Sunday, January 15, 2012

Notes from the road. Volume 2

Day 14 on the Love, Loss and What I Wore tour.  I can't tell you much about Tampa as I am not really a "sight-seer" (for more on this, please see earlier post entitled "Note from the Road").  All I've seen of Tampa is the hotel, the theater, the laundromat, the Dali museum, and the rather depressing stretch of road in between.  I can tell you that there is plethora of tiny penis cars, mostly Corvettes and Porches. And the local movie theater in the mall across the way has a decent selection of movies none of which start any later than 8pm, which is find rather perplexing and a little troubling.  That being said, we seem to be in a very corporate part of town, our hotel is jam packed with blue shirts, so, I suppose by 9pm everyone is hammered, celebrating the awesome Power Point presentation they gave on revenue increases and synergy, or whatever, and they're back in their rooms plowing some stranger they'll never see again.  I have spent the last week holding my breath every time I walk through the lobby for fear that I might run into my ex-husband who is one of those blue shirt wearing business guys who travels for "business" all the time.  I have not run into him.  This is a good thing.  Here is the view from my hotel window:

Notice how you can see clearly into the windows across the way.  They can see clearly into mine as well.  I checked this my first day here by going down into the atrium thing and looking up.  I was greeted by a man in a towel standing at his window.  I waved at him.  He waved back.  Awesome.  But it was this or a room on the second floor directly above the front entrance where heavy trance music is played 24/7.  I opted for the creepy, peeping tom room.

First morning here I went out on a timid exploratory mission and found this:
which just made me so happy.  I fucking LOVE Waffle House and am still not over the fact that they don't exist in L.A. or New York.  I went on in and ordered up some eggs, waffles and hash browns, smothered, covered and diced.  The service was snail-slow, my eggs were snotty and they didn't have real butter.  I might be a leftist liberal snob to think this, but shouldn't a place that serves waffles have real butter.  I can forgive the fake maple syrup since no one even knows what this is anymore.  But come one, no butter in the whole place?  Really?  Though from the look of the general clientele, they're probably not hurting for butter on a regular basis. . .  As I was paying my check I took note of a sign above the register which read, "Waffle House.  America's Number 1 Server of T-Bone Steak".  No joke.

Two of my cast mates went to the beach on Thursday, but as the trip involved leaving at 9am, taking some kind of ferry and the inevitable requirement of walking on the beach (required only by my fear of being discovered to be the lazy bum that I am), I bowed out of the entire ordeal.  I also had laundry to do, as Thursday morning I was down to just pajamas and slippers.  (The night before, in the elevator some guy asked me if I was headed to the gym.  I told him I was going to lobby bar.  He glanced at my threadbare, stained pajama shirt and said nothing else.)  I knew I would not be able to go on the field trip and get my laundry done while still sleeping till noon which seems to be the absolute earliest I am willing to get out of bed.  I am barely capable of doing anything but the show each day.  This might be excusable if I were in a slightly more physically demanding show.  As it is, I sit on a stool, talk and listen for less than 2 hours a night.  You'd think I was doing Nicholas Nickleby, the way I insist on reserving my energy.  As it turns out, the beach was awesome.  It was quiet and serene and while Emily and Sonia went for a walk, Myra laid out and took a nice nap.  So, while I slept in my dark room with a sound machine playing waves at top volume, Myra slept in the sun with actual waves playing at top volume.  I'm an ass.

I did manage to get my laundry done.  I dragged myself out of bed despite the hangover I got from drinking Bushmills and watching Animal Planet until 3am and headed to a local coin-op place.  The proprietor, a friendly, stout woman whose legs were covered in varicose veins and who had fat ears (seriously) was sitting out front with another woman who was probably 5'10 and 98 pounds, chatting about miscarriages and hysterectomies.  They both looked like they could use a little more sleep and a little less meth.  Fat Ears eventually came in and mopped the place.  It was just me and her and she told me, completely unprompted about her history of weight gain and loss.  A guy came in with a couple big bags of laundry and F.E. grunted, "Ah, shit.  I just mopped."  Then she called out, "You dropping off?"  He said he was and she said, "Fuck".  It was nice.  As I was folding my laundry, two men in suits came in and introduced themselves to F.E. and said they were detectives.  The chatted briefly about an incident that had transpired at the laundromat the day before.  Apparently some nitwit left her purse in the bathroom and when she came back for it, there was $50 missing from her wallet.  Everything else was still there; credit cards, cell phone, everything.  And she filed a police report.  For $50.  The detectives represented two of FOUR who were on the "case".  They said they would be back later to see if they could catch the "perpetrator".  It must have been a really slow day at the precinct. 

