Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Show Wrap Up

Okay. I was really bad at posting in January. Really bad.  I'll try to do better in February.  But I wanted to share something with you before the month was up.  Something that reminds me why, even though I'm struggling with money doing theatre, why I do it anyway.

Closing night of my last show, my sixteen actors sat down backstage in the green room, a half hour before their places call.  I stood nearby, giving them time periodically, intensely curious about what they would say and willing immediately to step away if they made the slightest indication they wanted privacy.  They shared in popcorn style.

"You guys are the best friends I've ever had."

"I'm going to miss you."

"I didn't like the show going in, but you made it better.  This has been an amazing production."

"It was my senior year and I just wanted to do one last play, but you've made me want to do more."

"I've struggled with depression this year and coming to rehearsals. To you guys is what made it worth it for me. You reminded me what it's like to be happy."

"I never had any friends in school.  Not close ones anyway, but when I was with you I was always accepted.  Always safe.  We bickered, but we still always loved each other."

"I've always had friends.  More friends than I knew what to do with, but I never actually connected.  Now I know what that's like."

"I was twelve coming into this show and I thought I would be so out of place.  I thought you would think I was arrogant.  That I didn't know my place.  That I was too young.  But you never did.  I always felt like I belonged.  I always knew that I could trust you and that you would help me.  And that you would be my friends.  My middle school is so unbearable that I can't stand to be there, but coming here was what got me through last semester.  You kept me sane long enough so that I can transfer schools."

"You are why I do theatre."

I had been ready to be done with the show.  I didn't do a ton (other than preset) during the show and so I had been so ready to be done.  But after just listening to these kids, I didn't want to be anymore.  That cast didn't have any cliches, any outcasts.  They were a family.  I had always been under the impression that the kids were charismatic and popular with most people.  But, to listen to almost every single on of them, they were all people who had never felt comfortable at their school, even in their drama programs (which were more relaxed/causal than the show we just worked on).  I never realized that this show was special.

Why bring this up now?  The show closed a little bit over a week ago.  Well, today I had an actor stay after rehearsals and just talk to the music director and I.  At first it was casual about the style of the show and the lyrics, etc.  But gradually he began to open up.  He's a sophomore; a very talented sophomore.  He is easily as talented as the kids I mentioned above.  But there are so many age politics in high school (and to some extent, college) drama that he only got a middle-of-the-road part.  He mentioned wanting to maybe drop and the music director and I were stunned.

We talked to him about why and he just wanted a chance to sing.  I hadn't known before now, but the actor has ADHD, OCD, and verbal tourettes.  He's extremely well-adjusted, but also incredibly self-conscious.  And the reason he wants to go into theatre?  Because when he sings.  When he acts.  The ADHD, the OCD, the tourettes just don't matter.  They recede.  His mind isn't clouded.  He can stand centerstage and just belt out that song.  And that's what he wants.  Maybe he was a little disappointed about getting a smaller part, but he was more disappointed that he couldn't have that moment of clarity.  Of freedom.

So.  If you're ever wondering what theatre does.  What art does (both the people doing it and receiving it).  Please remember these kids.  The ones who just put themselves out there.  Who find a community and create a story that they can share.  I realize I'm up on my soap box right now, but I don't really care because moments like this really do remind me why I do what I do.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Free Write

This second post I debated even posting.  It was written the day before Lana went back to college and really was a free write about whatever happened to be on my mind.  I suppose I'll post it anyway, even though it's not  quite relevant to me anymore.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I've had fun.  I really have.  I'm comfortable with Lana.  She's a great friend and I enjoy having a relationship that's more than friendship with her.  I'm not having panic attachs about the changes in my life anymore.  At most I have mild anxiety occasionally.  So why do I feel like I've built up all these good things to one big "But"?

There's not a "but".  There's just a feeling of unease.  I'm not even sure what it's about.  It's so frustrating that I can't figure out why I'm feeling the way I am.  I think it's mostly that Lana leaves tomorrow and then I'll have no company at all (which was unexpectedly not the truth since Will ended up back home for really unfortunate reasons).  I can make new friends.  I have made new friends.  I really like the people I'm currently working with (I also like the people at my new job) but they aren't really people I want to hang out with.

