Wednesday, September 27, 2006

TSFY Class of '87 & '88!

Surfing around on the web, the other night, I discovered that the University of Utah's Theatre School for Youth is a program that still exists. And is still run by Dr. Xan Johnson! Looks like it is a bigger program, now, and runs throughout the year as opposed to just summers. I was tickled to see that. My life was truly transformed over the two summers that I spent as a student in that program. I met great people, learned about some fantastic music, had my young heart broken at least twice, felt as though I was in a world that my non arts friends just wouldn't understand and realized that I could be an actor and not relegated to dancing in Cats on Broadway. Though, at the time, Cats seemed like a great gig and it was still new enough to thrill us all at the mere mention of "Memories". I don't even think that the SNL skit had happened, yet. I've actually never seen the musical, though I do have the music. I had the album, and bought the cd a few years ago. A soft place for musicals is ever present in my heart, which I'm pretty sure I've copped to already.

Do you think they would hire an acting teacher who doesn't seem to get much work? Or do they just want working actors who need a summer gig? I remember one of my acting teachers, his name was Jeff, and he was 24. I thought he was so old and mature and cute. (Yes, my 12 year old school girl self had a little crush on him. A harmless crush.) I remember once asking him about what it was like to get to buy a beer, since he was clearly over 21. His reply stuck with me, as it seemed so odd. He said that by the time he'd turned 21, he'd already done so much drinking and partying that the thrill was gone. It wasn't a big deal and now he didn't drink all that much. Random memories, 101. I don't recall whether or not he was a grad student at the U. or a professional actor, or what he did outside of the school. I wonder if he is working now, or if he wound up going to grad school for some other type of career? Hmmmm...What fun it might be to go back there for a month and teach. Which is kind of funny for me to consider, since I have not had a desire to teach acting. I fear I wouldn't have the patience and I'd resent students who didn't seem talented for taking up the time of those who do. What I used to observe with annoyance in some of my college professors was their ability to devote as much attention and good faith in students who were only there because they needed an arts credit so they could graduate. Now I see it more clearly. That's why those people made good teachers. I believe you have to possess such qualities in order to be an effective teacher. Like the lesson I've learned reading New Yorker film reviews. Sometimes a movie is reviewed that I might consider a complete waste of time. And yet the reviewer can take it for what it is--fluff, pure entertainment, low brow humour, action only--and find what works in that film. Admirable qualities.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

No Show

She didn't show. The suit is back on the rack and I wonder if she will come in again, or if she'll be another every few months kind of gal who blows through and then disappears. I wish her the best.

In other news...I've been working on my letter of recommendation for my grad school applications. 500 words sure isn't a lot, despite what some online chat rooms say. Hello, I'm Linnet and I'm intelligent, dedicated, able to comprehend multiple concepts as well as being light hearted with a sense of humour. Oh, and you want me in your program. I'm an asset. One might think it would be simple to get all of that squeezed in to a couple of pages, double spaced. Any advice from my grad school reading friends would be helpful. (hmmm...I think there are two of, three, if Ali reads this. Do you read this Ali?) Part bragging, part humility, part fun. That's what the samples I have read seem to possess. It all seems like a game. Do I admit that I haven't been able to make my living as an actor so I've decided to go back to school for a "useful" degree? I mean, that's partly the truth. Of course, they don't need to know that I'm not giving up the acting thing. I mean, if I have to earn a living outside of acting, to support my acting, why not make it something that actually earns some kind of living? I am all for some kind of retirement fund, something to keep me from working at McDonald's when I'm 75. Maybe some of my sweet nieces and nephews will want to take care of me? Like that cute little Colin McLaughlin. (Paige's, my youngest sister, son.) He sure seemed like he took a shinin' to me when I visited a couple of weeks ago...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Is She or Isn't She?

Once in a while, where I work, we get a customer who goes through the store picking out items that they are going to buy "tomorrow".

"Please put this on hold for me, I'll be back tomorrow."
"Of course. What's your name?"

There is one woman who does this about every six months. I know she isn't going to be back tomorrow, or for another six months probably. It's no bother to say yes and put the suit, or dress, or hat, or shoes in the closet and take them out the next day.