Friday I joined my cast mates on a trip to the Dali Museum.  Having shirked the beach, I figured I would look like a real asshole if I didn't go to the museum.  This points to a major lack of respect I have in planning for my own laziness.  Instead of going to a beach where I could have laid in the sun and slept, I went to a museum where I had to WALK and LOOK at things.  At any rate, the museum was nice.  The exhibit was just long enough so that as I started to get really cranky about looking at paintings of shit that made no sense, it was over.  I got one of those audio tour thingies which was really informative and interesting.  I learned a lot of neat things.  All of which I have subsequently forgotten.  Although now, if I'm ever presented with the opportunity, I can impress people by saying something like, "Dali was one of the founders of Surrealism and used his art to object to war."  But then I'll probably end up farting and losing all the respect I had gained with my vague art "fact".  This was my favorite thing I saw in the museum:
When no one was looking, I totally made out with the exhibition.

No cell phones ringing during shows here in Tampa, although we do have two more shows, so, you never know!  Tampa audiences have been pretty great.  They can be a talky bunch, but then, they are seated cabaret-style at tables and most of them are drinking.  The reception to the lesbian bit is a little chilly here, except for the lady who kept giving us the lesbian victory fist pumps.  I dedicated the scene to her in my heart.  I didn't know her name, so I just called her "Lesbian Victory Fist Pump Lady".  "This scene," my heart cried out, "is dedicated to Lesbian Victory Fist Pump Lady!  And a hearty 'Woo!" right back at you, Madam."
Our Saturday matinee crowd included a table of four in the front row who had either all had a fight over their brunch bill, had just found out someone died or just simply hated the show from the moment it began.  The lot of them barely cracked a smile and generally looked like they would have rather been chewing rocks than seeing our show.  One of them, a lady who was wearing a bad wig looked like she was smelling a blue cheese dog fart through the whole thing and her husband stared lecherously at Emily (who sits next to me) the entire time.  I was hoping Em hadn't noticed because it was SUPER creepy (he was like 135 years old), but the first thing she said to me when we got off stage was, "That MAN!!!"  I could have kicked him during the curtain call if I had wanted to.  Which I guess I'm issuing as a warning:  If you're going to sit in the front row, at least pretend to look like you're trying not to shit your pants for the whole hour 45 that we're on stage.  And worse, don't stare at one of use like your taking a mental inventory for later when you've taken your Viagra and you're having "alone time" in your den.  We can totally see you and I am not above kicking.  (That's actually a complete lie, I wouldn't kick anyone.  I'm wearing 5 inch heels and if I tried to kick someone I would definitely fall down.)  Remember, live theater is not like that magic box you use at home to watch American Idol and The Big Bang Theory, we can see you and we can hear you.  Okay?  And if you really hate theater that much, here's an idea:  Don't go to the theater.  I know our show doesn't appeal to everyone, but come on.  It ain't Shopping and Fucking, people.  It's a pretty non-offensive, relatable confection, how put off could you possibly be?

We are all pretty ready to head out to Ft. Lauderdale.  While I have enjoyed the 5 million thread count sheets, this place caters more the the guest with the business account who will take prospective clients to the over priced steak house and watch football in the "lounge" over highway robbery-priced bourbon.  Add to that the hotel room doors which seem to have been designed specifically to wake the entire floor up when they slam shut.  We have decided that this is so that you wake up when house keeping is around and let them clean your room (for the tip you have OBVIOUSLY left them. . .).  One would think that doors with this kind of gravitas would be sound proof.  One would be wrong.  There was also a party in the lobby the other night that went on til 1am and was heard three floors up and resulted in drunken slobs having shouted conversations in the hallways as they stumbled to their rooms.  This was outside the room next to mine when I got home tonight:
In case you can't make it out, it's a bag of shitty diapers.  The family next door with the SCREAMING children left it.  In the hall.  Like you do.  So, yeah, I'm ready to go.

In other news, there is a goose who lives in the hedge in front of the stage door at theater.  I have named her Juanita.
If you ever work at the Straz Performing Arts Center in Tampa, look for her.  She's pretty chill.