I hung out with people in college, but I never really clicked with them.  In a way, having some time to think is good for me.  It generally means I blog more too (when I'm not finishing one job and starting another) and I really do enjoy blogging.

I've thought about why I'm happier with poly and I still don't know.*  I'm so comfortable just being with Boyfriend; not even talking or doing anything necessarily, just being together with him.  We've been together so long and he makes me happy.  I can lean on him and tell him pretty much everything.  He's very much my partner in all/most ways.  

I've known Lana as long as I've known Boyfriend (longer really) and we've been good friends most of that time.  I've always been comfortable around her.  She's calm, soothing, and she keeps me calm.  I don't know why, but a firm, quier word from her generally helps me catch my temper more than most other things.  unfortunately, though I love him dearly, a word from Boyfriend doesn't do that (anymore?).  We just have too much history with each other.  Again, being with Lana is comfortable.  We sorta fell into our relationship and it was just natural.  We already knew each other so well, why should things be awkward?

That's not to say there isn't passion in both relationships, because there is, but I enjoy the comfortableness immensely.  Actually, I think that's what's been tripping m up most.  Boyfriend and Lana do fit different places in my life; different wants and needs, but both relationships feel similar at times because they feel so natural to me.  Well, that's relieving.  I'm fairly happy with that explanation as to why I enjoy poly for now.  I think I just had to write it out in order to figure it out.

Also, since this is a free write: it was really cute, today on of my actresses asked one of my actors to tolo.  I was amused.  This cast gets along better than any other I've ever worked with.  I suspect  that it's mostly that they all want to date each other, but even the fairly young ones fit in great.  Umm...I've started saying umm, so I think that might be the end of this free write.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I talk a lot about my motives and my thoughts, but I realize that when I actually talk about my feelings I get less comfortable posting it on the internet.  What if someone gets offended over what I actually feel?  What if I completely drop any mask I'm wearing and have to pay for it?  I don't know, I think that's probably why I almost didn't post this.

*Note: I also did a lot more thinking about it and I think the biggest reason I like poly is how much pressure it takes of me and Boyfriend.  We can be enough for each other without trying to force each other to be people who we're not.

T-Shirts

I wrote the next two posts a little over a week ago but I haven't really had time/haven't felt like transcribing them from my notebook to here.

A while ago there was an interesting, small kerfluffle on the internet.  Sociological Images has an interesting string of posts on men being considered normal/default and women being considered extra or different.  The post I'm thinking of included Zach Wiener's (of SMBC, which I've linked to multiple times) merchandise store. In the picture it showed an ungendered shirt sizes and women's shirt sizes.  When compared to most of the other examples in the post, this comparison really wasn't fair.  Zach Wiener questions not only gender norms but most societal norms.

This post does raise an interesting question though.  What do you call a shirt that is wider at the top and bottom (which does fit many women's bodies better)?  "Babydoll" is just plain condescending.  "Women's" or "ladies'" has the problem mentioned previously.  Fitted implies that a shirt is just tighter (or at least it does in my mind).  Boyfriend suggested "curvy", which does describe the shape of the shirt, but it also instantly calls to mind women.

So what's the solution? It took me awhile to come up with an answer that I was relatively happy with.  "Curvy: is just a word I don't really like (for...reasons), but if does describe the shirt.  But what happens when you remove gender completely from the question.  No more men's shirts, women's shirts, unisex shirts (when labelled as such).  What about calling shirts: loose fit, tight fit, shaped fit.  I mean "shaped" is ambiguous, but you can always put a note describing what shaped means in regard to your particular brand of shirts.

It's not a perfect solution, but it's one that I like over most others.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Freshman and Sophomore Years of High School

What a descriptive (and very thoroughly not catchy) title I gave this post.  I couldn't decide on anything else.

I really should be blogging more frequently, especially since I have posts fucking written out that just need to be typed up.  I should also give you posts with more substance but as I seem to do when everyone goes to their respective corners of the country, I'm thinking through some personal stuff currently.  I should also also go to bed instead of writing since I'm going to breakfast with Lana tomorrow morning since she's in town for an interview.