Today, a woman came in at 6pm--we close at 6. A few stragglers were just leaving and she was walking in and, well, what are you going to do? If the door had been locked and she stood outside it, I wouldn't have let her in. But, well, the door was open. She had a very hyper energy, and if I knew what people on speed or coke or whatever were like, I might have compared her to one of those drugs. However, I am naive in that department, so I'm stuck with hyper. Like a squirrel gathering nuts. First thing she said was "I love this hat. How much is it?" "$975". "That's cheap! I love hats. I'll pay anything for a hat. My husband's going to buy that Halston for me, tomorrow, but I might get the hat." And then she's on to a designer skirt and a 60's suit. (A suit that I covet and was hoping to borrow for a wedding, next month.) It was the way she said "tomorrow", however, that pricked my ears. She was talking so fast and kept dropping names of designer collections that she had bought this fall season. The whole line of YSL suits, "you know, with the pencil skirts" and then she went into this mile a minute explanation about how she'd just spent $35,000 in shoes, boots primarily. "You know Hermes boots, this year? Well, they can't import kangaroo leather into the United States anymore, so I had to fly overseas to buy the boots I wanted. They'll go perfectly with that suit." She then squealed, no kidding, and HUGGED me. I'm suspicious of too much information in the name dropping realm. And I'm REALLY put on my guard when total strangers hug me. Even if they are in my shop and excited about a 1960's grey pinstrip Jacques Heim suit with large grey and pink swirly buttons. It's just plain weird. So, yes, I put the suit on hold for her. She'll be back Sunday, she just lives around the corner by Etta's, blah, blah, blah. Alright. See you tomorrow.

The question is this: Is this woman manic? Crazy? A pathological liar? Or is she for real? Well, obviously she is for real. She can be really crazy, really manic, a real big liar or really legit in her intention to come back and purchase the Halston, the suit, the hat and any number of other items. I am looking forward to seeing whether or not she comes back tomorrow, or any day. It's not that I doubt the money. I work in a place where we can't possibly judge whether or not a person has the means to buy the items in our shop. I don't want to get into that kind of sizing up, anyway. It's not fun and it's un kind. We don't even care if people can afford the store, or not. None of us that work there can. The point is not whether or not she can afford the clothes, it is whether or not she is cuckoo for cocoa puffs, or what. I just wanna know. She was wearing a wedding ring, which also made me wonder. If she is a bit screwy, what must that be like in the marriage? Does he know? Is this like one of those stories where the husband is slowly watching the mental demise of his beloved wife and is powerless to stop it. She won't take her meds, or forgot them, or hasn't been prescribed them yet? Not exactly like "A Beautiful Mind", but that idea. Very curious...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Not Party Potential

It never ends. This jaunt down memory lane. My pal, Adam, and I have been e-mailing back and forth impressions of our impressions. But what, dear reader, are the impressions of those that you thought you knew, or didn't know at all and yet they knew you? is probably better not to know, that is what I think. I am afraid that I'd be told I was some kind of snooty snob. In college, friends told me that when they first met me, they thought I was aloof. Ouch. I wasn't aloof. I was quiet and shy. Once I get to know someone, I am easygoing--I think--and silly and friendly. I don't strke that person as a shy gal, but I am. In social settings, if I don't know you, I feel too awkward to extend the hand and say, "Hello. I'm Linnet. What's your name?" And then the flow of what do you do, are you from Seattle questions. I'd prefer to stand at the food table and munch on chips and dip, if they're available. Otherwise, you might find me standing in front a the bookshelf reading all the titles and making mental notes of the ones I've read, or that I haven't read and want to. Or the ones I wouldn't read, unless they were the last books on earth. Who am I kidding? I don't even go to parties. What does this have to do with the start of this entry? I don't know. I don't care.

Well, I did go to one, recently. Shawn was in Oregon, surfing, and I'd already told the hostess that I was planning on going. I wanted to go. Really. Only, when it came time to get out of the house and into the cab, I was having my doubts. Would I know anyone there? Would I have a good time if I didn't? Could I bust out of my shell and make some new friends? Ugh. It's times like these that I suddenly feel so small and exposed. The party was quite the happening spot. All kinds of hipsters and yogsters and a mixture of both. (Housewarming for my favorite yoga teacher, and it was very sweet of her to invite me.) A band was getting ready to play just as I arrived, phew!, no need to make conversation now. Said my hello to Jenny and then looked at a bunch of faces that I did not know. Unfortunately, the band only played for about 20 minutes. It was time to mingle. Looked at the books. Hmmm...some good reads there. O. Always wanted to read that one. Self guided tour of the living room, kitchen and hallway. Goody. Pictures. Huge back yard. A table with some food that I couldn't eat (I was in the midst of that liver cleanse. Still a few weeks away from coffee, in case you were wondering.), a badmitton game being played, fire pit and vegetable garden. HUGE back yard! Back into the house. Okay...outside for some sparkling water. Another turn around the garden and I have cell phone in hand to call a cab. "Hi, I'm Alvin. You look like you need some people to talk to." A hand extends, I shake it, give a nervous laugh and am introduced to the other guys standing around in a little circle of welcome. Now, that wasn't that hard, was it? We are soon joined by the girlfriend of one of the guys and having a merry conversation. I stay for another 45 minutes, and then leave, thanking them for including me. Mental note to try that whole "Hi, I'm Linnet" thing on someone next time I'm at a party and I see others, like me, who don't seem to know anyone.

