Friday, October 15, 2010

October Tenth, Two Thousand Ten...One of the Best Days of My Life.

I apologize for my lack of blogging.  Our old, circa 1947 computer had a hard drive crash and we had to put it down.  It was sad, of course, but it had a long and good life.  It wrote a couple of plays, in fact, with a little help from me.  But it finally gave up the ghost and we brought in a Science of Mind preacher and gave it the last rites.  He told it to 'visualize' a beautiful computer heaven and it will happen.  Life is so easy for those guys.  Today I'm going to visualize a Big Mac and hope for the best.
Oh, and I got married.

We found this guy, Reverend Chuck, on the internet.  In addition to being a Notary that marries people he's also the Vice President of his local Harley Davidson Club.  Perfect.  Actually, the big reason we chose Reverend Chuck is because he offered a 'one stop' deal...marriage license, ceremony and chapel.  He had a 'first come, first serve' deal on 10/10/10 so we just did it.

We were pleasantly surprised, to say the least.

We got to the small office/chapel about 9:30 with our bridesmaids and best men.  It wasn't early enough.  There were four other couples ahead of us.  So we sat and drank Starbucks and laughed a great deal while waiting next door.  Finally, our names were called and Angie and I went in and filled out all the pre-requisite papers, etc.  Then we brought in the rest of the gang and commenced.  Now, I had every intention of treating the whole thing with a certain amount of levity.  I mean, come on, it's not like we were in the Sistine Chapel.  But I was caught off guard when we saw what a lovely little chapel it was and Reverend Chuck turned out to be a soft-spoken, sincere, gentle little man with the best of intentions.  He lent the whole scene a surprising amount of gravitas.  I had written our vows beforehand and we opted for the non-religious ceremony.  It turned out, much to my delight and surprise, to be a really beautiful and thoughtful ceremony.  I'm sure Angie will be posting pictures today.  One of my best men, Jim Barbour, is one of those guys that has every cool gadget known to man.  And one of them is a camera that costs about ten million dollars.  So he acted as the unofficial photographer throughout the day and the pictures, which I saw yesterday, are incredible.  He took about three hundred, all told, including the ceremony and the party, which we had later that day.

Again, I was prepared to treat the party with as much cynicism as I could muster.  And again, I was pleasantly foiled.  Tammy Jackson-Lipps, one of Angie's dearest and longest friends, is a world-class caterer.  She did the whole shebang for us.  As soon as we got home, all married up, we began to work.  My other Best Man, John Bader, and I began setting up.  We had carefully selected 30 people to attend the wedding dinner.  And every single one showed up.  I somehow had it in my mind that we would have a bunch of chairs scattered about the back yard with maybe some 7-layer dip and that would be that.  Oh, contraire, my dear.  Angie and Tammy had something else altogether in mind.

It was an 'Italian Country Dinner' complete with a long table we stretched out endlessly into the back yard complete with exquisite dinner settings, elegant decorative touches and absolutely astonishing food; filet mignon, stuffed chicken breasts, arugala salad with goat cheese, tons of appetizers so fancy I didn't even know their names, dozens and dozens of bottles of top-notch wine, all kinds and shapes of incredible desserts.  It was a beatiful and moveable feast.  Again, pictures forthcoming, I'm sure.  Toasts were made deep into the night.  Our horses were just a few feet away, neighing happily.  Franny and Zooey were in heaven.  They got lots of attention.  White, gleaming table cloths, all my oldest friends in Los Angeles there, may from my NY days.  And Angie's, too.  It turned out to be, and I apologize for sounding corny but, a magical night.  The kind of night we will talk about when we're in the 'home' together many years from now. 

John and Jim and Tammy and Angie's other 'Best Woman,' Glenna Norris, all gave beautiful and enormously touching speeches, glasses raised, profundity galore, deep and heart felt speeches, tears and laughter.  I was very moved and I know Angie was, too.

Both Angie and myself were, quite simply, overwhelmed.  So much so, in fact, that I kept trying to break into 'The Theme From Ice Castles' at every opportunity, only to be shushed into silence.

Then our computer died and I was cut off from the civilized world.  But we have a new one now and all is as it should be.

Jim and I finally decided, few days ago, to not only go forth with our acting workshop on November 6 and 7 but also to produce two staged readings of my plays, Bachelor's Graveyard and The Promise.  The former had been scheduled for full production with the last theatre company in which I was involved but after the very difficult rehearsal process of Praying Small with that company, was discarded.  The latter is a piece, a murder mystery of sorts, that I've been working on for a long time for several close friends and wonderful actors: John Bader, Jim, myself, Brad Greenquist, Kyle Puccia and the remarkable Rob Arbogast.  We plan to include both plays in the debut season of our new theatre company and just decided to get the ball rolling with both of these world-premiere plays.  They're both pretty good, if I don't say so myself.
So we posted the auditions on Actors Access and now I am inundated with actors looking for a slot to audition.  I love it.  I'll say this much, it may take Jim and I awhile to make a decision about something but once it happens it goes forth like a dam breaking.  Every second of my days are filled with preparations for the workshop and the readings now.  Plus I still have one more day to shoot on the film I'm doing.  They've called me in for more interior scenes on Sunday. 

My wonderful agents at Schiowitz, Clay, et al, have sent me up for an audition on Monday for the prestigious Civic Light Opera Company of South Bay Cities...quite possibly the longest name for a professional, Equity theatre in history.  They're doing 1940's Radio Hour, a show I've done six, count 'em, six times in six different venues.  Suffice to say, I know that show fairly well, so I think I might have a good shot at it.  It's a terrific Equity contract and the timing is perfect. 

We also posted a whole gaggle of new shots on LA Casting, a website for commercial actors, and picked up new pictures from a cracker-jack photo-guy in Burbank.  They look great.  As I told Angie, I don't want anything special out here in LA as an actor, I just want to compete on a level playing field.  Well, that's about to happen. 

So there you have it.  Optimism has always been a strain for me.  I don't trust it.  But it is upon me.  So much to do and I am incredibly fortunate to love every moment of it.  To quote Mr. Sondheim, "So many...possibilities."  Ah, in love and working.  What more can anyone ask for?  But I'm still 'visualizing' that Big Mac.

See you tomorrow.

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