Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ants Marching

In order to further procrastinate writing an essay I should have turned in Wednesday, I decided to post this musing a penned Tuesday:

I've forgotten a lot of things. It's been so long since I've seen a worm or a rolly poley that I have half a mind to assume they're extinct. The second this pops into my mind I shake my head and wonder why I've forgotten the existence of rolly poleys and worms--things that were stable and constant encounters in my youth--and I realize that that's just it. I've forgotten worms because I've forgotten to remember them. I've forgotten to walk up the street at eight in the morning after a night of rainfall, watching the moist ground at my feet. I've forgotten to dig in the dirt with my hands or a plastic green trowel. I've forgotten worms because I've forgotten to find them. And the same goes for rolly poleys and praymantises and daddy long-legs: I momentarily believe they've forever left this world because I've forever let them leave my sight.

They still share my grass, still share my sun; just because I no longer share their plain of vision does not mean they are beneath me. They do not share my quest for lasting love, or my concern over gas money. But they share my innocence. And some days I remember I've lost that very thing, innocence.

And I've lost it by losing the bugs.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sixteen Shows and Counting

I've spent the past nine years of my life in the safety net or organized performing. Being in acting classes since the fourth grade and then Bountiful High's musical program from junior year on makes you used to performing regularly.

I've done at least sixteen shows. I've averaged a show a year since age eleven. As I got older one turned to two, and now...

I've been cut off.

Granted, half my repertoire I paid to participate in, such is the nature with acting classes, but it was still a regular schedule of performing.

Sophomore year my acting class had a different teacher who was focusing on a Christmas variety show instead of an actual musical, and I didn't feel like myself walking the school halls. I felt so... elementary. And perhaps the reason was that without the safety net of a yearly performance I reverted back to me as I was before the yearly performance began. It's as if I am my best self when I'm focusing one million percent on being my best someone else.

But here I am, Charley's Aunt's set in heaps and piles, my costumes out waiting to again be boxed away, and I realize that life as I know it is about to change. Any show I participate in from this moment to the end of my life is left up to my own stamina and the director's intuition regarding my talent.

Sounds like another addition to my "Golden Now Year of Change", eh? My father told me it'll be the same as it's ever been when I said that Charley's Aunt was my last guaranteed show ever. "The others weren't guaranteed, were they?" he'd asked.

He does have point. I stopped paying to be in shows the end of my sophomore year. But I argue that I only got in musical because Angela had me in her theatre class sophomore year, and somehow whiffed my potential. And I only got a part in both musicals this year because I actually tried...

Oh.

If there's anything I've learned, reviewing over my odd theatre past, it's that trying and fighting at and for auditions is what gets me places. I put everything I had into All Shook Up performances so Angela could see I'm an expressive person on stage. I did everything I could to have Mother figured out before Crazy for You auditions, and refused to tell myself that part was in the bag, because every other time I've "pre-cast" the show for myself I end up with the exact opposite: ie nothing. And Stepmother? Well, I let her come out as flamboyant as she wanted during auditions. And I guessed it worked.

So by the time Charley's Aunt came around Angela knew I was capable, and only needed my formal audition as an excuse to give me the part. (I'm not saying this to be cocky. If you would like all of the back story to this audition just ask me. It's quite an ego-boosting allegory.) I think the thing that troubles me most is that situations like the one just ascribed will not happen again. I have to learn to convey in three minutes what I showed Angela in two years. Otherwise, my list of shows stops at sixteen.

And it's quite a stressful thought.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Take a Look

[Here's a little ditty I penned in Creative Writing today:]

I was so... idiotic. I mean, the simplest thing in the world and my heart beamed and nudged my clavicle with its elbow and said, "Hey. Did you catch that? Did you see him?"

But what of it? I don't happen to make eye-contact with people, meaning for them to see the underlying message that I wish this distance of our friendship were merged closer by the closeness of our hearts. I look to be looking; I let my eyes rove. And if they stop on someone, all it is is that they've stopped; nothing more.