I suppose that the other party goers could have seen me wandering around, hands in pockets, not talking to anyone and view me as some kind of unapproachable. My fear of introducing myself--heck, of saying my name and playing the pronunciation game--might look like something completely different to an onlooker. I don't know.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Thanks to my good friend, Adam Brooks, for pointing out that Ken Ober was the host of Remote Control, not Colin Quinn. Yes. Very true. Quin was the announcer. Memory slipping with age...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Music Memory Lane

Still thinking about music that brings me back to a certain place, person and other memories. I've got a list in my head, right now, and I'm ready to share. It's not in any particular order. Why not start off with the song that prompted it all...

"All I Want", Toad the Wet Sprocket: Wade Myers, Moon Valley High School, class of 1992. Boo hoo hoo, and all that jazz.

The Smiths: John Moreau, Mike Lynch, Tom Walsh (was that his last name?), Ben Brittain....but mostly John, who was my first "serious" boyfriend. And in particular, "Still Ill", as he sang that sort of to himself while we walked around a park on our first date. "Under the iron bridge we kissed..." is the line I think he was specifically hoping I'd hear. No go. Too nervous to kiss anyone on the first date. I was but an itty bitty freshman at MVHS.

"Shout", Tears for Fears: 5th grade, Bountiful, Utah. My oldest sister was on the swim team at Bountiful High, and the boy swimmers listened to the modern music station, (underground, college-type radio, new wave, whatever you happened to call it before it became "alternative" or "indie). She wanted to impress them, though she didn't actually like the music. But me, wowza, it opened up a whole new world of music for me. This was several months before the song was played on what I liked to call mainstream radio. Such a trend setter, har, har, har.

"With or Without You", U2: Awkward pre-teen yearning for, I knew not what...something more...While still living in Bountiful, I was suffering from insomnia at the ripe old age of 12. The modern music station had gone off the air, due to unpopularity and was relegated to broadcasting late nights from 10pm until 1am, or something. Thank god for insomnia, huh? I have such a clear memory of sitting on the floor of my bedroom, holding onto this crappy radio/tape deck that played tapes at a super fast speed and often ate said tapes, hearing that song come on. So haunting, so late at night, so restless. So wishing to know if any boy would ever like me, if I would ever be pretty, or have nice things. So not knowing.

Oingo Boingo, Depeche Mode (pre 1987): University of Utah's Theatre School For Youth program. Salt Lake City, Utah. Finally, a group of people that not only understood and appreciated my music tastes, but many of them had tapes or records by these groups and made me copies!!! The first music that I owned. 1984 was probably my favorite Boingo album, still is, if I had to choose. Hmmm...another iTunes foray? You can throw some Dead Milkman (not Punk Rock Girl, before that song) into the mix along with some Thompson Twins and Erasure.

"Killing an Arab", The Cure: Courtney--holy crap, batman, I forgot her last name. How strange...Anyway, 8th grade at Palo Verde Jr. High in Phoenix, AZ. Courtney loved The Cure and supplied me with copies of many albums. (You see a trend, I never had any money to buy my own music.) We used to go to her house after school and watch 120 minutes, recorded the night before, and that MTV game show "Remote Control", when Colin Quinn hosted it. Loved it. We'd eat tomato and miracle whip sandwiches on wheat bread. Yum. We lost touch during high school, lived in different zones. Randomly met up with her again, though. She was friends with a girl who was pursuing my boyfriend, John--yes, The Smiths guy--and Courtney gave me all the dirty details. Gotta love loyalty. By then she was known as Coco, which I was never able to call her. She was ditzy as Coco. She knew a lot about the people I hung out with during my first two years of high school. Told me all kinds of horrible truths that had been kept from me.

"One Voice", Barry Manilow: Ahhh....the album of the same name was my first record, EVER. Got it for Christmas when I was 6. We lived in southern Idaho, in case anyone is keeping track. I loved Barry Manilow. Would sing his songs at the top of my lungs, so my mom says. And I believe her. He still holds a soft spot in my heart, Barry does. "We're just two ships that pass in the night, we both smile, when we say it's alright..." Sigh.

