So my cousin Brian, who lives up the road in Glendale, just got engaged to his longtime girlfriend Kelly. They met at USC. What fun! Congratulations!
I’m taking a playwriting class Monday nights, so not only have I now read Stanislavsky’s An Actor Prepares (which was an immensely fascinating book), but I also went and saw two plays this weekend.
First I drove over to Venice Boulevard to see a one-person play written and acted by a student in my program. In the play, “Dottie,” we see Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz still struggling, ten years on, to come to terms with what she experienced in Oz. My favorite line: (while trying to convince the audience that she’s not crazy) “I sometimes hallucinate that I see flying monkeys. This is a perfectly rational post-traumatic stress response to having been carried through the air by actual flying monkeys.”
On Sunday I went and saw another student production, Spike Heels, which was pretty edgy. One actress’s outfit was so revealing that it elicited an audible gasp from the audience when she walked on stage. The story concerns a love rectangle among 30-something Bostonians. My favorite line from that one: “Now you’re putting words in my mouth. What I actually said was appalling enough without you twisting it.” And this exchange: “Are you using my toothbrush?” “I don’t know. Is yours the red one?” “It’s the only one!”
After that I went to the Sunset Junction Street Fair (at the junction of Santa Monica & Sunset Boulevards). First we watched a band called the Suicide Girls, who surprised me by both not playing any instruments and by doing a series of striptease acts — my favorite of these being two girls doing an S&M reinterpretation of the ear-cutting-off scene from Reservoir Dogs set to “Stuck in the Middle With You.” Then came the aging punk rockers the New York Dolls. All I could think of was This is Spinal Tap. A lot of the crowd was older, and seemed to be wearing the same clothes they’d worn to concerts back in the early 80s. (And I don’t mean the same kinds of clothes. I mean like the same T-shirt.) One kinda young-looking girl was chatting us up. I asked her if she’d ever seen this band before. She said, “Never in concert, but I’ve listened to all their albums since I was seven.” I was like, “And … how long ago was that?” She laughed and said, “Like eights years ago.” It turned out she was there with her mom. After that we wandered up and down the street. I commented to my friend, “Man, I’ve never felt so normal before.” I’ve always maintained that a day would come when I would feel like part of the extreme counter-culture fringe by not having a tatoo, and that day has come. The people at this street fair looked like rejects from Mad Max (the ones who were rejected for looking too weird). I told my friend that I knew people like this in high school, but always imagined that they sort of grew out of it. He said, “Nah, they just all moved to L.A.”