Monday, March 24, 2008

We are reveling in having the house to ourselves; the whole house!! All roommates are gone, and we have gloriously spread out--art supplies, Sunday Times. We've been lounging around indulging ourselves with the simple pleasures of privacy and quiet--it doesn't take much more than that.

I have signed up for two challenges--one, a self-defense class that involves getting attacked by and having to beat up a guy in a fully padded suit. Women are encouraged to kick and strike as hard as they possibly can, to learn how that feels so they will have muscle memory to call upon should they ever be attacked. It's a group called IMPACT Bay Area which sponsors and teaches the classes, held in an undisclosed Oakland location.

I was attacked years ago and still wake up with screaming nightmares every once in a while. I'm hoping this will help lay some of those ghosts to rest, and more importantly, make me able to walk through the world--wherever in the world I want to walk--without fear. I hope there is travel in my future, to places like Mexico, maybe India, maybe back to Haiti, or Europe again. I want to be able to work in an orphanage and go to out of the way places and be able to take care of myself.

The other challenge is a conference of the Association for Jewish Theatre which will be held in Detroit at the end of May. Conferences can be bigger challenges for me than having to fight hand to hand. I get easily overwhelmed by logistics, airports, hotels, and lots of new people. I'm not shy exactly, just easily overwhelmed. At heart I'd rather stay home cuddling on the couch with C and watching videos, but that's not the road for optimum growth. I think it will be challenging and incredibly educational to learn about Jewish Theatre, both in the past and now, and of course I'll be able to network my play.

I'm trying to push myself to do one scary thing a month. In April, the self-defense class, in May the conference, and in June I think I'll get up on a bicycle again, maybe a tandem. Approaching fifty, I've got to keep stepping outside my comfort zone, just as a matter of principle. When I was young I used to do crazy scary things like hitch-hike across Canada, but I was afraid to take small sober steps towards developing a life for myself. It was more like I would throw myself off of cliffs in an effort not to be stuck. I survived each time, and got some great stories out of it, but I was still basically stuck. Now I'm looking for challenges that make more sense, that build upon themselves, and open up and flower into big projects.

On the work front, I completed revisions to the essay I intend for Modern love and sent it off--I hope not prematurely. And I spent the weekend making revisions to the Hot Tub play and sent them to Tim and am waiting to hear from him. If he okays them, then I will do one more comb-through, print it out, and send it to twenty different theatres--that's what I did a few years ago with Kaddish. And then wait. that's the rhythm--work, send out, wait to hear back. Turn attention to a new project, work, send out, wait to hear back. Repeat as before.


goatman said...

In looking over old Suns to give to my brother, I came across "Drama Queen" and had to reread it (which is why I try to keep my old Suns--I forget and have to reread the stories and poems now and again.) How did your play "Saying Kaddish with My Sister" play out?
I wish that we lived nearer to civilization and could see that play; but we can get the Times!

I have a challenging activity for you to consider: walk as far north on the beach, north of GG, until you can safely walk no further. Take a picture.

Alison said...

Saying Kaddish with My Sister was produced this past January by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre of West Bloomfield, Michigan. It was an excellent production--top-notch actors, wonderful director. The critics were mixed, but the audiences seemed to really like it. I am shopping it around to more theatres now. Thanks for asking.