As far as posts go this is going to be more of a story telling one.  I realized when talking to Lana how little I talk about my first two years of high school.  I'm not sure if they're really upsetting or traumatizing anymore, but for a long while, those years were just a time span I didn't like to think about...at all.  My freshman and sophomore year I went to a prestigious Catholic school.  I ended up transferring after my sophomore year, not because the school work was too hard (I came out of the school with a 4.0), but because the administration was absolutely ruining the school (this has since stopped I believe).

The school my freshman year wasn't actually completely horrible in regards to administration, but what they were teaching me shook me to the core.  The math, the science (although freshman year science was taught by a priest which kinda.......sucked), the languages, they were all easy.  And by that, I mean the material was quite challenging, but ultimately it was taught in a format that I knew and was comfortable with.

It was history and English and religion with which I had problems.  This was always sorta strange to me because in junior high (and 11th and 12th grades minus religion) those were always my favorite classes.  But they were taught in a large group setting of around 50 kids and co-taught by two teachers.  We switched somewhat fluidly between subjects and we had this class about twice as often as every other class.  In the class they talked about not taking religion literally.  And it will probably sound really funny to some people, but this was a hard concept for me freshman year.  I had been taught that every story in the Bible literally happened, exactly as was stated in the Bible.  But in that class we talked about symbolism (enough that it my brain want to explode).  We talked about questioning every single possible assumption.  We talked about thinking critically and ways to do so.  And thinking back, this was crucial for me to learn but it was an incredibly painful and frustrating process for me.  It was bad enough that my frustration with the teaching as well as the fact that I had few to no friends almost drove me to transfer after freshman year.

Sophomore year I made friends, which was a relief.  I didn't hang out with them much outside of school until the end of the year, but at least I had people to eat with at lunch.  Let me tell you, eating alone or next to a group of people fucking sucks.  But beyond that, my sophomore year the school had almost entirely new administration.  Some people had retired, others had been fired.  I'm not entirely clear on the details, partially because I wasn't privy to all of them.  In short my sophomore year was a disaster.  We lost 75% of our senior class the summer before that year (we had a graduate early program than most of them did, the rest transferred) because things were projected to be bad..  We realized we had illegal aliens attending an important private school (I'm still not sure how that happened), we had a horrible horrible sexual harassment scandal within the ASB, we had a sexual abuse case between a teacher and student, we had a lockdown because there were threats from people with guns, and we had a sit-in and a walk-out protesting all the terrible things that were happening that year.

(I think I will maybe tell some of these stories more fully later because a lot of them are fairly interesting.  I also have an abuse story about the people on my volleyball team that wasn't included in my above list.  Also, while I'm thinking about it, I can tell some interesting stories about my travels for volleyball too.  A lot of these are good stories which I've just never thought to tell my friends.)

The story I do want to tell in detail (mainly because it's short) regards dress code.  Now, my school had a typical: all shoulder straps must be three fingers wide, all skirts must be down to your knees, etc policy my freshman year.  But, my sophomore year we got a new assistant principal and she was all about "appropriate dress" and "family values" (put in quotes because they're buzz words, not because the concepts themselves are completely invalid).  The first new piece of the dress code she added was: no flip flops.  Flips flops after all are "shower shoes" and are "dangerous, tripping hazards" and are not "appropriate attire for school".  People pretty much ignored this rule until a bunch of people ended up in detention (yes, my school actually had detention, it's the only one I've heard of in these days that did).  Even some girls on the soccer team who were wearing flip flops after changing out of their cleats got put in detention.  It was ultimately really ridiculous.

Eventually matters got so ridiculous with the dress code that students began requesting uniforms.  So much of our dress freedom had been taken away from us, a uniform would have been a relief rather than trying to find clothes that worked with the new dress code.  You see, for one final example, the next thing to change after no flip flops was shirt necklines.  And the rule was not anything semi, quasi reasonable like: you cannot show even part of your cleavage or anything of the sort.  Instead the rule was: You cannot wear shirts that expose your clavicle.  Your clavicle! Where your neck connects to your torso.  Yeah.  That's completely inappropriate.

Please take a look at the shirt your wearing.  Odds are very very high that your clavicle is exposed.  Most of my t shirts expose my clavicle (though to be fair part of that has to do with how my breast fit in shirts (hint: they don't)).  When that announcement was made, guys were looking down at their shirts and realizing their shirts didn't conform to dress code.  At least the dress code was enforced equally.  Guys and girls got detention for breaking the clavicle rule.  And the thing is, the dress code just kept getting more strict after this incident.

