Today was dry tech, when the director, designers, and crew sit down and basically map out what will happen with tech during tech (tech being the process when all the technical elements come together– light, sound, costumes, etc– and we slowly work through all of the moments when technical elements are used so that the show will flow smoothly) (how many times can I say tech) (tech tech tech tech).
Actors aren’t called for dry tech, so we got an extra day off. Last night, we all got plastered, ate burgers, and acted like loving, crazy fools. I have to tell you guys… I don’t know how I got so lucky with these people. Honestly. I feel more comfortable and engaged by these folks I’ve known for less than three weeks than some people I’ve known for months. I can’t explain it, and this kind of thing never happens, but there we are. We ladies spent a long time on the deck last night talking about my love life. Both of the other actresses in the show are happily married, and are 36 and 44 years old. They gave me advice on aaaalllll the assholes who have treated me like shit or led me on or confused me or have done any other things that are stupid and childish and they reassured me.
“Look into my eyes,” M told me many times last night. “You are special. I know you don’t believe that right now, but you are. These boys are babies. You are an old soul. You need a man.” M also brought up the girl who’d done all three readings previously for this role. We’ve talked about her as a group before, as she seems to be very nice and I’m still kind of shocked I booked the job over her, but M told me the nicest thing about it yet. Not only did the previous girl look and seem a bit too old, but “she’s really good and has a good career, but straight up, you blew her out of the water.” A very good thing about being the baby with a bunch of grown-ups who don’t have babies of their own except their careers is that you can be their baby project. And they are taking care of me in every way. I am loving every moment of care they give, every compliment, every advice session, every everything. I am so, so lucky.
Today, I woke up late, still full from last night’s late night snacking, but actually less hung over than I probably should have been. I showered, went downstairs, journaled, ate some breakfast, chatted with folks. We decided we wanted to do beach and a movie. Around 11/12, we headed out for the beach. I wore exercise shorts and a sheer tank over my bikini. I have to say, I did feel fat and bloated. I’ve been having problems with constipation and bloating (more so that usual lately), so of course I felt totally swollen and squishy and round. The night before we’d tried on our opening night dresses, and although I was thrilled to find that morning that I fit into the dress from high school that I brought, when I tried it on again, it wouldn’t zip over my boobs. I was so disappointed, and despite the other ladies’ help, we couldn’t get it. Really embarrassing. However, they made it so much better by pulling another dress from my dresser and saying, “what’s this?” It was my purple silk shirtdress, one of the few items of clothing I bought while shopping alone. i put it on, and they drooled. That’s gonna be the one.
So I sucked it up (literally and figuratively), and just said “fuck it.” At some point, that’s all I can do. That’s been a healthy thing for me to have to deal with so far in this summer adventure– time moves quickly, and I can’t always get myself perfect before the “deadline.” I have to find a way to be okay with how I am.
Immediately, I ran down to the water. M and T went for a walk together, L went off to run lines, and C sat down on one of our three beach chairs to read the Daily News. The water was coldish, but the air was warm enough (mid 70s), and somehow I didn’t even get a chill as I plowed in. The current was STRONG, and the waves were big. I got into a rhythm eventually of swimming for a few seconds, leaping to crest a wave as it came, and then digging my feet into the sand to keep myself from getting pulled. It was not a relaxing swim, per se, but tasting the saltwater in my mouth and feeling the eddy’s around my legs and arms felt like coming home. I was meant to be in the ocean. I was meant to be in water.
After a bit, I saw a neon green thing bobbing about 8 feet away from where I was swimming. At first I thought it was a snorkel, but it was being washed over. I swam towards it and found a huge fishing lure. I grabbed it and swam to shore. It’s now hanging in my room. It’s my first souvenir, and it feels like a special relic from the sea.
I spent the rest of the time sitting on a beach chair, feet buried in the sand, with a towel wrapped around my middle, reading. C sat reading too for a bit, then went for a walk. A joined me for some time, as did T. three chairs, and five people, but we figured it out. Suddenly, I heard A scream.”Dolphins!” I immediately thought she was making it up. There are no dolphins on the Jersey Shore. But as I followed her pointing finger, I saw a shiny, silver bullet curve out of the water, a fin slicing the air. There were dolphins. A and I ran down the beach, following the two or three dolphins as they skimmed the surface. Eventually we stopped, unable to keep up with their pace. Amazing.
We loaded back up and headed to the house for a lunch of leftovers– pasta salad, veggies and dip, a portabello from the grill last night, mozzarella and bread. We decided over the meal that we’d plan to shower, get ourselves together, throw some towels in the wash, and then head to the Monmouth Mall to see Prometheus at 5:15. i took a quick shower (though I do miss the salty taste my hair) and gathered my towels for the wash. Scrubbed clean and dressed, we headed to the movies.
Prometheus was fun. I sometimes like movies like that, and I particularly like them when I watch them with others. There was a pretty horrifying abortion/c-section/alien birth segment that made all three of us ladies cringe and squeal at each other. It was A LOT. After the movie, T went to the bookstore (he bought a graphic novel called Blanket that he’ll lend to me when he’s done), C went to buy a blazer from the Gap, and we ladies headed to Macy’s to find M some white thongs for under her white jeans (a costume piece). It was fun to wander the lingerie store with two older ladies.
We made a pitstop at ShopRite on the way home, and made a big salad, mozzarella, roasted chicken (eggs for me), and watermelon for a light dinner. M and I had gin and tonics. Now, they are running lines in M and T’s bedroom (did I mention they were married? and my favorites and exactly what I hope married life could be?), but I’m not. I mentioned today that sometimes for me, I have to really take my day off in order to come back to a rehearsal refreshed. If I pound it in too hard, I’ll just fuck up. And without even making a deal of it at all, they got to running lines and had someone read mine. “You take your day off, baby,” M said. What kind of kindness is that? To listen to someone say what they needed, to trust that that is what they needed, and then to honor it without question or judgment?How did I get so lucky?!
Tech starts tomorrow. Big, big week. Opening Thursday. I can’t wait. It’s coming.
Love from Dirty Jerz.