where to start…so much going on…

Okay, this is funny. My replacement at my last job started on Tuesday. Then quit on Wednesday in a fit of either flakiness or prescience, I can’t be sure. I’m leaning toward flakiness. So they are in a bind and have hired me on a contract basis to complete all the gubment grants that are due in March. Funny thing about that – March was always my least favorite month at that job because all the government proposals (state and national) are due within a five-day period. It’s brutal. So I was pleased to exit the situation well in advance of those deadlines. Joke’s on me, I guess. But I couldn’t turn down good money in exchange for my nights and weekends for a few weeks. What the hell. This not-so-gently begins my movement in the direction of self-employment, which is my goal in the next few years. I’m not sure if I’m going to try to do contract grant writing or something else, but it’s good for me to begin figuring that out now while I still have a full-time job with benefits. Cabin in the woods, cabin in the woods, cabin… (to clarify – the cabin in the woods will be near the house where I will live – I don’t want to only have the cabin (ala Unibomber) – the cabin is the writing place – the cooking, sleeping, etc. will happen in the house).

I’ve got four theatre projects in the hopper. Evidently I’ve decided to command 20 hours of every day with work or play (literally), so please excuse the bags under my eyes. March 29th is SWAN day, or Support Women Artists Now, a new celebration of chick artists across all disciplines. I’m trying to find a free theatre space for that night to present a reading of Militia Slumber Party, or Embracing the New World Order plus a reading of another local female playwright’s work. Haven’t found the space or the other playwright yet. If you have a space that could fit a few actors at a table and then chairs for fifty or so people, let me know.

Another project in the works is sort of via my last job. I’ll be working with another playwright and someone in the Alley’s education department on a community theatre project. The three of us are going to collect stories from HIV+ adults, substance abusers who live in a residence home and gay teens via a “story circle” (everyone sits in a circle and passes a tape recorder, responding to questions we ask). We’re going to process these responses and create short pieces that tell a larger story. We won’t just transcribe what people say and regurgitate it on stage. The goal is to find the commonalities in the stories and share them with the audience. I’m a little worried about this project as it’s not really my arena. I like to make shit up and write about whatever comes to mind. This is totally not like that. Which is why I’m doing it. I’m trying to put myself on the spot because I think it makes me a better writer. And I’ve made it clear that I’m not going to write some maudlin, sappy bullshit. I really, really hate over-sentimentalized “issue” plays. So it’s going to be a challenge to present some sad stories without descending into that crap. Figured if I can write a comedy about abortion, I can do this. But I sho am nervous.

Another project – a new theatre group in Houston is putting together a theatre festival for May. It sounds like a lot of fun and will be held in non-traditional theatre spaces, which I dig. I’d like for Six Of One to be involved, but I’m not sure of my actors’ schedules yet. So that’s a maybe.

The other project is the previously mentioned Blackburn thing at the Alley. I’ll post the deets on that once I have them. All I know now is March 9th at 3PM.

Finally, if you want one of my Fight Stupidization bumper stickers and promise to display it on your vehicle, cubicle wall or other visible location, I’ll mail you one. Send your mailing address to crystal [at] cryjack [dot] com. Stick it with pride. Or something.