It was fairly intense but also something we secretly laughed about because: OH NO! Clavicles are just too damn sexy and corrupting.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Lights Out

Yesterday my performance was cancelled because of the storm here in the great pacific northwest (I actually love it here, but the weather lately is making me not too happy).  There were no lights at the theatre and thus pretty much no way the show could happen.

Today, the power was back so we did our fight call and warm ups and got four songs into the show and the power blew again.  Since the show is one that has "power outage" cues, for a second everyone thought it was a cue (it actually happened right as my stage manager called a cue, which was sorta hilarious and misleading), but then the emergency backup lights came on and everyone realized this was for real.  The actors grabbed the prop flashlights scattered throughout the stage (though they actually turned on).

The production team (and the director who happened to be there...actually she's been present a lot, good thing we like her a lot) talked about what to do and we proceeded to do concert versions of the songs.  Very luckily, we had a real piano, a upright bass, and an acoustic guitar (plus drums which also don't require power), so our musicians were able to play while we held flashlights over their music.  It was all very in keeping with the setting of the play, which was supposed to be in an abandoned theatre.

The actors turned on the fake tea lights (also props) and held them while they sat on the front of the stage.  The soloists stood and their peers lit them with flashlights as they sang.  It was actually a very powerful improvised moment.

After we had sung three songs, it soon became clear that the backup lights were going to run out of batteries soon and that we wouldn't be able to finish singing through the show.  The director requested two of the most beloved numbers be done and then we dismissed the actors and audience, ushering them out quickly before the backup lights went out.  Afterward, the entire cast and crew went out to McDonald's (which did have power).

It was an interesting but also really cool night of theatre.

NOTE: I realize I have updated very sparsely lately and I do intend to fix that. I've been doing a lot of sewing and I'm not very good at balancing hobbies, but I will try better.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA and PIPA

I'm not going to get into an obscenely long debate on this, because in my opinion, it's just wrong.  These bills will invoke censorship in really potential horrible ways.  In case you haven't been on a site that is on strike, today a great number of sites on the internet are going on strike as a way to boycott SOPA and PIPA. Zach Wiener at SMBC has said it best that I've seen so far:

If you're not aware of SOPA / PIPA, there are articles on wikipedia here:
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) | Protect IP Act (PIPA

If you want a tl;dr version, go here

If you want to know who supports, who opposes, and who receives money, go here


If you want to make a difference, here's what you can do: 

1) Look up your congressperson or senator, and see if he/she supports or opposes.
       For SOPA: projects.propublica.org/sopa/
       For PIPA: projects.propublica.org/sopa/pipa#roll_call
2) Click the appropriate picture to pull up contact information.
3) Write a handwritten letter describing why you're unhappy. This is the best way to get their attention.
4) If you don't have time for that, call their office and politely but firmly express your complaint, specifically mentioning their support for SOPA (house of reps) or PIPA (senate).

Please, do whatever you can to stop these bills being passed. I know I intend to do so.

Note: Regular updates should resume soon. Maybe tomorrow. I have two posts handwritten that I just need to type up and I have ideas for some others.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Control

My whole life has been a battle for control.  Growing up, that was the biggest, by far, conflict with my parents.  I wanted to control my own life; not anyone else's, just my own life.  But I was a kid so my parents asserted their authority and power over me (as indeed most parents do) and very few decisions were my own.  I was so angry all the time.  I just wanted the right to control my own life.  Even if I made bad decisions, I wanted the right to make them and then when I fucked them up, I would be able to learn from my mistakes.

I understood very early on that mistakes were learning opportunities, but I struggled to articulate this to my parents until nearly the middle of high school.  When I finally did manage, my parents simply couldn't understand.  Their job was to protect me from making mistakes and getting hurt.  I was asking them to voluntarily let me make mistakes and thus possibly get hurt (not physically, but emotionally, etc) from them.  But what I wanted and needed was the ability to make mistakes while I still had a safety net, and I told them this.  If I had messed up in college or I make a mistake in the real world, there isn't a whole lot my parents can do for me, but in high school, I still needed to fall back on them.

