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Monday, 20 October
Let Us Now Mourn Ape

As I've mentioned, I've been awfully busy lately rehearsing for the new show I'm working on that'll be going up in November. In the interest of demystifying things, I should report that our rehearsal location isn't actually a theater at all: it is, in fact, a decommissioned naval base. This isn't really too odd, really: most of the time, you're very lucky if you can rehearse in the actual space that the show is going to be performed (unless you're working at some large house with their own black box spaces to use): most of the time, you can't, because maybe there's another show going on at the same time, or they're using the space to display Eric Bogosian's amazing bra collection, or they're burning heretics, or whatever.

Anyway. The naval base is of course horrid--not in a "I'm going to die here" way, but more of a familiar "I'm going to get a respiratory infection here" way, which any actor is accustomed to--but it's a homey kind of horrid. For instance, the floor generates this amazing kind of nanodust that has a propensity for massing in the folds of your jeans and also under your fingernails, so that when you get home, you kind of want to energetically body-fuck a loofah. You just feel grimy.

And lending to the whole experience is the incredible plumbing of the place: today we all stared dangle-jawed as our rather large Brita filter utterly failed to transform the alarmingly yellow pipe-water into something slightly less piss-looking; long faces were to be seen drinking dismal, metallic tea. The whole affair seemed to darkly involve black magic somehow; I personally suspected the shade of Mordred, skulking around beyond our vision, surreptitiously and invisibly yanking out his sad, weathered penis and invisibly polluting our water.

I may be losing it.

And I hasten to say that I do not blame our good director for any of this--for one thing, I happen to know that she is one of my tens of readers, so let me just reiterate that I think she's just really corking--because it's not her fault. You rehearse where you can, and it's a considerable expense; plus, Equity (that is, the actors' labor union under whose rules she has chosen to operate) demands certain things, and she is doing her level best to comply.

Hilariously (to me), one of those things is a kind of provision for what amounts to a fainting couch; that is, Equity demands that a bed of sorts be provided should any actor suddenly be overcome by an attack of the vapors, or perhaps a sudden vast queasiness over one's life decisions, or what have you: at any rate, she is required to provide a reasonably clean place for some suddenly incapacitated actor to flop out. And she has.

In the back of the Room of the Navally Damned, there is a gigantic inflatable mattress for any of us to utilize should we all of a sudden succumb to the rigors of standing around and pretending to be other people: it is violently purple. I have come to love it. It is the most amazing color of purple; it actually looks like a giant Nexium lozenge when viewed at a certain angle. I stare at it a lot, because, well, I'm easily entertained.

My most recent fantasy about the enormous purple fainting pad is that it is, in reality, the funeral bier for Grape Ape. In the last week, I have imagined the sad death of Grape Ape many times.

I have thought about the actual text for the eulogy of Grape Ape.

Yes. I'm losing it.


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Comments

Now, now. You're not losing it. As long as you can turn a phrase like "energetically body-fuck a loofah", you've still got it.

And I'm pretty sure you can get an innoculation for it.

Comment number: 003770   Posted by: TheBrad on October 20, 2003 07:58 AM from IP: 216.114.64.26

Having done a fair piece of professional acting myself, I know exactly what you are talking about with the fainting couch.

I personally love the idea of actors suddenly dropping where they stand from the sheer exhaustion of remembering what their name is supposed to be....

Comment number: 003771   Posted by: KOTWF on October 20, 2003 08:37 AM from IP: 65.194.133.215

Yes, it's true, I am one of Skot's readers; I am a huge fan of not only his acting, but also his writing. So, I apologize if he's been censoring any of his posts having to do with the play or rehearsals or the director because of me. There is much to be satirized, made fun of and generally derided. As always, he's hilariously on target about the alarming color of the post-filtered drinking water and the disturbingly purple air mattress. I have to admit I'm surprised he hasn't yet made personal use of it (it's not reserved solely for the use of Equity actors). Inevitably, in some way that is inexplicably beyond my control, Skot ends up sitting around rehearsals for large stretches of time, waiting for us to get to his scenes. Perhaps I will bring a sleeping bag and track down some mosquito netting to protect him from the grime so he can make more productive use of the time napping. I know I would if I could...

Comment number: 003772   Posted by: the director on October 20, 2003 10:18 AM from IP: 63.187.241.209

Oh for pete's sake! With a lead in like that, no euolgy?

Kick down with the solemn remembrances!

Comment number: 003773   Posted by: mike whybark on October 20, 2003 10:48 AM from IP: 216.173.212.237

Yeah, where's the actual eulogy? I'm thinking that if Grape Ape isn't dead, his career is, at a bare minimum.

Comment number: 003774   Posted by: DaveP on October 20, 2003 04:36 PM from IP: 208.210.148.236

ok, so, first of all, who is grape ape, and, second of all, i expect a eulogy tomorrow.

Comment number: 003775   Posted by: candice on October 20, 2003 05:31 PM from IP: 199.106.86.2

Personally, I'm saddened beyond measure to hear of Grape Ape's passing. I would ask what his final words were, but I'm pretty sure I know.

Comment number: 003776   Posted by: Mixmaster Mikey on October 20, 2003 09:10 PM from IP: 68.52.13.98

What is it? What is the source of the dust? Or is that too scary to think about?

Dang it--now I'm craving grape juice.

Comment number: 003777   Posted by: Miel on October 20, 2003 10:53 PM from IP: 68.160.135.102

Say it with me:

eulogy! eulogy! EULOGY!!! EULOGY!!!
EULOGY!!!
EULOGY!!!

Comment number: 003778   Posted by: gribble on October 21, 2003 04:19 PM from IP: 208.244.233.9

alas, poor Ape, we knew him, Horatio?

Comment number: 003779   Posted by: Forge on October 23, 2003 05:24 AM from IP: 203.115.30.143

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