Don't Change that Channel!
TodaY's DaY: Today I decided to come back on and update this blog. I admit I have been lazy but with good reason. I'm on vacation. Granted I'm at my day job right now, suffering like a slave at the hands of the yuppies but since I finished the first season of LLEGAMOS, I no longer have to stay up half the night writing. So just working during the day is a vacation.
Also lots of exciting, semi-exciting, and utterly mundane things have happened in the past month that I felt best be described in a summarized fashion instead of giving you every last detail of my existence leaving nothing to the imagination.
I came on and noticed 38 hits on this blog. Subtract myself and I got 28 hits on this blog, 20 of which is probably my girlfriend, HI BABY! That leaves 8 people or 1 person who looked 8 times. In any case I find the prospect of strange human beings from far away lands enjoying my writing to be orgasmic.
LLEGAMOS - Episode Wrap After 12 weeks of craziness I can't believe it's over, its finally over. I loved working on the show but damn did I need a break. The last show called for 3 new skits, 1 filmed and 2 live. Well it seems that my colleagues have enjoyed my work and so I was commissioned to write all 3. This being the last show I felt some pressure, giving them something that would top every other sketch of the season and take us out with a big bang was quite a challenge. Thank goodness I wrote a sketch weeks ago on a whim while watching TV. I was inspired by a show called, "Pimp my Ride", on TLC or Discovery or one of those educational/reality networks. So I wrote a sketch called, "Pimpea Mi Coche". A more hoodlum point of view as to how they would hook up a stolen car.
Pimpin Through the Nite This shoot called for us to rent out a car garage in the Bronx which was very appropriate. We all got a jumpsuit with our respective character names on them and immediately I felt the atmosphere of the sketch come alive. It was a night shoot so we began in the early evening with our producer warning us that we refrain from dilly-dallying or we would be stuck filming all night. "I don't want to be here till 3am, you all got that!", he demanded with all of us agreeing.
2:45am rolls around and we only have one shot left. Unfortunately they saved the hardest for last. Not a moment to soon either because one by one our lights began to pop and die. The garage was already freezing from lack of a heater but this last shot had to be done outside. The script called for the two main hoodlums to walk down the block while introducing the show. We stood outside shivering while production readied it's equipment. The two of us, wearing only these light jumpsuits would uncontrollably shiver until action was called, then we would walk and talk as naturally as we possibly could. The director would yell "CUT!", and again the shivering would return as if some magic spell came over us. We finished at 3:15am.
MY LAST LEG Tuesday night of the 16th of November 2004 was the season finale of LLEGAMOS. I was excited, anxious, and nervous all at the same time. Standing there, looking at the crew setting up I was trying to reassure myself of the skit I had envisioned on the stage. Was it really a good idea or was this last idea fueled by a desperate and sleep deprived mind? It was a simple pantomime, a day dream I had.
The sketch told the story of a wondering bum arriving at a bench in which he transforms into his sleeping quarters for the night. As he collects his blankets or news papers a young couple strolls lovingly into the scene. They seem to have a special bond with the old bench and decide to sit and reminisce. The rest of the piece consists of the battle that ensues between the couple and the bum over the bench, a fight, a wedding proposal, and an embarrassing conclusion all tied to a heartfelt song. The themes I tried to hit are love and social satire. That no matter where you are on the social ladder we are all still equally human beings. All the bum wants to do is go to sleep which ironically paralleled my own wishes. Art imitating life.
Back in the dimly lit comedy club, I still stood day dreaming of the outcomes of failure. I had little confidence because we had barely rehearsed a sketch that required timing movements to music in order to finish in synch with the song.
Time seemed to melt away and show time was approaching. Sitting in the make-up chair the artist working on me commented, "You are looking paler than usual, we are going to have to cover up those black circles under your eyes." After he caked a bunch of make-up on me I looked in the mirror and stared at person I have never seen before. The make-up just made me look dead. I was supposed to be a news anchor.....oh well I guess that makes sense.
As the audience was ushered in I paced back and forth vigorously going over my script. For the life of me I could not remember my character's name, you would think the fact that I penned it myself would help but it was as if someone else wrote it and with ill intent toward me. I was past the point of delirium and didn't know how much longer I could keep it together before I tore off all my clothes and began making animal mating calls. "This is the last show, one more and it's over", I kept telling myself. Nervous as I was I didn't notice that the room had filled to audience capacity and their was standing room only.
THE HOUR OF PERFORMANCE Some how, some way I ended up placed on stage sitting at a desk with my back to the audience. I was waiting for my cue. I started to sweat and wanted to cough. "Just anxiety." I thought, and at this point I conjured every last ounce of energy I had left in my body and turned the comedy switch to ON. There is my cue.
That was the last thing I remember, I let my mouth do all the work while my mind was lost. I remember laughter, loud laughter and then it was over. I had gotten through it without a hitch and had no clue how.
I went upstairs to smoke a quick cigarette before going back to wardrobe to change out of a nice suit into a worn out bum get up. I thought for a brief moment that this may be a metaphor for how I may end up in my career. Leave it to me to think in such extremes. Everything and everyone was in place, the lights were dark and the music began. Oh this sweet- sweet music threw me into a dream, the dream. My energy and nerves were irrelevant now. All I could think of was nothing. I was blank. I was the song. The lights came up and I was pulled by some invisible force through the sketch. The notes of the music carried me as the melody called to me. Again I remember the laughter and I also recall what seemed like every member of the audience breathe in deeply in reaction to the story. They were taken, the music was affecting and filling up the entire room with the telling of the story. It was working. The last most important moment was met with perfect timing and the people got it. The lights dimmed down to applauds.
A big whiff of relief circulated throughout my being and I realized I had just crossed a personal cross roads. My little day dream had translated into the real world and briefly it had lived on it's own. I thanked the theatre Gods and was reminded of a personal quote that keeps me strong, "As long as I have my dreams, I shall never fall asleep"......Then I collapsed.
QUICK SUM Oh yea, ThanksGiving dinner was great, I saw my lil brother, and I got into a big fight with my girlfriend because I have personal relationship issues stemming from a turbulent past.
Until the next moment.......Stay awake!