But because it was him and it was me he'd stopped at...

I slumped my face to my hand. Idiot. Honestly.

The hopeful notion of my own immature mind does not mean what he intended--completely unconsciously--as a roving eye observing his fellows was truthfully meant to mean "I haven't really admitted this aloud to anyone, but I look at you and can't stand that you're not with me."

I let my head drift to the desk. Idiot. Honestly.

How many times? How many times will I go through life believing mere glances are promises and vows of forever? How many times? How many times will I fall for my self-deception and find myself not only without a seemingly loving glance, but without a simple expression of friendship as well?

How long will it take me to figure out my emotion is reflected in his eyes only because eyes, superficially, are mediocre mirrors of life: the reflection distorted and untrue.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

An Ocean and a Rock

I told myself the last time, after I'd wrung the salt water from my hair, that I'd never run into the ocean again unless there was reason to. I told myself, as the sand began to cling to my wet feet, that I'd never submerge myself in the torrent of waves unless everything around me was ebbing that direction. I told myself I'd sit on my purple beach towel and wait.

Either I forgot my vow or the tide is coming in, for my feet are getting wet again and my flesh can taste the salt and my heart is flying over nothing and now I'm running through the current like there's a destination among the waves; but I'm mistaken. For once I actually acknowledge the fact I'm delusional, but my heart finds me absurd. My mind can't help but wander, taking my stride with it; I can't help but see it all falling into place perfectly and miraculously, I can see in my mind how it'll work out.

But I've done that before, seen things like that, and thought I'd thought right so I ran headlong into the water, ready for the bliss of swimming and love.

But I was mistaken. And here I am again, the same beach same sand same water. It's the same scenario, opened for the umpteenth time, and I'm going to take the same course of action. I'm going to let myself be let down the same way, by running prematurely into the ocean, feeling the cool twang of salt water, waiting for the inevitable to fail to arrive. And when it does I'll stand and return to the shore, wringing out my salt-drenched hair, vowing in all times to come to remain on the beach.

But in vowing so, I'm mistaken.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Victorian Etiquette

The hardest thing about acting is deciding what to do with my arms. I know. It's ridiculous and absurd but it's 100% true; the only thing I dread about performing is finding a comfortable-yet appropriate-position for my arms.

This is going to sound weird, but this blog is about my musings, and I am rather musing on this topic, so here goes: I'm very aware of my arms. They are, in some bizarre way, the center of my being. I feel emotionally through my arms. When I'm touched by the word of God, it's my upper arms, not my "bosom" that burns. When I'm nervous, it's my arms that jitter, likewise with embarrassment, excitement, love; any emotion that usually clenches the chest is experienced through my upper arms. I quite literally wear my heart on my sleeve.

Because of this I am constantly aware of my arms' position as I go about my day. As a Junior High student, I was self-conscious of the way they hung at my sides (honestly though, what Junior High student is mostly concerned with the position of their arms as they walk through the adolescent halls?), so I stuffed my hands in my pockets. Until ninth grade when I realized, upon looking in a mirror, that my hands in my pockets didn't make me as picturesque as I'd thought. So I had to fix it. High school was even more tiresome because I now no longer had a binder to cling to as I walked the halls; I had a bag, and my hands where then free. I began to, and still do to this day, cling to the strap of my bag with my right hand and let the other dangle by my side.

Without a bag on my shoulder I am at a complete loss.

So imagine, someone so paranoid about the position of her arms in her daily life on stage striving to portray a character in a forgotten time period without playing the cliches and being redundant.

Exactly.

