostility even toward my friends.

There is this cycle of self abuse that we go through, this pioneer mentality that makes Michelle incapable of talking about how scared she is, that makes Ian ashamed of better living through pharmaceuticals, that makes me look in the mirror and see a man as tough as veal, as strong as a child. Every time I think to say that I feel pain, this voice of accusation comes at me that I am too loud, too self indulgent, too weak, and oftentimes that internal voice is matched by a chorus of external ones.

The kid sat in his stroller at the bottom of the stairs, leaning back and around, trying to see his mom. She was gone, out of sight, gone, maybe never to come back. Even standing there, at 33 years old, I couldn’t promise him beyond a shadow of a doubt that his mom would return unharmed, that he wouldn’t be stranded with the stroller, three shopping bags of crap, a backpack full of sweaty gym stuff and the clothes on his back to survive for the next 70 plus years.

I wanted to say something, but I couldn’t. I wanted to say to him, “that feeling? Right now? Looking side to side, wondering where your home is, wondering why love is so hard, why you’re alone, why you have been left, with no explanation and no promise of a return? That’s half your life, right there. And if it’s only half, you are blessed.”

All about me

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004

I mean, it’s my blog, I don’t know who else I’m supposed to write about.

I changed nothing about my diet except to *add* about a whole meal’s worth of food, spread throughout the day. I begin the day with a bowl of oatmeal, and sometimes an egg and some chicken. Then I have a totally normal day, Taco Bell, homemade enchiladas, Mac and Cheese, etc., but I work in about five servings of fresh vegetables a day. Last night, those vegetables were onions, avocado and scallions, and I ate them in the form of guacamole.

The only difference is that I had one enchilada and a huge ass salad instead of two enchiladas.

Anyway, in the last three weeks, I’ve lost nine pounds and trimmed about 4% off my body fat. Which means I’m closer to 1/4 made of fat instead of 1/3, and I’m still thirty pounds overweight.

I know no-one cares, but it’s my blog and I don’t want to write about politics.


Yesterday, about twelve hours after our shakespeare closed and about one week after finding out we booked Lucretia Jones upstate, and two months exactly before my wedding to Jordana, I walked down the street wearing the clothes I had to bring in for my costume (some day I won’t have to do that) and I noticed that it was March 1 and about 63 degrees.

There is no better weather than low 60s with a light breeze. It’s like porn, straight up. It’s the best thing that weather can be.

As I walked, I felt so good. For a few minutes, as I walked, I didn’t have a care in the world. I usually go into a *funk* when a show closes, I’ve even sworn off acting for good after two particularly bad post mortems, but yesterday, I was on cloud nine.


I don’t know if any of you believe in God or in, y’know, karmic resonance or spiritus mundi or whatever, but my mom’s getting an operation today, and you might want to send her some white light or something. I can’t really pray, all I can do is sit here and be neurotic as hell.

The Work

Monday, March 1st, 2004

During the last two decades, I have had two problems with my acting career.

The first problem was trying to figure out how to make it more than simply doing the actual work on stage, how to create a mystique about me or my life or whatever so that the auditions wouldn’t be quite so blind. I want to be a part of a community that makes plays (and, I guess, movies) and I want that community to trust me and know what I can do.

I grew up as a classical musician, practicing X hours a day, expecting each and every note to be played in the right place and in tune. I have a standard for the artistic process that is fairly high, and the professional associates I have usually match or exceed that standard. But most of the theater world consider their stage work to be a means to an end, and so there are very few people that I trust to make theater with.

Too many designers are excited by how distracting their designs can be. Too many directors are moved by the amount of obvious work they have done to a piece of theater, the over-the-top refinements that let the audience know that the director shaped the show. Too many actors read reviews and glad-hand casting directors after the show, yet when you look in their eyes on stage the only thing you see behind the glassy vacant exterior is a vague sense of panic.

Too many producers care only about money. I know, they should care about money. But there are a *lot* of better ways of making money than theater, so if all you care about is money, get the hell out.

So, it’s been difficult for me to build a larger reputation because, although I have been invited back virtually everywhere I’ve worked, I’m generally so grateful to be done with the show that I just keep moving on.

The second battle in my career has been one for respect. Not just personal respect, but respect for the craft and for the other actors.

I have never produced a show in New York where the artists weren’t compensated. We even offered metrocards to the cast of Second String who were doing a fundraiser. When we work with someone who lacks imagination or talent or work ethic, we’re generally pretty disappointed, but we’re still respectful.

If someone comes in and designs your set, pay them. But, if you can’t pay them, and they know that, then don’t start telling them that this is an opportunity for *them* to show their work. Thank them for donating their time and energy.

That goes for your actors as well. Pay them. Go ahead and pay them. But if you can’t pay them, make sure that they know that the show *would not exist* without them. I am so sick of directors and producers thinking they are doing *me* a favor by letting me be in their shows.

You know what? Don’t do me any favors. Acting is hard, and I work really hard at it, and a lot of times it isn’t any fun. Try playing the part of Oliver in Act 5 of a three hour As You Like It with kids in the audience, it isn’t fun. Y’know, just as an example.

So, when you offer me a role, talk to me about the character. Talk to me about why you think I will be the person who can bring this character to life. Because if you talk about how you are giving me an opportunity, I will be phoning it in from then on.

The director of the last show I was in, when he called to offer me the above mentioned role, he said, “many of the productions I’ve seen have let this role go to a ‘bad guy’ actor, and then they’ve just suffered through the end. I feel like you are going to be able to make this guy real. There’s a balance between the first and the last act that seems impossible on the page, but you’ve got a way of fighting for your characters that makes me love them even when they’re mean.”

I don’t need me ego stroked, but you can tell that he loves the characters. And that’s the fight I’m gonna keep having, the fight to make people respect the craft. In classical music, the craft is holy, no-one becomes a second violinist to get girls or fame. No-one practices clarinet for six hours a day because they think it’s sexy. I just wish acting was the same way. I wish models were trying to be violinists and they let us do the acting.

By the way, while it’s possible that no-one practices clarinet for six hours a day because they think it’s sexy, when they play the glissando at the beginning of Rhapsody In Blue, I’m pretty sure they expect panties to be thrown on stage.