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rain

(Why am I naming days?)

10/4/14, Day 14,032 (Mercena Day 50): Taina and Marvin First Draft Complete

Yesterday was a good day: Mercena turned fifty days old, and I finished the first draft of my next full-length play, currently titled Taina and Marvin.

There’s a lot I’m happy about with this play: The characters, the structure, the self-inflicted political heartbreak it describes. However, there’s a lot of work to do, and even some significant structural changes that may need to happen. The play was inspired by the structure and expert wistfulness of 4000 Miles, but I don’t have Amy Herzog’s gift for subtle gestures, and the heart of the play may be pushing somewhere more jagged and uncertain. There’s always something exciting about writing away from your strengths, but it’s hard to resist the gravity of your natural impulses as an artist for very long…

Anyway, this means I’ve finished two full-length plays since September, which puts me on a much faster track for dreaming the impossible Play A Month Club dream.

Mercena had a good day, with a fussy-ish morning but a very good night’s sleep, waking up only at 2:37am and 5:40am. We’re getting there, and Heather is exploring whether or not we want to put her on a stricter schedule than the more flexible pattern we have her on now. It’s tricky, because she’s doing so well, but of course we’re shooting for the holy grail of sleeping through the night, so it might be worth it.

She’s also learned the trick of crying simply because she wants to be rocked to sleep, not because anything is wrong. We’re figuring out the balance of helping her sleep in the short term versus her long-term need to figure out how to self-sooth.

Yesterday was also the first time I participated in cold-calls for a political candidate’s campaign, in this case Paul Clements in Michigan (there’s a slate of progressive candidates an organization makes available, and he was the candidate during the time I was available). It’s not easy to be hung up on over and over again, but I had one long fascinating conversation with an undecided voter, and helped at least three voters who were on the fence come over the Clements side.

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 157 out of 200 days (Taina and Marvin)
Spanish: 133 out of 200 days
Music: 60 out of 106 days

What small things did I do the past two days to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Ate and cooked local, organic, vegetarian food, and used cloth diapers for Mercena;
  • Made phone calls on behalf of the Paul Clements Congressional campaign;
  • Signed a petition for nine steps that can be taken to heal the country after Ferguson;
  • Asked Secretary Vilsack to not participate in Idaho’s plan to reduce the wolf population by 80%;
  • Signed a different petition in support of ending the use of chemicals that are killing bees.
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angelbaby

(Why am I naming days?)
10/2/14, Day 14,030 (Mercena Day 48): Meeting with Ravi at New Sanctuary

This was a day of many meetings. After a 4:30am wake up call with morning with Mercena and then some TCG remote work, I ran late to a phone call with the ever-amazing Carmen Morgan, who is facilitating an internal assessment of TCG’s diversity, inclusion and equity. I’m so excited that we’re doing this work, and as ever, I left my time with her feeling renewed.

I then had consecutive TCG meetings on the Conference, the Gala, Theatre Facts, the new online American Theatre’s weekly email and our web/database upgrade. With one notable exception (it’s amazing how having a newborn helps you see just how tenuous our adult-hold is on our emotional life), these were very productive meetings, and I’m way back in the think of it again.

Then, I ran down to a Flux meeting led by Sol with Micah and Ravi from Judson and the New Sanctuary movement. We’re hoping to create work with them to change laws and cultural attitudes towards immigrants and immigration laws, and it was thrilling to hear about all the great work they’ve done over the years. More on this anon.

I then raced back uptown to pick up our Katchkie Farms CSA veggies before heading home to help with Mercena’s bedtime. She evidently had a great day, too, with a sweet visit from our dear friend Lori as the highlight on her dance card.

Lori

10/3/14, Day 14,031 (Mercena Day 49): Kol Nidre on Live Stream

For Mercena’s first Yom Kippur, we watched the Kol Nidre service from Storahtelling and sang along. We each made a vow and let something go: my vow was to enjoy being a parent, even when it exhausting and frustrating; and I’m letting go of social media comment debates. Man, what a waste of time and spirit those are…

The day began so beautifully, with Mercena napping a short while on my chest (see the glowing pic above). She’s doing better and better at sleeping in her bassinet, though bedtimes remain a pretty fussy affair. I feel blessed to say that right now the good times continue and we have a mostly happy baby. I know it won’t stay this way, but I don’t ever want to take these good times for granted.

It was another frenzied day at TCG, with a great REPRESENT conversation, a Fall Forum planning meeting, and several major communications pieces all moved off my plate. I then had the opportunity to audition for a project written by one of my favorite playwrights, led by a number of artists I respect. I’m so grateful when anyone thinks of me as an actor these days. I don’t do anything to find acting gigs, so it’s really special when people remember that’s something I do.

While I haven’t finished Taina and Marvin yet, I’ve continued to plug away at it every day, and do expect to have it finished by the weekend.

sevenweeks

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 156 out of 199 days (Taina and Marvin)
Spanish: 133 out of 199 days
Music: 59 out of 105 days

What small things did I do the past two days to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Ate and cooked local, organic, vegetarian food, and used cloth diapers for Mercena (though also neglected to bring food to work, though managed to add very little additional waste because of awesome Just Salad bowl);
  • Signed my support to a petition against the recent legislation restricting voter rights;
  • Asked the EPA to restrict the chemicals that are killing bees;
  • Thanked Mayor De Blasio for raising NYC’s minimum wage.

 

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