3:02 pm - Sun 2/02/03
Two recent dreams:
1. I'm sitting on the top tier of a large set of bleachers, in a crowd, watching a parade on the street below.
The "parade" is a motley group of what look to be former circus performers, or maybe dancers, men & women dressed in colorful costumes. Everyone's very old, and with the exception of one guy who's dancing around comically--and who's actually pretty good--no one's really doing anything (Some are waving from cars, while others are just walking along).
The people in the stands start laughing and hooting at the "parade"--And as parades go, it is pretty lame--when the guy who'd been dancing a moment before approaches the bleachers. Suddenly, he looks much more vital than he had a moment before, a good looking old guy who was probably something to see in his day.
He reprimands us for making fun, suggesting that we're just jealous of them. He says "I know there's someone here who wants to come with us...".
Suddenly Mrs Pupo is next to me, on my right. She motions to her son John, on my left, and he pushes me forward from behind; I'm still on the very top tier of the bleachers, but now I'm standing, and apart from the crowd.
The guy then looks up at me, and in a very quiet voice, I say "I can dance". Then I look down, and I'm barefoot.
I make some gesture indicating that I have to get my shoes...Then I wake up.
2) I'm lost, and somehow I keep wandering into people's houses. They're labyrinths, with a million interconnected rooms. I can't find my way out, and I'm panicking, thinking that someone's going to catch me in their house and think I'm a burglar. But I keep managing to exit by a different door each time someone starts to enter a room I'm in.
Then I'm in what seems to be some kind of lodge, in a back storage area (I see a walk-in freezer at one point). I hear someone approaching, but this time, I can't find a way out, so I hide behind some boxes as a big guy in a red flannel shirt comes in. He has dark hair, with a beard and moustache, and a smaller, clean-shaven guy follows behind him.
The big guy gets something, but then he sees a slight bit of movement from where I'm hiding. I'm afraid he's going to kill me if he finds me there, but decide it's probably better to announce myself than have him find me, so I say "Excuse me...", and quickly explain my situation.
The big guy laughs, and says "You don't look too scary...". Then instead of showing me out, he says "You go that way, then take a left, then take another left". Then he goes out the way he came, with "Clean-Shaven Guy" following behind.
I try to follow his directions, but as I wake up, I'm still struggling to find my way out.
Had Missing Breath rehearsal earlier today.
As I pulled up to the curb to park my car, I heard a crunch. And that didn't seem like a good thing; I don't typically associate the smooth operation of my motor vehicle with "crunchy" sounds.
I thought maybe I'd scraped against the curb somehow, but when I got out to "assess the damage", I saw that I'd run over a Snapple bottle; There was glass all around, and directly under, my right rear tire.
That didn't seem good...
I cleared away what I could, hoping the damage hadn't already been done. Then, since there didn't seem to be much else to do--It wasn't like the tire was deflating in front of me or anything--I walked to Manzanita Hall, where the rehearsal was being held.
I ran into Leor, the director, on the way in.
He asked me how things were going, and I told him about running over the bottle (He was surprised that I've never changed a tire before. But I didn't learn to drive till I was 27, and in the intervening years have been a pedestrian more often than not. And I guess I've just been lucky).
Then I asked whether he minded if I "tweaked" my lines a little.
I knew it was a little dicey to be asking, but they were pretty minor changes (It wasn't like I was saying "This whole scene needs re-writing...!"), and I genuinely thought it would improve things. And if it were my school project, I'd at least be up for hearing suggestions.
And he was. He seemed to be, anyway. But then when we got inside, and I was reaching for a donut, he joked "Those are for actors who don't change their lines...".
But pointed jokes aside, he did ask what I wanted to change. I told him, and after we rehearsed the scene a couple times, he came over and said the changes did sound better.
And that was the extent of my "fixing" things; I felt the urge to comment on the direction of the scene at one point--I felt like my scene partner was really dragging things --but decided I'd probably said enough for one day; I felt somewhat entitled to make suggestions regarding my own character, but I think to go beyond that would definitely have been out-of-bounds.
