The theatre I'm performing in is small, seventy seats, (The Hyde Park Theatre) but, it is a well known theatre thats been around a long time. I went down Friday and met the artistic director, Ken Webster, and we had a great visit and had lots in common. Unlike San Francisco, the theatre personal here are mature and savvy, with a fully equipped theatre, which is ready to go. Although there is another show running simultaneously with mine, the space can be cleared in five minutes to put my show up. Since I left my furniture pieces in San Francisco, (thought I'd be going back down) I have to search for a chair, two tables, and two stools. As always, I scan the streets looking for Thrift Stores and used furniture stores, to get what I need. The only immediate glitch (besides finding a place to live) is getting a new radiator, as my deer smashed front end is finally showing its damage. It started out with a little hole which has grown larger with the long thousand mile trip to get here. So here it is, once again, with a few bucks in my pocket and a show, the 'life' I've pretty much always lived, so I don't feel the desperation, one gets used to getting out of jams.
Marie, (my producer in LA) has let me know there are two producers coming opening night, so the pressure is already on. I've yet to go through the script again, will start that tomorrow, with an opening a week from Tuesday. Although my performance nights are a little strange, (Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday), it will leave the weekends open to look for work as a honky tonk singer, although I've heard they don't pay much in Austin. If I can find a gig in a restaurant, however, I can do pretty well with tips. (Thank you Hell's Backbone Grill and Blake!) Its always a little daunting to go out and hustle that kind of work, when in Austin, if you 'throw a brick you hit a musician'. Even though there are about six hundred venues, the competition is fierce. I'll just have to compete. Rustin Reber is coming down in a week, (the technical director for my show) and also one hell of a guitar player, we'll join forces and see what we can come up with. Like so many of my endeavors, its the idealism that gets me here, its the reality that I have to contend with--maybe I live in an alternate universe. Combining the two is the key, I suppose, keeping the hope alive with one foot on the ground, sometimes, however, the ground seems a little rocky and with such a slope!
Friday, I went to see my friends, Lucy and Donnie. They live in the beautiful hill country of West Austin. Lucy has agreed to be my house manager for my shows, and she is a great hostess. They live in high up on a hill, in a beautiful home. If I can't find a place of my own in the next couple of days, they have agreed to let me stay there for a few days. Lucy used to live in Phoenix, and I did lots of theatre with her, from Terry Earp's 'Skimpies', to the 'Man With the Lady Like Hands'. I saw her act in a production of Genet's 'The Maids' in Phoenix for I theatre, which still stands out as one of my favorite Phoenix productions. Lucy came into my acting class in 1998, and until both her and I moved away, she had been in many shows that I either directed or acted in. She did 'Mamah', another one of my favorites, which was the story of Frank Lloyd Wright's second wife who was murdered along with her children by their gardner. It was a grand production, (written by Nick Newberry, a great friend and architect), it taught me a lot about architecture, which I still keep with me to this day.
Well, its time to fill up my radiator and look at some places I found on Craigslist. I'll let you know how it goes, as its time to start the process of blogging my adventures. Once again, the odds seem a little impossible today, but then that seems pretty normal for me. I'm feeling pretty 'bohemian' right now, but the day is full of possibilities and surprises... talk to you soon.