Junior High I was awkward and worried about my arms, but as we rehearsed with costumes, I'd find myself quite comfortable putting my hands on my natural waist (Which I've come to connect the act with the way my skirt or pants are fitted to my body. If they're snug and enhance my curve, my hands want to rest there, furthering the curve. Sadly, this is not always applicable to the character. And, because I did it all through Junior High, it is thereby overused and not to be recycled for approximately four more years.). Crazy For You I really didn't bother over my arms, because I was on stage so little that it didn't even matter to me myself what they did (though I avoided placing them on my waist like the plague.) Cinderella I kept my hands bent up, to ensure maximum ability to gesture. It fit with the Stepmother's character, and it was something I hadn't done to that extreme before.

But along came Donna Lucia. And, as always, after rehearsing so much with my script in hand, my arms want to keep that position though now they are book-free (Which, ironically is exactly the spot I'd place my arms by default for Stepmother. Wonder where the inspiration came from.). But that isn't Donna Lucia's character. She wouldn't bend her arms like that for so long.

And she wouldn't place her hands on her hips.

Needless to say I have spent the past forty minutes scanning Google images of Victorian women to see how they hold their arms. I've found a pretty decent middle ground between Stepmother and awkwardly holding my arms to my side. Let's just hope it pulls through, shall we?

And while we're on the topic, remember Charley's Aunt opens this Thursday till next Tuesday. Tell all your friends to come. I don't want the audience to consist of empty seats and my parents.

Want to know why this one helped me? See the lady on the far left with the red parasol? See how she's holding it? Genius.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Using my 'write' brain. Lame.

I'm not a fan of the urge to write when there's nothing to write. And I just had the epiphany to share with you all my most gnarly poem ever (A sonnet. Who would have thought, right?) but then I remembered I was a good student and turned that in to my ingles teacher and I'm at the school so I don't have it saved on my hard drive.

Hmm. Predicament, eh?

I don't know why I'm being so prudent and spunky (is that a contradiction? Sometimes I just write the words that pop in my head, and I'm too lazy to correct myself right now so...) I guess it's just been a long time since I've written as Erica the teenager instead of Erica the attempting-to-be-sophisticated-author-who-harnesses-the-feelings-of-the-world-in-general-and-somehow-relates-to-all-mankind. Now, naturally you can see why I'm opting to be regular Erica, because other Erica takes much much too much time to introduce.

But I don't have anything to say to you. And I have this urge to write.

I keep waiting for the big exposition to come crashing through my fibers, but it's not. So I suppose the lesson is is when you're waiting for rehearsal to start and your whole soul is interwoven into your character, the urge you feel to write is not your urge at all. And it isn't even an urge to write. It's Donna Lucia d'Alvadorez wanting you to open the parasol and kiss a boy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

messing up the play

Pen.

I looked at it, my inside breaking. Pen. Permanent, staining, forever-concealing pen.

Pen.

The pen to paper was like pen to the walls of my heart. Simple blue strokes of scribbled things along the pristine that was my inside.

"Buck up." I think, "It's nothing personal. It's bugging you so much because you're OCD about things like that. In a month you'll set the "defiled" thing under the bed and forget about it until-"

Until! That's the point. A time will come when it will be found. A time will come when the forgotten will turn to remembered and through the merry memory all I'll know is pen.

Pen.

I scrubbed at my heart, rubbing the flesh raw. This pen, why does it bother me so? And it seems as if this mere happenstance is not the first thrashing of pen to my heart. I've been penning myself long, and the bright, proper, brilliant white walls of my soul are dampened and dim with blue pen.

Pen.

Agh! I've found it, however long it's been scribbled; a month, a week, ten hours... perhaps it was scribbled long long ago and I placed it under the bed to be forgotten, and now, somehow, I've reached under the bed and found pen.

Pen.

Spring had better come, for I'm feeling claustrophobic and depressed again; and as it appears I won't be moving out for college, I have only the seasons to provide my change of scenery.

Only the seasons to hide the pen.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Return to Pooh Corner

(I'll admit I struggled with titles for this one. It was the above or Childlike Wildlife. I think I should have gone with the latter.)

