I’ve always had this idea that I would keep track of and write down the books I’m reading and keep a kind of running commentary, and ok, this blog is mostly about my show, but I thought it would be nice once a week to just make a qick list of what I’ve read and am reading.
After all, one of the lines I repeat in my writing these days over and over, and a line that is slowly but surely working its way into the show, is that all I ever wanted to be in life was fictional. And I don’t have much time because any minute now I got to work on my paid job, but here’s what I’ve been reading this week.
Finished: The Unseen Academicals, a Discworld book by Terry Pratchett. Ridiculous good fun as he takes on football (soccer) houliganism. Review: I like the Orc.
In process: War and Peace. I have been reading War and Peace for YEARS. I have started it three times and am now sloooooowly getting through it. The problem is that the book is so heavy I never take it anywhere, so I only read it at home. And then I get swept up in nonsense, see above, and can’t make myself continue to slog through the battlefield scenes. What I have learned: don’t tie policemen to bears, Masons are freaky, and Russians drink a lot of tea.
Dipping into: The Ticklish Subject, by Slavoj Zizek. I FRICKING love Zizek and only understand the tiniest bit of it. If I had all the time in the world I would seriously retreat into a closet and do nothing but read philosophy and critical theory and write comedy (the two are fundamentally intertwined for me). “Žižek proposes that the cogito is an empty space, what is left when the rest of the world is expelled from itself.” I mean, if sentences like that don’t make you think “poop joke,” than I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Actually, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. If you know, answer below.
Just started: Wish I Could Be There, Notes from a Phobic Life, by Allen Shawn. So if you know me, you know I’m phobic as all hell, so I am ripping through this book right now. It is a memoir/scientific/psychological discussion of phobias and it makes me cry. Every day my life is shaped around that which I can and can’t do because of phobia. One of the reasons I love performing, I think, is that it is one thing I can do that liberates me from phobia: onstage I am fearless. I am afraid of SO MANY things, but I don’t have stage fright. Not that I don’t get nervous or excited, but not in a phobic way. So far the thing that struck me the most in the book is that Shawn says phobics are usually quite calm and functional in emergencies–because we’re used to fear, and to have an actual situation where the fear is rational is a fucking RELIEF: this, we think, I can do something about.
So that’s it. Show-wise I continue to slog through the rewrite of the last act which will result in subtle changes all the way through. The poster and postcard will be done soon and will appear here. I’m hoping to have more of Dave Cherry’s fliers as soon as he has settled into his new place, and Justin Hunter and I are going to film most of the promotional video this weekend. I’m also hoping to actually–gasp!–rehearse this weekend. Oh and I met with Sasha Cronin-Harris to discuss a set. We’re going to keep it VERY simple, but I think it will add something to the show. Also, I need to get a light designer on board and I will set that in motion today. En avant! SPOOOON!