Friday, March 5, 2010

So, hi there...

Been a while.

I've slacked off too much on this blog over the last two weeks. I'm leaving it at that, as, I think, my last two entries were about my slacking.

It's Oscar weekend, and that's always a bit of a deal around our place. A few friends over, some grub, a pool, y'know, the usual. I can't say it's a huge year for me. I think the ultimate winners are fairly obvious, and some of them are really not exciting. However, a year where Jeff Bridges is pretty much guaranteed a little gold man is a good year in my book.

The other thing that's going on in Mark-world is beginning the process to select next season for the theatre company I'm involved with, Stage Left.

Which means scripts. Lots and lots of scripts. Then you sit in a room, and you talk about these scripts. Some people like them, and some people don't.

I've come to a point in my life where I'm not going to sit and try to be "nice" in these situations. I've come to the point where I hope the people in that room understand that if I didn't appreciate their talent and taste, I wouldn't be in the room with them. When the time comes that I don't appreciate those things about those people, I know that is the time for me to pack my things and get out.

If I don't like a play, I'm gonna say so. Sometimes, it's an intellectual reaction, and I can list off all the reasons I don't. Sometimes it's a gut-level thing, and I couldn't verbalize my reaction without resorting to unintelligible grunting. It's art, it's supposed to work on many levels, and, therefore, the reactions are on those many levels.

The end point is job in that room is to be honest. It's not to agree for the sake of avoiding conflict. I've committed to this company, and it physically hurts me when I don't feel potential is reached.

Things do not have to be "my way"...

Let me say that again;

Things do not have to be "my way," I do not expect to win every argument, or get the things I want every time, but I am no longer at a place in my life where I will accept "good enough." I commit a lot of time, energy, and belief to the projects I commit to, and I take a lot of ownership upon myself. My self-image is tied to any project, and in this case, the company. My name is on it, in one way or another.

It hurts me. I know that's silly, but it does. I get headaches, stomach aches, I lose sleep, I have nightmares and wake up sleepwalking. I begin to berate myself for not pushing harder, I get depressed. It really does start to seep into all the facets of my life.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking...DRAMA FUCKING QUEEN.

Thank God I have a wife that's just this side of a Saint.

It makes me wonder about my tastes when put alongside those of the company. My "good enough" is probably somebody else's "genius." Again; this is not a question of who's "right" or "wrong," because there is no such thing in this business. It's a question of the way I know myself to react, a question of how do I balance the ownership I will invariably feel (and want to...because it makes me work harder), with choices that maybe I can't see the way everyone else does.

Not to backpedal all the way, but I should really pound home another thing. I am completely willing to accept that I very well might be 100% wrong about anything involving issues of taste. I would be overjoyed to see the company's choices be the toast of the town, and and any problems I may have be seen as the rantings of the curmudgeonly guy that, for some strange reason, still thinks Mamet is the shit.

The question that haunts me, that I keep asking myself, is, if my tastes get that far out of step with the rest of the ensemble, do I belong there? My belief is that the company comes first, before my aspirations as an actor, writer, or director, before my ego, before all of that. Within the company, I serve the company.

It's a fine line to walk, and I guess I just wonder, sometimes, if I can.

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