Oh, how it is to wake up.
The Barbie house still exists in my mind:
I kept my Furby on the deck, the white fenced deck,
Hoping it would wake up in the middle of the night
Like Andy said his did.
I still think I'll find a misplaced something
In a small carpeted room-made-shelf.
I still hear the music, 2 Become 1,
Love coming easy, and love being true,
And dreams being fate, fate being my making.

I climbed into the tree house with the neighbor’s
Fence as my ladder, and I crossed the black gate
That kept you from falling, and sat on the edge
Of the ply-wood, feeling the world beneath me,
Miles beneath me where the dogs ran.
And the wind seemed to pick up
And the earth seemed to swell, and I knew by facing
That height I would conquer life.
Life would be that carefree summer.
Life would be whatever bright nature dictated;
Life would be an optimistic orphan in a hidden cabin in a wood,
An abandoned girl living in a wondrous landfill with a dog
Named Miles. And true love would come coincidentally,
With an eternally painted smile and soft blonde hair.
And our kitchen would be yellow and giving birth
Wouldn’t be scary, and whatever I desired,
If I desired to chase it, would be attainable.

And Oh, how it is to wake up.


(On a none-poetic note, I was Googling my spelling of Furby, to assert I'd been correct, and I found this picture which is the EXACT Furby I had. And I didn't even have to look at more than one page of Furby images. Blessed Karma.)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Well I Don't See No Holes In The Road But You.

My eyes have been opened today. Would you like to see how?

This will be a good one for all you early blog readers. Remember how smitten I was about a certain boy? Remember how heartbroken I was when it didn’t turn out how I thought? Well, walk with me through the things you don’t remember.

The first time I thought there might be something between us was when a friend, we’ll call her the Girl for identity purposes, called me to tell me that boy had texted her. I was in Ho Ho Gourmet with my mother’s family. Why did I care? She went on to apologize about how this had worked out: he wasn’t supposed to be texting her, he was supposed to be texting me. Of course, I suddenly felt, in my core, betrayed. Well, ends up—according to that Girl’s claims—he was asking her if I liked him. I took that as a dashing sign. Just goes to show how elementary I still am. Er… was. Hopefully.

Well, I went home to this news and ran upstairs in a flurry. Of course that meant he loved me. Duh.

For the next hour I heard second hand all the things he was saying. She was the messenger. For an hour. Then finally my number was given to him and he and I actually texted. Best night ever, I thought.

Embarrassment still burns like it’s fresh.

So on went the days, and occasionally she’d say what he’d said, sending me forwards of his response to various things in their conversations. About me. Oh gross, I’m an idiot.

Everything I did with him, with the exception of a certain extracurricular we shared, she was some way a part of. But come on, she was my best friend, right?

Occasionally my mind replays the image of her forwarded text (in response to if he liked me) saying he was “indifferent, but beginning to notice”, and the way his eyes looked that one date we had when he placed his hand on my thigh and I blabbered like an idiot, and the look in those same eyes when he told me the thing I’d just overheard about him and another girl would be “our little secret.” And I wonder why. Why did I read it like it was good? Why did he put his hand there? Was it just because he was going through the motions, because he actually felt something, because he knew I’d feel something, or because he knew how I felt and wanted to see if he could get himself to feel the same? Why?

And it’s all been of late I’ve been analyzing his actions, so stuck I am in the rhythm of interpreting written dialogue and stage movement for the play. It’s been so recent that I’ve been trying to unearth the mystique behind the whole “affair”. And today I found the vast majority of it, and it wasn’t even where I expected.

A grand chum of mine was discussing that Girl with me today, going on about her grievances regarding her friendship with said Girl. I’ve come to realize (far too late, I’m afraid) that this (as Lexi calls her) “toxic friend” is only weather-able for a year or so. No more. My chum has found she’s struggling with six months. She was saying how that Girl keeps pinning for that which my chum has, and then she said simply, almost more joking than serious:

“It’s like she’s living vicariously through me.”