All things considered, it was pretty fun. Free food--A donut, oj, and a bottled water--the chance to do a little acting (And a little cathartic yelling), then home again, without a lot of muss or fuss (Leor was pretty happy with how things had gone, and other than the aforementioned "dragginess", I was too).
The plan is to shoot the scene next week, though I'm wondering if that's gonna happen, because as of today, they still haven't set up a convenience store location. But that falls under the heading of "not my problem".
Frankly, I was kind of surprised that I didn't obsess all through rehearsal over the possibility of coming out afterwards and seeing my car with a flat tire. But I guess I was feeling like "If that's the case, I'll just have to deal somehow", an attitude I really need to be adopting more often out here.
When I came out, the tire still looked okay. I pulled ahead a little bit, then cleared away all the glass I could see. And I got home all right (When I checked the car mid-afternoon, the tire seemed to be good, though I'm still paranoid there's going to be a flat awaiting me tomorrow morning. But it won't be the end of the world if there is; I'm about a block away from a tire place).
Speaking of tires, my rear bike tire is now fixed. And I think when the need arises, I'll be able to do it myself next time (And that's a very good thing; There's no good reason for me to have to take my bike to the shop to fix a flat tire. I can't afford to be so helpless).
The tire was holding air long enough to get me most of the way to work before I had to pump it up again, so I was thinking I'd just deal with it, then ask around to have someone show me how to fix it sometime.
But when I asked Joe R., he said he knew how to do it and asked if I had a tire repair kit with me (When I told him I didn't, he went out and bought one for me). Then during my dinner break, we fixed the tire (With a very able assist from Tim G., who'd wandered into the back room, curious, after seeing me take a basin of water back there).
It's not a very hard procedure, it turns out, at least not if you have the right tools; Our two biggest issues (Getting the wheel off the bike initially, then keeping a bead on where the leak was located) would not have been issues at all if we'd had 1)An adjustable wrench, because the pair of pliers I had in my bag weren't cutting it, and 2)A grease pencil, to mark where the leak was coming from once we found it (That's what the water was for, by the way; You submerge the inner tube, see where the bubbles are coming from, and there's your leak).
The whole experience felt good. It reminded me that I work with some very nice people at the bookstore, it saved me time and money spent at the bike shop, and I felt like I learned something helpful.
And it made me realize something; I often don't know how to do things, and don't learn, because there's no one to show me. I'm not "anti" learning how to fix my bike, or change a tire on my car, or what-have-you, but I'm afraid to do it by myself, afraid I'll end up pinned under my car, or with a bike in pieces that I can't put back together again, or making food that'll just end up in the garbage. I'm afraid I'll get so frustrated I'll end up hitting myself--I do that sometimes--or breaking whatever it is that I'm wanting to fix (I've done that too).
I think it's very interesting that there seems to be this whole huge realm of "practical knowledge" that I seem to be genuinely afraid of, that I somehow think is beyond my capabilities.
I think it's interesting too that I seem to be afraid of learning how to do things from books, or from people's descriptions, or think that I can't for some reason.
And that's a problem.
I want hands-on training in life that I never got, and am never going to get. And I imagine most people don't get that, so I don't know why I think I'm some special case. I'm not stupid, and I'm actually pretty good in the reading department.
Jane wants me to learn to cook, but she can't come to LA and show me how to do what she does. Cary doesn't have the time to come over and show me how to do my finances.
Nobody has the time to come over and put my hands on whatever-it-is and show me how to do it. People are too busy actually being adults to be my teachers at "Adult School".
It's been more than clear that I have a lot of people who are willing to help me out here. And I'm tremendously grateful. But it's also become clear that I need to get a hell of a lot better about helping myself. I have to get over my fear of failure, of frustration, my fear of messing up, of being stupid, and just try.
Well, I'm in "There's much to more to say" mode, but we'll give it a rest for now...
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