In 2002, the USS Hyman G Rickover (SSN-709, Los Angeles Class Submarine) was in drydock in Portsmouth, Virginia. One night while I was on duty, I was sleeping aboard the neighboring barge resting for my upcoming morning watch. Notorious for my sleeping in and relieving my watch late, I was yanked out of my slumber by a bucket of water being splashed on my face. Undoubtedly startled, I awoke to the face of my normally chipper but currently scornful shipmate’s face, alerting me to my late start.
In my room there is no one standing by with a bucket of water—only electronic gadgets with the ability to blare on schedule. My body often forces me into deep sleeps where I am unable to regard the alarms. I’ve slept through earthquakes, parts of a hurricane, and torpedo tube testing. Tonight (or this morning, rather) I write because I’m too afraid to go to sleep for fear of missing my early morning call at work. Later tonight, I will join the cast and crew of Gentlemen Redux at school for opening night of our new show.
In my first semester at CSU Long Beach, I was fortunate enough to assistant direct for Lysa Fox with The Torment of Io, one of seven short plays that, together, comprised the mainstage production of Songs of the Siren: The Greeks Remixed. I was cast in another of the short plays, opposite Albert who wrote the movement piece I was the AD for. The week before we opened Songs we were given a directive to add a narrator character to usher in each of the plays, and I was given that opportunity to lasso each Greek piece of the evening. Now in my last semester at Long Beach State, I was brought on to assistant direct under John Farmanesh-Bocca with Two Gents, and a few weeks into the rehearsal process, was awarded the cameo role of Antonio, the father of Proteus, one of the Gentlemen.
Life moves in cycles and swells, and the reflection of my bookend semesters is a testimonial to that. As a Directing Major, I fully intended to direct and/or assistant direct throughout my time here. I did not foresee the amount of acting I would also be involved with in any degree. I love acting. I also love directing. I love the collaboration of theatre, and will always be grateful for the opportunities given to me here at LBSU. Obviously, I also enjoy writing, and over this last winter break (my LAST winter break of my undergraduate career) I realized that as much as I love the theatre, I absolutely love writing, and I don’t “need” the theatre to write. I took my first stab at dramatic writing this past week as part of an assignment for a Cinema and Theatre class. We were instructed to read a novel or short story from a select list and pull sections from whichever text we chose to adapt into a 5-6 page play scene. I opted for Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke and wrote my scene. The selfish process of taking Palahniuk’s words and combing, bending, and twisting of the arrangement to make it theatrical (versus filmic) was exhilarating.
I want to write more. I want to write original works. I want to adapt for the stage. I want to review shows. I need to put my pens to paper and my fingers to the keyboard and tell stories.
I need to tell stories.
Whether they are my own, fictitious, based on others, or however else the ideas may spark, I need to tell stories. Stories that people can learn from, stories that people can enjoy from all socio-economic classes, cultural backgrounds, childhoods, and adulthoods.
I need to sleep. When I don’t know, but I need to. With the opening of Gents, my schedule “opens up,” but that just means I’ll have time available to do the scores of things I haven’t been to in the last few weeks.
I fell asleep at the eWheel. This is going up as is. My body’s ready for rest and isn’t giving me much of a choice. Wish me luck.