Assignment for class. Principles of Performance. Several years ago. “Last ten years.” Three word sentences.
Decided to publish. (Second time around.) Hope you enjoy.
September the 11th. Moment of silence. Tim walks out. “It’s not fair. Terror is everywhere. Now the US. What’s the difference?”
Americans in Belgium. Wars are starting. Who’s to blame?
Drama at School. Play: No Exit. Crush is Estelle. Liked her once. (“Stop watching me!”) Sentenced to Hell. I’m the Devil. Revenge is sweet.
School Trip: Greece. In a mood. Like the scenery. Not my classmates. Friends not here. All in Tenerife. (Alternate school trip). First time drinking. Make-up, strip-tease, camera. Pictures at school. Teachers all smiling. “That’s not me! Don’t need alcohol!”
Prom after graduation. Then left Belgium. Scant hours later.
Got into University. Sarah Lawrence College. Co-ed since ’68. Still mostly girls. “We black-clad lesbians!” 40,000 a year. Need Financial Aid. Stupid Belgian Taxes! Too late applying. “My parents’ fault!”
Summer in Montreat. Family friends come. Bring their daughter. She likes me. Our parents approve. My first kiss. It’s wonderful, but… It’s all wrong. “She’s too young!” My mother: “And?” “She lives abroad. Paris is far. Won’t work out.” Her heart breaks. Mine does, too.
Minding the Gap-year. Getting a job. Cleaning hotel rooms. Then the Carmike. (A movie theatre.) Only till Christmas. My parents return. I’m for Houston.
Living with Vandi. My big sister. And her son. Craig is twelve. Also, her husband. (Not Craig’s dad.) I’m making bagels. Waking at four. Not having fun. Not saving money. Houston’s a bust. Left after March. Back to Brussels!
Via New York. Visiting Sarah Lawrence. “You’ll get money. You’re already in!”
Months in Brussels. Then back again. Summer in Montreat. No cleaning rooms. (Not Christian enough.) Back to Carmike. Waiting for money.
College won’t pay. Parents “too rich”. But… Belgian taxes?!? “Standard of living”. Fuck Sarah Lawrence! Bitches not worthy! Made Daddy-ji cry.
Went to UNCA. (Deferred acceptance there. Thank the heavens!)
Lauren likes me. John likes her. Sara likes girls. But also me? Orientation is bizarre.
Classes are easy. Also, Ballroom dancing. Dancing at Work. (The Waltzing Belgian!) Going to compete? Audition for theatre. “The Frankenstein Project”. Playing God “Eshu”. Need Thursdays off. For dancing, right? Doesn’t work out. Gave up dancing. Better on stage.
Working all summer. (Also taking classes.) Met Tadd working. I like fairies. Taught me astrology. Other stuff, too. Not saying more.
Car breaks down. I’m walking again. Five miles plus. Gotta make money.
Sophomore year starts. My siren appears. My delicate Ariel. She’s team Jacob. We were roommates. Sophomore slum hits. Then Hurricane Frances. Flood becomes drought. Water is infected. Classes are cancelled. Most students leave. Next week: Ivan. The Hurricane Hits. I’m still working. Trudging through rain. Still suffering terribly. Still punishing myself.
She’s so friendly. “Let’s be friends. Watch a play.” Jacob dumped her. Still doesn’t bite. Still sings, though. Wants me swimming. “Let’s be friends.” “I want you.” Not single now. “Still good friends?”
Vetoed this semester.
Montford Park Players. Conspiracy to recruit. (Ariel and Erinn.) Comedy of Errors. First Romantic Lead. Also, Henry V. Falling for someone… Nope, not interested. Then Sonia arrives.
She’s too young. “NC is weird. Laws are different.” (That’s a lie.) Her parents approved. Still awkward, though. High school girls. Not graduating, either. Are you serious? Not going anywhere. Stopping this now.
No other prospects.
Play for KCACTF. Had a reading. Very last minute. During Exam Week. Reviews were mixed. Advisor hated it. (Didn’t read it? Could’ve prevented this!) Didn’t go anywhere.
Fragments of Sappho. Senior Project Play. An unparalleled disaster. “More girls,” they. But those girls? Not at auditions. Not finding them. People drop out. “April the 20th? Gotta get high. So terribly sorry!”
So what now? Got my degree. Couple of plays. Summer of Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet. Henry the Sixth. Cyrano de Bergerac. (That’s honorary Shakespeare) And Much Ado. All Bad Guys. Guess that’s me. Roped into “Romance”. (David Mamet play. 2nd favorite part!) Staying till Christmas. Then Brussels bound. “Need Christmas Carol! Know any Directors?” “Got a degree.” “You want it?” “I write, too.” Loved my proposal. Conflicted with “Romance”. “Not this year.”
Back to Brussels. And Ericka returned. Winter Solstice, Kaiserslautern. She’s a lesbian? I’m oddly proud. “Still want you.” “Not right now”. (Who said which?)
A year, writing. Vyxen in Faeryland. Siren and Banshee. Couple Short Stories. Learned Spanish, pequeno. And some plays.
Christmas Carol 2008? “You haven’t directed?” “I have, some.” “Nothing full-length, though?” “Not as such.” Nothing to show.
Returned October 2008. Looking for jobs. “Haven’t been working?” “Been in Brussels. Wrote all year.” “Don’t need slackers.” Hired at Target. Ringing up products.
Cast in shows. Oedipus for Kids. Into the Woods. Amateur Film Project. (Featured my ex. Much older Sonia.) And Titus Andronicus.
Only scheduled evenings. Schedule conflicts suck. Not leaving shows. Cut back working. Still too stressful. Made a mistake… Quit day job. Really bad idea.
Trained at Block. Did some taxes. Taxes oddly fun. Kind of mathy. But only part-time.
Jobless by mid-April. Assistant Directing Cymbeline. Argh! Not talking…
Back to Brussels. Belgian Master’s Program? Easy to register! Just walk in! (Except foreign diplomas. Those take months.) No one knew? Smacked around some. Kicked off campus. (Hair too long? Coat too long?) “No student card.” Fucking Belgians, anyway!
Another year wasted. Wrote some screenplays. Went to Conferences. Learned to Pitch. Had a job. Managing a database. Didn’t kill me.
Fuck it: LA! Gotta go sometime! Got some cash. Do some pitching. Write some more. Maybe make it? Still no jobs. Still no prospects. Getting awfully lonely.
Accepted for Masters! Catholic University, Leuven! (The Dutch one). Call it Q-Lovin. (Left my car. Bitch-face crashed it. Blamed me, though. Whole other story.)
Western Lit Masters. Yeah, I rock. Did a play. Lanoye’s Mamma Medea. Acting in Dutch. After nine years. Made some friends. Fell in love? Maybe a little. Tried not to. I can’t stay. Brussels is home. But I need… I need this. Applied for more. Got into SCAD. Flew to LA. Retrieved the car. Crossed the Country. Listening to Audiobooks. Singing out loud. Always moving forward.