So senior year I had a lot of freedom.  A lot more than most 17 and 18 year olds.  I didn't really have a curfew.  I slept over at friend's houses, even on weekdays (partially because their houses were a lot closer to my school).  They didn't interfere with my relationship with Boyfriend.  It was nice and after my parents got over the fear that I was completely rejecting them, my relationship with my family got a lot better.

Now, I'm out of college.  I control my own finances, I know how to live in an apartment, I own my own car (which I bought myself), I have a profession that has supplied me with steady jobs, I can explore my own sexuality without being looked down on (mostly).  Life is really good.  But in addition to all those things I have control over in my life, my job requires me to be in control of situations nearly constantly: running rehearsals, keeping the director on time, scheduling, keeping the actors quiet, helping the actors learn the correct lines, running backstage/calling cues, caring for injuries, and the list goes on and on.  I love my job.  I love having control over myself but having control over so many people is something that I think will always make me a little bit wary and it tends to exhaust me.

Sometimes, lately especially, I just wish someone would forcibly (I don't think I could give it up otherwise) take control away from me.  Not permanently and not violently.  But just in a way that forces me to relax and let someone else take charge.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Self-Awareness

Since I have the free time (Two days off! I just worked three weeks straight with only one day off so it's about time that I had some time off) I'm going to try to get some blogging in.  The last post I did, I actually started yesterday morning but didn't have time to finish until today.

I have always been self-aware (This relates heavily into this game I play).  I've always known exactly why I did something, even if my reasoning was convoluted or multi-layered.  Even when my reasoning was unpleasant, I was always aware of it on a semi-conscious level.  That's why when someone tells me I made a mistake/fucked something up completely it hurts me so much.  I not only know I fucked it up, I know why, and it makes me acutely aware of my mistakes.

Self-awareness has been supremely useful in dealing with people because it's taught me to read motives.  I can frequently look at an action and see the causation, the reasoning, behind it.  However, it also gets me into trouble because sometimes I'm not reading the other person, but am instead projecting what my reasoning would be onto the other person.  I could be wrong, but this seems to happen to me less than you might expect.

All the changes in my life, even major ones, I've been able to explain.  But the biggest change in my life lately, discovering I'm poly, I haven't been able to explain.  I'm happier now that I've acknowledged that, but I don't know why.  And I keep turning it over and over in my mind and reaching no solution.  I'm hesitant to even post my musings, because I know everything I've come up with so far is incorrect.

In part, I think I appreciate having two people I can lean on, so I don't put as much stress on poor Boyfriend, but that is so far from the whole of the matter.  I do have other friends who support me when I'm upset, so that really isn't all of it.  And in both of the books I read on polyamory/nonmonogamy/open relationships, they talk about having multiple partners to fill multiple spaces and needs, and I would believe that's what I am doing, I guess I'm just not sure of what spaces they fill for me?

I don't even know.  This is driving me up a wall every time I think about it.  I'm not used to not knowing my own motives.  One thing I am certain of however, is that I am happier than I have been in quite a while and I will be sad when Lana heads back to school, since we both agree long distance can be beyond frustrating/hard and instead we will just try picking things back up when she gets back in the area for awhile.

Two Parts


Being Myself

My show opened! I’m so excited! Oddly enough for me, once a show’s open the entire process gets less stressful; more routine.  Opening night went really well, the best we had run the show yet, especially since we had only had two dress rehearsals before opening and not one of them had used absolutely all of the technical elements that were called for.  Our performances on Sunday went less well, but many of the problems were largely out of our hands.

What I have noticed, over and over again lately, though is the contrast between myself at work and myself with friends (particularly with Lana and Boyfriend).  At work, I’m serious, composed, completely in control.  I’m quiet.  I listen to everyone else around me and comment occasionally when I think there is something that needs to be said.  I’m naturally and incredibly sarcastic/sassy person and that side of me only comes out at work when I am really comfortable with the people I’m working for.  Thinking about it, this is largely how I am with my family too (though my temper is rarely triggered at work and frequently triggered by my family).  And while I really thoroughly like pretty much everyone I’m working with and my family, the change when I hang out with my friends is spectacular.

