I'm blogging to let those who could not make it to my production on the 8th know how everything turned out and for those who were there and just wanted some behind the scenes information.
I was thrilled with the turnout. I ran off 75 copies of the program and all but one was taken--and I know some people shared programs. There had to have been over 75 people in the audience. I knew nearly everyone there with the exception of ten or fifteen audience members.
It was old ghost night for me. One of my dearest friends, Daniel, showed for the play. It had been nearly four years since I had seen him. He, our friend Hillary, and I had such a potent connection and it was still there between he and I. I felt it when he entered the space--like sunshine on my face--like we had never been apart. Having him there really calmed me because I seriously thought I was going to go mad. I was unhappy with the lack of rehearsal time spent on the play and felt nowhere near prepared to do the production that night. Daniel eased my nerves with his smile and his positivity. I'm happy to have been reunited with him ... like Peaches and Herb.
My new friend Debra brought Phillip, one of the first actors I ever worked with after I moved to Knoxville 12 years ago. I have such fond memories of him and his wife, Ashley, who died several years ago. It was good to see him thriving and happy. I learned so many life lessons from he and Ashley while I worked at Oak Ridge Playhouse. Phillip is good people.
I have a poem in my show about being tested for ADD and dyslexia four years ago--I tested positive for both learning disabilities-- and about the clinician who did the testing. I had hung fliers up around campus as did the wonderful women with WCC and I guess he saw one, because he came to the play. I think his response was the one that will stick with me. He was so flattered and in awe and happy for me that he hugged me four times in a row. This clinician and I learned much from each other during our 20 hours of testing together. I cannot begin to go into what I took from him but he restored my faith in a system of treatment for survivors of violence that I had given up on due to having a really bad therapist who tried to convince me I was a lesbian though I knew I was not (get one little crush on a woman and your suddenly Rosie O'Donnell--not that there is anything wrong with that). The clinician told me he took more from me during that experience than I could know and he learned about the tenacity of the human spirit to recover what was lost and move forward. His being there was a gift to me from the universe.
People seemed to like the play though I was very unsatisfied with about half of my performance. I would say that the good part was okay at best. The problem is if I don't remember my lines the play loses much of its spirit and it changes into something it was not intended to be. Personally, I feel too old to do this play anymore. This is the story of my twenty-year old self and now that I am knocking on forty's door, I don't feel like that girl anymore. In fact, over the last year, I have begun to feel more like a woman rather than a girl. I think this may be my last time doing the show playing myself. This being said, my friend Michael Arve is directing the play in Rochester NY in the Fall with a beautiful Dominican actress named Stephanie playing me. I am so thrilled to see my story come out of another person. I have e-mailed and text messaged her a couple of times and I am confident she grasps the play in a way that is my vision but also uniquely her own, which was everything I dreamed of when I put the play out in the universe. Stephanie and I both feel the play will be in October. I think we are right and I can not wait to meet her face to face and see my words become her story too.
Bill Larsen introduced me and, of course, made me laugh and cry. Here's the deal with Bill: he is such an interesting egg because I never quiet know where I stand with him. Sometimes I think we are friends, sometimes I get the impression that he wants to kill me, and sometimes I think he thinks I may have hung the moon--and each time I see him it's always a surprise as to how he will behave around me. Being around Bill is an adventure and I admire him. The sweetest section of his introduction was when he mentioned I was on the job market and I might be leaving Knoxville and me leaving this area would be a very sad day for Knoxville's writing community. And he called me brilliant (which made me happy) then teased me about how micro-managing I can be. It was nice and exactly what I hoped it would be. Yay Bill. He is slowly becoming one of my ten most teasured people and I think I might do just about anything he'd ask me.
I was afraid I would be a mess because my two security blankets could not be there. Grant had to work and Marilyn was celebrating the first night of Passover. I was proud that I could do the show on my own without them ... I feel I depend so heavily on them. I knew they were there with me in spirit and I left the experience feeling a bit more independent, which would thrill both of them I think. I feel so loved by them even when they are not around.
The Q and A session was weird due to some of the questions I was asked and the fact that by this point in the evening I'm not even sure I was really there--I was so emotionally vulnerable and physically drained. My two favorite questions where, what is my relationship with God (Really?) and if I were not related to my mother would I want to be her friend? Both questions took me aback. Because I'm Pagan the answer to the God question made me sound like I worship fairies--which is what I think most people think about me anyway. Yes, I love who my mother is right now and would definitely be her friend. I also came the closest I have ever come to crying during a performance of my play while I answered one of the questions. I regained control and was proud I was able to maintain that control. I'm so much closer to where I want to be.
So, that is all I'm typing for now. I need to go do Goddard stuff. I fear I might need to take another semester. If anyone wants to know anything specific about the show, just ask and I will try to answer. Much love to those who came. I appreciate your support.
Causes Kali Meister Supports
Sexual Assault Crisis Centers, Amnesty International, West Memphis 3, Doctors Without Borders, GLTB Activism