Tonys Require Facing the Mail Slots


I had a weird PTSD dream at about 02:30 this morning and I was awake for the next two hours. No matter how late I get to bed or how much my sleep was interrupted, my body usually says it’s time to get up around 06:00 or 07:00 at the very latest– scratch that, I think my body would like to sleep a lot longer but it’s my brain that says, “Get the hell up homo!” I tell you all this to say that tonight I feel pretty tired but it seems, now that I think about it, that I say that pretty much every time I blog. That’s because I’ve been blogging at the end of the day lately. Maybe I should go back to blogging in the morning.

Remember when the blogs were like scripts and all those famous people were visiting me? That sure was fun. I hate when fun things stop. I sure wish they’d come back, at least for a little while– the celebrities I mean. That was fun. I was less lonely then.

I have been less lonely lately though. I’ve now been on three dates since I got back to New York. I’m learning how to date. It’s not something I’ve ever really done. In past, when I was in relationships, they pretty much started immediately. Not that I’ve had that many. I’ve basically had three relationships in my adult life that lasted over a handful of dates. Other than that, I’ve just had sex with thousands of guys to keep real intimacy at bay. Yep, thousands. Not kidding. Judge away.

Yesterday I sent Spud a pic of my beard, proud of the progress it’s made. Without saying so, he said it looked like shit and needed to be trimmed. I wish I hadn’t listened. Or actually it’s okay that I listened and it did, I guess, need a little attention. But I’m no barber and I don’t have very much experience shaping longer beards and besides I’m actually kind of afraid to let a barber touch my beard because the last time I did he took too much. I just can’t let it get too wild looking because I’ll likely be interviewing for jobs soon and I can’t go in there looking like Grizzly Adams. Of course I have thought about getting an acting agent again. That should be pretty easy after the success we had in New York. In that case, the beard would be a good look for many of the projects I’m most interested in. You know, Vikings, Gladiators, Prospero. Anyway, I ended up taking Ron’s clippers to my beard per Spud’s suggestion and I fucked it all up. I took too much off the sides. I want it to be big and full. I hate those beards that make a man look like he has a loooooong face. I do not to want to audition for any roles as a donkey unless it’s Bottom and for obvious reasons, I don’t even think I’m secure enough to do that role– unless it was with Royal Shakespeare Company. I’d play the Nurse to work with RSC. Who am I kidding? Of course I’d play the Nurse. That’s a sweet-ass role. And I could have a helluva time coaching Juliet on the matters of love and romance. I’d play most any role to work with the RSC. But I digress. Often.

So as I was standing in front of the mirror this morning fucking up my beard, I realized that this was an example of the poverty consciousness at work. What I really want to do is get a good hipster barber in Williamsburg and go in there every couple of weeks and let him square me away. A Williamsburg barber would get where I’m coming from when I told him my vision for my beard. But as I was standing there looking at the lawnmower size swath I’d just cut through the side of my beautiful beard, I flashed back to sitting on the back porch in America Junction at night when Chad and I were kids with my dad trying his hand at cutting our hair. He’d bought some disc-shaped plastic thing that had some kind of razor in it– not electric– the idea was to pull it across your hair and it was supposed to cut it. Only the blade was dull so it basically just pulled the hairs out. It was not a pleasant experience to put it mildly. I’m sure Dad was just trying to save a couple of bucks and God bless him for that because God knows I sure haven’t demonstrated that I’m very good at that by far! But shit fire! It was the 70s for Chrissakes! How much could a trip to Jimmy Tittle’s Barbershop have cost, $5?! Anyway, today standing there effing up my beard that I’ve worked so hard on because spending that money on the barber was just something I feel like I can’t afford right now as I’m looking for a place to live and for a job– well, I’m not one for self-pity, it’s useless and dangerous– but I did realize that that is something that is definitely going on my goals list under “self care:” barber every two weeks.

Here’s something great that happened today: You remember I told you that I met with that big-time Broadway producer last week? Well he said that he’d be willing to read Lilac and Liquor. The best thing obviously would have been to get him the script the next day but I didn’t do that. Same ole shit– fear. How many times have I not followed through with something that could have helped move me toward my goals and dreams? Hundreds probably. It even took me several days to write him an email thanking him for meeting with me in the first place! But I finally sent that email over the weekend. I actually prefer that people read hard copies of my scripts. Call me old fashion but that’s just the way it is. So I used the opportunity of the thank you email to ask if there was somewhere I could drop off a hard copy instead of sending him an electronic copy like I said I was going to. He agreed and said that there was no one in his office this week but if I’d drop it through the mail slot, he’d have his assistant bring it to him. So I– well, first I should say that I did not decide to go all the way through the script “one more time” or do anything else that would have delayed giving it to him. I did tweak the end in a way that I’ve been thinking about for a while but after that was done, I went to Staples and had them print and bind a nice copy of my baby. Then I made my way to his office. It’s above the Winter Garden Theatre, which is where I saw my third Broadway musical. The first was 42nd Street at the St. James, the second was Miss Saigon at the Broadway Theatre, and the third was Cats at the Winter Garden. I found the office with his name on it. It had a big silver mail slot in the door. It looked just as I had imagined. I almost dropped it in but then I paused. I said a little prayer over the script. Asked that if it is the Will of Heaven that my little play will go far and do well. I love my play. I want to see this play. They always say write the play you’d want to see and I am dying to see this one. Lilac and Liquor is a meditation on PTSD and the Creative Process. In essence, it is the story of the writing of itself. After I said my prayer, I pushed the script through the mail slot. I heard a voice from the other side of the door (a very friendly female voice) say, “Thank you!” It felt so good for my play to be received like that. I took it as a sign of things to come.

For some of you it won’t seem like a big deal. Others of you will get the significance of that simple act of actually giving a script of something I’ve written to someone who can help me bring it to the stage. Of course nothing may come of this one. But it was a simple act in faith that moved me beyond some resistance, beyond a barrier. I need to be submitting scripts to a lot of producers– literary agents too. Maybe this was a step toward doing that more often, risking rejection. That’s it! That’s what it is to put my work out there. It’s risking rejection. And rejection is one of the things that I fear the most. It comes from being rejected so often as a kid. I’m going to push through that. I’m going to do what it takes.

I’m going to win a Tony. One mail slot at a time.

See y’all tomorrow.

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