When I’m with my closest friends, I am physically (shoulder tension, etc) more relaxed.  I laugh more.  I speak (a lot) more.  I don’t have a great sense of humor, but I make more jokes.  I feel like myself.  But that’s not to say that how I am at work or with my family isn’t who I am.  Because that calm, collected, in control person was all I was growing up (though my temper and anger was also a big part of me, but that’s probably another post). I had friends throughout my life that brought out the silly side of me, but our friendships only lasted at most four years (essentially as long as I went to their school).  I’ve never had friends that last through long distance and being at different schools.  It’s new or different.

I have never squealed in delight like a five year old (I never felt like a child growing up.  I wanted to be taken seriously) from a tickle fight (I lost, but I think Lana came in a close second to losing.  Boyfriend always wins, it’s not fairrrrr!).  It’s just a part of myself I didn’t know existed and I am loathe to give up my friends (even if some of them do have fantastic job offers already) as they disperse permanently across the country because I’m afraid I’ll lose that part of myself.

Well, in closing, I want to note that this post was really intended as a: “there are two parts to myself post” as opposed to a “I love my friends” post, but it sorta morphed and evolved.  I do know that my original point was that when I’m at work or with my family, I’m not putting on a fa├žade; that really is part of me.  I don’t feel like I’m pretending to be anyone other than myself.  But, when I’m with my friends, I have discovered a part of me I didn’t know existed and I’m really happy about it.  In short, I like that I don’t have to put on a mask.  I like that I’m self-aware enough to have two, distinct, but cohesive parts of myself.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Self Labeling

So, I made myself some chocolate milk that was more chocolate than milk and got some food since I hadn't eaten for hours, and I decided to try to tackle this post despite my headache.

When people say: "I don't use labels to describe myself" I respect them so much.  I truly and honestly wish I could say as much.  Labels are confining and don't leave room for growth or change.  They can be applied falsely or not fully convey who you are (which incidentally is why I like the term queer).  However, (possibly) the only logical way my brain works is when it comes to organizing things.

I think in words and emotions and pictures and shapes, and most importantly, lists.  I am a compulsive list maker (speaking of which I need to change my list of random things I do during the show into an actual run list).  Lists help me organize my life and in order to make lists, I need to have concise, but accurate words and descriptions.  So when someone doesn't use a label to define themselves I respect them, but also know that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do the same.

Words are limiting.  I never really realized this until I started trying to talk about gender and sexuality and poly.  There are so many different combinations/options/etc that a person can be that we could never possibly have words for all of them.  So why bother with terminology at all?  I enjoy learning terminology because it gives me a new, concise way to express a concept.  It does mean that I might need to explain what the word/concept means when talking to someone, but I will only have to explain to that person once and then they will know what I am talking about.

Male and female are not adequate when talking about gender.  Straight, gay/lesbian, and bi are really not adequate when talking about sexuality/orientation. And monogamy and polygamy are really not adequate when talking about plurality (or not) of relationship(s).  And so I've learned about genderqueer people, and pansexual people, and polyfidelity, and asexuality, and nonmonogamy, and agender, and transgender, and, and, and.  The list (Look! Another list! I didn't actually do that on purpose) just goes on and on because there can never be enough words to describe people.  And that's why I respect people who don't use labels so much, but I just can't ever be one of them.  Because I need to be able to think of myself in words (even if words are frequently inadequate).  I am so word oriented, I'm just not sure I'll ever be able to think of myself in as a fluid, abstract concept and not in concrete, semi-tangible words.

Oww Drums Oww

In my head, I had a lovely post about the impact of labels on other people and why I personally use labels to describe myself, but my head hurts and I'm exhausted, so you'll have to wait for another day for that update.

We're in tech for my show and notes are generally keeping me until 11:30 or 12 every single night, so I'm tired with that.  I didn't expect this week to be full of 9+ hour work days again, but it has been, so hurray for that.  Anyway, as asm, I'm stationed backstage where I can keep an eye on the actors and help if anything goes horribly wrong (there are no scene changes, although I do have a single quick change involving three actors at once).  The stage is completely devoid of soft goods and masking, so I am stuck in a corner behind some scaffolding and a half-falling down curtain (which serves artistic purposes, not masking ones).