Metaphorically, I staggered into the wall.

“It’s like she’s living vicariously through me.”

It’s like she’s living vicariously through me.

And I threw down my pick-axe and jumped on the mound of freshly turned dirt and screamed.
I’d figured it out. And I feel so, so sick inside. I feel so… used.

It’s the first time I’ve felt so. And it’s the first time feeling so could have been so accurate.

I never read straight from that boy his opinion of me. When we went on that date it was a double with that Girl, and apparently she’d been texting him in the time leading up to us picking him up. Everything he did seemed somehow not… real. And it wasn’t my being in ecstasy that distorted the impression I received. I’d assumed it was him striving to be a gentlemanly date. Or was it something she… Oh, what a fool I’d been!!!!! I honestly cannot find words adequate to express this swirling pound of emotion. The RAT! How dare she; but alas I get ahead of myself.

I found a few months ago (as alluded to in my Opportunity Train post), that my knowledge of right and wrong doesn’t exist with her. All of last year, and that one day we hung out two months ago, whatever I set in my head I wouldn’t do, I’d do. If she said it was logical. I’m remembering now hundreds of things I’ve said or done that were logical because she took my desperate belief of Fate and warped it into her own sick meaning. Fate is not God given, oh no. Oh no. Fate is the idiotic illusion that things will work out; Fate is something she says that you moronically believe will come to pass and YOU ARE WRONG. You are heart-wrenchingly WRONG. And you scramble in grief for months, and you find something better and she gnaws her claws again into you sinews and tells you which way to move, for Fate has scripted it, and you follow, and you break what you had yet again. And you lose what you had yet again.

And why? WHY? Because she has no ability to find happiness of your caliber anywhere herself. She’s too fake, too outgoing, too “friendly” in the most immature and grotesque way that no one in their right mind except for God himself would care give her a second glance in the category of love, and only because God loves all his children. Only because God is God. Everyone who’s met her doesn’t care for her that way, but you, oh you, idiotic girl! You let her in the gates of friendship and she left through the melted, distorted, grated remains of your heart. You. Had. All. She. Had. Not. You were all she wasn’t; all she could never be, and “God, how we get our fingers in each other’s clay[!!!] That’s friendship, each playing the potter to see what shapes we can make of the other.”*

But it’s not “friendship” the leech wants. It’s not “friendship” the reason she’s meddling in your clay.

She’s living vicariously through you.

That boy was never mine. Perhaps he could have been. Perhaps, if I hadn’t sat where I sat in choir, if I hadn’t gone from class to class with her, if I hadn’t felt she’d be my ticket to actually making friends in high school, perhaps it would have been different. Perhaps he would have liked me for me, instead of all heaven knows she told him of me; perhaps he would have cared not to trample my heart by at least staying my friend instead of asking her at our day activity if he could do something with her sometime. And perhaps the boy that followed him, the one who truly seemed to like me, and the one I, truly, liked back, perhaps we would be somewhere now. Or at least would have had something better to write in each other’s yearbooks than the “dan”ce. And why? Why did things fray? Why did the ribbon of my splendid life need to be pruned and re-stitched?

It was her.

And I pray you learn from my mistake, I pray you ignore that she’s your acquaintance and ignore her presence in your life, I pray you don’t room with her in college, I pray she somehow starts to take your sense of humor as complete and utter hatred toward her and grows to hate you too. Because then, like me, you won’t have to deal with her, other than the occasional rant she mutters about you literally behind your back, and other than the meager twang of guilty fakeness you feel when you pretend to smile at her, because she’s pretending to smile back.

And I pray you've guessed who she is, because honestly, and I say this with a pinch of regret only because I try not to say such comments, I hate her as much as she hates me.

And I’ll die before ever including her in my affairs again.



*my personal favorite book quote from Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (exclamation points are my own doing.)