Yesterday I finally emptied my voice mailbox. It was a record - full for over a week. It had 26 messages. And it was the 26th. Crazy.
One of the calls that couldn't get through - Lincoln Center. They were trying to reach me to ask my permission to include "Essential Self Defense" in their archives. They eventually reached me through one of the other writers. (Ray blows on knuckles and rubs them on his chest.) It seemed I was too busy or stupid to be bothered with their request.
So many great moments have occurred in the past weeks, muted ever so slightly by the consistent onslaught of work to be done. On the eve of opening night for the play, I feel like a little blogation is called for...
The greatest gift - sharing an amazing process with a cast and crew of immeasurable character and resonance. While I could focus on many folk, Guy Boyd seems to be at the epicenter of many things great, so I'll start with him. On Sunday Guy claimed to have had a love bomb go off in him in the last scene of the first act of the matinee and everyone has been feeling the fallout very since. Anyone that works with Guy becomes his friend, as evidenced by Mattew Modine and his daughter, who came to the matinee to see Guy and then took Guy and Chernus and Joel and I out for Thai food. Guy worked with Matthew on the first film he ever did, (Robert Altman's Streamers in 1982) and they have stayed in touch ever since. It would cheapen things to call Guy a legend. He's not. He's a treasure of a human being. This is why he has so many friends and so consistently and effortlessly throws little asides of his amazing life into the conversation - he was friends with Warren Zevon, he has a character in the Star Wars family (The father in the Ewok movies), he's worked with Sam Shepard, Tommy Lee Jones - tons of stuff I've forgotten and tons more he hasn't laid on me yet.
All this sets up my favorite story of the show so far - Saturday's matinee was attended by John Guare, the playwright who wrote, among other things, Six Degrees Of Seperation. Paul Sparks did Guare's Landscape of the Body last year with Lili Taylor, so after our show it was Paul that Guare approached first to see if someone could explain to him what he had just seen. While Guare did not seem to be dissing our show, he outwardly claimed to not get it and did so with enough vigor that Paul and Heather Goldenhersh (our leads) were fucked up for hours afterwards. Presumably after Paul and Heather had run off, Guare turned his feelings towards Guy Boyd. "I didn't get on the train," Guare told Guy, using one of those creative dismissals all the greats seem to have at the ready. To which Guy replied. "That's too bad, John. Because its a punk rock party train and you should have been on it."
(For whatever reason, a few hours of reflection seemed to help matters for the Pulitzer prize winning writer. The next day Guare e-mailed a self-described love letter to Adam and Carolyn about the play, praising the production and calling Paul and Heather's performances "chilling". Pretty cool.)
There's so much more to say, but I'll end by taking my temperature. I am proud to say that I have not been so anxious about how a project is recieved in a long long time. In a world that is driven so strongly by reviews (a good review can make or break a show's longevity) I usually manage a healthy distance from being shaken by such things. But because I love so much the play and people in it and the great work that has been put into it, (and because I want to do more of it in the future,) I'd be lying to say that I didn't hope the reviews were good. But with Dad and Millie, and soon Mike and Amy in town for the weekend and tommorw's opening, none of the worrying will keep me from celebrating the fantastic story that we've put up on the stage.