24 August 2007

My Much-Esteemed Friends


Hi guys. Thought for a day I would release the bizarre, quasi-instruction-video-for-non-actors tone this 'blog can often take, and just address the readers I know. You guys know about theatre, some more than others of course, but you all know at least what it's like to have an actor as a friend. So none of that this day. Just a moment or two to address the audience (as all of my favorite plays take some little time to do [see, still adhering to insane parentheses][okay: The Real Thing has no direct address, and is a favorite, but you can't deny it diddles with the fourth wall in a delightful way]) . . .

I began to utilize very early on in this 'blog some of the quirkier points of grammar I've learned from side-lining as a proofreader of academic texts. (Case [in {point: quirky} paren-] theticals.) Amongst these quirks, I incorporated the use of informal titles. Most often, this shows up in discussing friends. Friend Davey, or Friend Kelly. It could be used for anything that describes character identity, I suppose. Storyteller Davey, or Enthusiast Kelly. This comes from a rule of capitalization, specifically that you only capitalize a title in reference to a particular person, and then only when it's acting kind of like an adjective. (I'm so waiting for someone with a formal education in proofreading to comment on how backward I've got this.) So you write "George Bush is a bad president," and "I can't believe how incompetent President Bush is." Somehow the use of this title, this little adjustment, connotes respect.

I started it because I thought it was funny, while serving as explanation for the anonymous readers of the Aviary. I hate name-dropping, even that of less-than-world-renowned folk ("Oh, that reminds me of what Ted did yesterday!" "Who the hell is 'Ted'?" "Oh, you don't know Ted? Oh, you simply must know Ted! Why don't you know Ted?"), and using titles lends a old-world sense of irony to my prose, said prose being occasionally overwrought with perfect sincerity. Okay: Often. Okay: I hope my irony makes up for it.

ANYWAY, you lot, my friends (and you know who you are ... no need to incriminate anyone additional at this time...) are wonderful. Truly. I don't deserve you, but I try, and you see that, and that makes me feel even more grovel-ly. That is, when I take a moment like this one to receive that feeling. A lot of the time, most of the time, I keep myself so busy that I end up operating on assumptions about what you know about how I feel about you. Can't quite explain that. When I was about 11 or 12 (as you can attest, Davey) I was obsessed with serving my friends, defining myself by my relationship to them and how likely it was I might be able to throw myself in front of on-coming traffic to save them. High school into college was somewhat complicated by learning about more amorous love, but I was still obsessive about really listening and devoting my entire self when a friend (or, to be honest, a hopeful friend ... or acquaintance ... or total stranger...) was upset. We grow, priorities change; I accept that. Now, if you called at 3:00 AM because you were feeling insecure, you are a lot more likely to get my voicemail than me, awake by candlelight, trying to figure out how to end a tormented short story. We grow. I guess all it really comes down to is--

Why don't we see more of each other?

I know, I know: Virginia, California, even New Jersey. And I know: We're adults now. We have responsibilities, everything is tied into what we do, and there's not so much sitting around, marveling at the mystery of who we are. I get that. Still. I like you. You are rad, and I would like to see more of you.

I'm not laying blame at all here. If it came to that, I'd definitely end up holding the burning end of the punk. I'm terrible. I hate the phone, and am made anxious by so-called "free time." Most people fail to recognize me after a haircut, much less after a year apart, so I often let things slide content in the knowledge that everyone changes and grows apart. But the thing is, we haven't. Not really. Sure, there's been change. Mammoth change and minute. But I still count you my friend. And for just a moment (a 'blog entry, even; can there be anything less grand?) I'd like to acknowledge those amongst you whom I don't see enough of. In no particular order, and with the standard Oscar-speech caveat ("I really didn't expect this ... there are so many people to thank..."):

Nat - Your performance was fantastic, and I really wanted to go hang out for hours with you afterward. I wouldn't have even kicked you in the face this time, I think. We should work together again.

Kate - Through everything, you have always believed in me, which is more valuable to me than you may know. Thank you, not just for recent support on As Far As We Know, but for five years of belief.

Melissa - I loved watching Gull(ability). I love watching you taking your work and RUNNING with it. It inspires me. I only wish we still worked in the same office, or could run into each other at Java'n'Jazz.

Patrick - For the past six months I have gotten smarter and been more entertained by way of books from you, and I miss you, even though we'd have the same difficulties of scheduling even if you were in-state. I hope you're finding all you're looking for.

Walkinhomefromthethriftstore - It's become such a time-honored tradition to watch TV with you, I don't know if you know how great it still is for me to spend time with you. I'm glad you're close(er). I'm trying to take more advantage of that.

Harry - Thank you for being so open. I'm still sorry, and I hope we can talk about the whole thing soon.

Sarah - I miss you. Thank you so for the belated card and thinking you saw me in Spider-Man 3 (you didn't). Let's talk soon.

Mark - I think we're just going to have to accept that we have different goals when it comes to building a philosophy. What we never have to accept is our geographic distance making for more personal distance. I'm glad to banter over any medium, even if we never agree again.

Davey - You support me so much in my work, and you're not even here, so I never get to show you how much that means to me. You shall be rewarded with fart jokes!

Younce, Dave
- It never ceases to amaze me how much contact with you reminds me of the joy that comes of creating something, somehow even though I spend the majority of my time trying to do just that. I don't get enough of those reminders, but it's not for want of your trying. I just can't get enough.

Youmans, Dave - Your visit was the highlight of my summer, and I wish I could be there for you now. I'm on entirely the wrong kind of schedule to call you this week. Maybe I can make a theatre game out of it, and have all my students this week involved. You'll hear from me soon.

Grant & Val - I am going to visit just as soon as I can -- maybe on one of these upcoming Saturdays off!

There you have it; a great, big, steamy pile of gratitude. This is not a complete list. It's not nearly all the people I have to thank, and on a daily basis. There are still countless ex-cast-members, coworkers, teachers, students, role-players, relatives, etc. Let this stand in than, if your name happens not to appear above: Thank you.

Thank you.

2 comments:

Davey said...

First of all, I can feel it all the way in my sub-cockles. Thank you. Stupid work. Second, I like the imagery of hulding the burning end of a punk. Do we need to get a real punk, or could we just get one of the guys from Blink 182?

Nat said...

Aww, thanks, friend. That means a lot. The not-kicking comment, I mean. The rest is just fluff.

I'm glad I get to see AFAWK finally. And I'd love to pick your brain about our show before it recedes completely into the memorymiasma (coughpotsmokercough).

Oh, and that Marlowe/Caligula play I've been working on is almost done--there's a role in it you have to play.