I wrote an incantation.
It's for this script I'm working on, and I don't really want to say anything else about it, not right now, at least, but I've spent the whole day writing, I haven't even left the house, and I was beginning to worry that I wasn't going to do a New Thing today, and then I wrote this incantation and I realized, well, gosh durnit, I've never written an incantation before just now, so I'm gonna let that count for today's New Thing.
Oh, also, this morning I finished reading Jill Soloway's book Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants. It's very funny, especially the poop chapter. (If you read the book, and you agree with everything she says in the poop chapter, then you and I are, like, soul siblings, and we should talk. Just remember that after you've read it. I'm very open about my bowel movements and I think you should be too.) Jill wrote some of my favorite episodes of Six Feet Under, and she and her sister created this show called The Real Live Brady Bunch that ran for a really long time at the Geffen Playhouse way back when it was the Westwood Playhouse. I was obsessed with The Real Live Brady Bunch. I saw it twelve times. Seriously. I've seen a lot of theater in my life, but I don't think I've ever seen a play (that I wasn't somehow involved with) twelve times. I saw (the brilliant, amazing, jaw-smackingly good) Imperialists at the Club Cave Canum at the Evidence Room seven times, so I think that might be a close second, but The Real Live Brady Bunch definitely wins with twelve viewings. The whole theater was set up like it was a living room with lots of couches and they performed a different episode of the Brady Bunch every week, verbatim from the script, but really raunchy. I was in eighth grade (14 years old) when the show was in Westwood, and I became obsessed with it, begging and pleading for every adult I knew to, 1.) buy me tickets, and 2.) drive me to the show in LA. (I was living in Newport Beach at the time, an hour away, and I didn't have a driver's license yet, though I had already learned to drive, when I was twelve. But that's another story.) I remember they used to play Don McLean's "American Pie" as part of the pre-show music before every performance. I already knew Don McLean because, a year earlier, when I had to do an oral report on Vincent Van Gogh (I forget what class it was for), I brought in my boombox and played McLean's song "Starry Starry Night" to end my report with a big finish. The teacher cried silently at her desk while she listened to the song, and all of the other students in the class sat there bored out of their minds and annoyed that I was making them listen to this sappy 70's song--and not just a snippet, no, I made them listen to the entire three and a half minutes of it--but I got an A on the report so I didn't care what the other kids thought. In the end, the only thing I learned from doing that oral report was that Don McLean could get you an A, so when I heard his song "American Pie" at the Westwood Playhouse, I was already prone to like it. But I didn't just like it like it, I loved it, because everyone in the audience would sing along to the song, and that feeling of being-in-the-same-place-with-hundreds-of-people-singing-a-pop-song...that's one of my favorite feelings. It really is. Like, when I went to see the Scissor Sisters at the Wiltern, before the show, over the loudspeakers, they played Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," and everyone at the Wiltern, hundreds of people, everybody--we all sang along. But we didn't just sing it, we emoted it at the top of our lungs. Singing along to "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey at the top of my lungs with hundreds of people, that was almost better than the concert itself, and the concert was pretty fucking great.
If James Lipton ever asked me: "What's your favorite sound?" I would tell him, "hundreds of people singing a pop song at the top of their lungs."
When Theatre of NOTE did the first workshop of my play Yellow Flesh / Alabaster Rose, I wanted to create a moment like that, so the play ended with an epilogue where one of the characters, Little B, who thinks she's Bjork, breaks the fourth wall and asks everyone in the audience to open up their programs and take out the insert, and inside everyone found the lyrics to the song "It's Oh So Quiet," and then Little B asked the audience to sing the song along with her. We only had three workshop performances, and I realized that Little B breaking the fourth wall didn't really work as the end of my play, so I ended up cutting that moment, but of any theatrical moment that I've created, listening to the packed house at NOTE singing "It's Oh So Quiet" along with Little B...that's definitely one of my favorites.
Anyway, I've so digressed, but I think the point I was trying to make at the beginning of this was that Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants is a very funny book and it made me want to be a Jewess and talk about poop and I recommend it.
And I wrote an incantation today. Boo-yah.