Underneath the scaffolding is where the drummer is stationed.  In front of the drummer, there is a drum shield.  I sit directly behind the scaffolding and thus, directly behind the drummer.  The sound that the drummer is making is bouncing directly off the sound shield and coming straight at me.  I have that artistic curtain between me and the drummer but for muffling/baffling purposes, it doesn't do a whole lot.

For sitzprobe (where the band plays through the entire show for the first time with the actors) I sat in the house in order to keep the actors quiet, so I honestly didn't realize how loud it would be back where I stand/sit until I was trapped there during our dress rehearsal.  After the show actors were asking me questions and I literally could not hear them.

Having thought it through now I have several solutions to this problem: a) ear plugs b) a hat (since i'm also getting a headache from the headset) c) spending more time in the back hallway and les time actually backstage d) a bottle of excedrin on my person always.

However, in the meantime, I have to live with my temporary hearing loss and raging headache.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Forms of Poly and Nonmonogamy


While I’m thinking of the topic, I think I am going to do something of a live review of Opening Up, by Tristan Taormino.  I'm about a third (ish) of the way through the book, but having just read about different forms of nonmonogamy, I would love to share them and not have to wait until I finish the book.

This is a book that I immediately connected with on a level which I did not connect with The Ethical Slut.  It is more of a how to guide than the other book and, most importantly to me, provides me with information on different forms of nonmonogamy.  The book has an entire section devoted to different styles of poly/nonmonogamy; six whole chapters detailing what they are and how they work.

I'm going to talk about the six different broad styles of nonmonogamy that Tristan talks about and then add some personal thoughts to them.

Partnered Nonmonogamy:
This is a situation where you already have a primary partner and are not looking to add a secondary partner or secondary relationship.  Instead a committed couple is looking for something exclusively sexually nonmonogamous.  For instance, a couple goes to a BDSM party and partners off with someone else while at that party.

This is a style which somehow never occurred to me.  Part of that is that I'm not sure I'd ever be able to have casual sex with someone and not let emotions enter into it.  My emotions are very tied into who I am and I suspect I would have a hard time separating sex purely for pleasure from my emotions.  Nevertheless, this seems like a great way to expand your sexual experiences, meet new people, but still not lose your partner by doing so.

Swinging:
Swinging is a style of nonmonogamy that is more known by the general public.  It's also a style of which I have never been able to grasp the appeal.  Swinging is similar to partnered nonmonogamy, but it carries with it a greater attachment to community and socialization.  It can be used to get to know other couples better and become more comfortable with each other.  There is a large swinging community, which is generally very welcoming.

However, swinging (particularly in the past) generally is not as friendly to lesbians or (particularly) bi/gay men.  The general dynamic is either two heterosexual couples or a heterosexual couple and a bi/lesbian woman.  And while their are situations where bi/gay men are beginning to be welcomed, it is still a fairly blocked off lifestyle for them.

Polyamory:
This is the style of nonmonogamy that I practice and it is one of the more complex ones to understand because it is such a broad topic.

Hierarchical Polyamory- This style of polyamory seems to be more common than its sibling (nonhierarchical poly).  As the name implies, this style relies on a hierarchy.  People have primary and secondary or tertiary partners.  The primary partner is central and secondary (etc, etc) relationships are considered less of an importance.  A relationship might be primary for various reasons: you're cohabiting, your finances are mingled, you're raising children together, you've been with that partner longer, etc.  Also, Sue could be Jane's primary partner, but Jane considers Brad her primary partner.  There can be many different combinations.

This is an incredibly practical way to handle and prioritize relationships, but for me, it's far to clinical, unrealistic, and limiting.  I've never been particularly good with hierarchies in general.  When everyone else in elementary school was saying: "my best friend", I was saying: "one of my closest/best friends".  I really really dislike saying: "You are more important to my life" because both emotions and importance are not quantifiable.

Nonhierarchical Polyamory- I identify more as practicing nonhierarchical polyamory.  I have been with Boyfriend a great deal longer than Lana, that's true, but I also am not going to neglect her.  They both make me happy.  I enjoy being with both of them.  That's all I can really say.  (As for a description of this, the name of the style pretty much says it all).

Solo Polyamory:
This is another style of polyamory/nonmonogamy that I'm not sure that I would ever do, again because I'm not sure I could handle casual sex (/be able to keep casual sex casual).  In this style, a person does not have a primary partner but generally has many partners who they have sexual, casual, less serious relationships.  The word single can mean many things (anywhere from: not married to not in a relationship) so the author prefers the terms solo.  This is a great way to not immerse/submerge yourself in a relationship, but instead be able to keep track of who you are.

Polyfidelity:
Polyfidelity is fascinating to me, so I read this chapter out of order (a couple weeks ago, so I had to go back an review it).  In essence, polyfidelity is where you are dating multiple people but your relationship is essentially closed and you are not actively looking to other people to be in a relationship with.  There are so so many different configurations that this can take, and these formations also apply to polyamory in general.  Here are some of the most basics configurations that he mentions.

Triad- This is when three people have sexual and romantic relationships with each other.

V triad- In this situation, one person is dating two people, but the other two people are not dating each other.  Think of the Meeting point of the V as the person with two partners and the two end points of the V as the other two partners.

Quad- This can have many different gender and orientation configurations, but it is where four people are all dating each other.

Poly circle/Poly family- This is essentially a situation where more than four people are all (or mostly all) dating each other.

W- a fivesome.  Think of it as an unconnected poly circle or two connected V triads.

I currently am in a V triad situation, where both Boyfriend and Lana and myself are allowed to see other people if we wish (so the relationships are still open).  I think at the moment two relationships is all I want.  That may change, I suppose we shall see (at the very least I'm currently not interested in anyone else).  I think, somewhere in my mind, secretly, I would love to see what a non-V triad is like some day.

Mono/Nonmono and Poly/Mono Combinations:
I didn't realize what this was from the chapter title, but it made infinitely more sense once the author explained.  By the title, he meant a situation where one partner is nonmonogamous/poly and the other is monogamous.  He mentioned that this is a style that is rarely talked about or mentioned, but is far more popular than you might expect.  I suppose, to some extent, I am in this situation since both of my partners are currently monogamous, though they have the option to be nonomongamous if they are interested in someone.  In this chapter, Tristan spends a good (and worthwhile) amount of time explaining that this is a valid lifestyle and can be the right choice for people.  The relationship does not have to be inherently unequal if both partners are okay with the situation.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I think that's all I have to say at the moment.  I'm certain I will write more about this book as I get further into it, but that being said, I highly recommend it and suggest buying it because the author deserves the money for putting together this wonderful book.

Note: Some time when I am not exhausted (maybe tomorrow) I will add these terms to my terminology post, which is something I have been doing as I learn/think of new terms.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ramblings

I really would like to post, but am not quite sure what to post about so I think you might just get a free write.

I'm currently in tech but we have be in a hold for ages and during the run of this show I have nothing to do, so I have been working on my preset list (which is literally four pages long) and taking notes and keeping the kids quiet.  But I'm bored so now I'm going to blog.

As detailed (rather poorly I believe) in my last blog post, I am exhausted.  I have worked 70+ hours in 8 days, and one of those days was a day that I had off.  Yesterday I feel asleep both in the middle of Sherlock Holmes: Shadow Games and in the middle of Sherlock (the BBC series) despite trying desperately to stay awake.

I have more time this week because most of my friends (with the exception of Lana) are leaving, which, as always, is sad.  On New Years Eve we had our friend's Christmas and it was fantastic (fuck my actors are always so fucking loud. Fuck.).  During the end of the night (actually the early hours of the morning) we sat down and talked with each other about our lives.  It's so easy when we're scattered about the country to lose track of each other, but it was an incredibly valuable talk.

Happy New Years by the way (woah, the lights started changing and it was subtle enough that I though my eyes were just freaking out).  I never do New Years resolutions; I have way too many things to work on in my life to make a resolution just once a year.  However, one thing that I would like to work on my frequently is using the word "person".  So often I tell stories about people and use pronouns when they just aren't needed.  People use pronouns so often that I tend to forget that more than just being a man or a woman or genderqueer, that we are all people.  We are all people and that is something that unites all of us, and I want to try to remember that more.

Since this post was mainly a ramble to begin with I suppose I'll end.