"Red Headed Stranger", Willie Nelson: Young Idaho years...As a family, we did not listen to a lot of music together, but my mom or dad had bought this Willie Nelson tape and we all loved to hear it. That song was really fascinating to me, it told a complete story. I loved the sad ending and the gunslinger aspects of it. Marty Robbins, too. We had the album, "Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs" with that picture of him dressed all in black, ready to draw his pistol and shoot the other guy. Very powerful image for me. Heck, let's add "Rhinestone Cowboy" to this family nostalgia mix. I wanted to be a cowboy, when I was little. NOT a cowgirl. They didn't look like they had as much fun. I wanted to be a girl who was as tough and cool and slick as a cowboy. Like the one on the cover of that Marty Robbin's album.

"Two Princes", Spin Doctors: Michael Cruz (formerly Sullivan). His sr. year of college at ASU and my freshman. I was doing makeup for "The Doctor in Spite of Himself" and he was Sganarelle. In the dressing room we would listen to that song and Michael really liked it. It's not one of my favorite, but whenever I hear it I think of him and how much I love him. What a great, long friendship we have had. My oldest friend, I tell people. I truly have known him longer than any of my friends (excluding family, of course).

"Perfect From Now On", Built to Spill: 2000, Seattle. Leaving my last relationship. Desperately unhappy and wanting to get back on track with myself. I listened to the live album and this song felt so good to blast in my car. (I used to have a car, can you believe it? That was another life time ago.) Even when I hear it, now, I have a sense of freedom and breaking out of something that was truly stifling my soul.

Canon in D Major, Johann Pachabel: Dana Marie Blumenthal. When she was in grade school, my parents gave her some Pachabel for Christmas. She was crazy about that piece. Played it all the time. Of course, it is a timeless classic and now it's completely over used in wedding ceremonies and commercials and movies. But Dana loved it. We played it at her funeral and it took me a very long time to be able to listen to it.

Adagio for Strings, Samuel Barber: Sneaking into "Platoon" at the dollar theatre--it really was $1 back then--when we lived in Bountiful. My sister Gina took Holly and me to see it, though we had to lie to my mom. She didn't want us going, but we just had to go, we just had to. I don't even know why, except maybe because Charlie Sheen was in it and I had a little leftover crush on him from his sympathetic jock portrayal in "Lukas". Well, my mother found out that we'd gone to see that and she was very displeased. It was worth it, whatever kind of punishment happened. I don't even remember. Because I fell in love with Willem Dafoe (his acting more than anything) and that music. Very moving. Big impression.

"Then He Kissed Me", The Crystals: 8th grade and the bad radio in my life. Despite having some tapes made by friends, it wasn't enough to get me through every morning of getting ready for school. I hated the top 40 stations and refused to listen to them. Instead, I listened to golden oldies radio. I had recently seen "Adventures in Babysitting", which opens with this song, and I loved it. Fortunately, it was often on the rotation. For some reason, it was always so dark when I got up to get ready for school. I think it had something to do with wanting to make sure I got some hot water for my shower and having to be at the bus stop by 7-ish.

I could go on and on. Who couldn't? Every time I write about one song, a dozen more pop into my head. I can't write about each one fast enough. Perhaps I'll just have to revisit this topic from time to time. Make it a feature, of sorts. This weeks stroll down music memory lane....and the like.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Googlosity #2

Why is curiosity sometimes so disatisfying? No need to answer. Curiosity killed the cat, I know. It's like a disease, in some ways. Here I am, minding my own business and I hear the tail end of a song that I remember liking when I was in high school. A song, mind you, that I wouldn't have necessarily admitted to liking, since it wasn't in my canon of cool. "All I Want" reminds me of liking a boy who liked me for awhile, and then gave up when a friend explained that I'd mentioned I wasn't interested in seeing anyone. Very nice, wasn't she? So, I hear this song and...ahhhh...the days of high school heartache. I download the song from iTunes. It's as pop-ee and sentimental as I remembered it to be and I still dig it! What happens next? O, the cursed google. Do I find information on this old crush who I only got to make out with once, to learn, a few days later, that he had already moved beyond his crush on me and was in process of pursuing another girl? (Did this stop him from the kissy kissy tongue gymnastics? No. Typical.) Wade Myers, for that is the boy, is mentioned in someone else's blog. A list of friends' (belonging to that blogger) picks for flawless albums. Wade lists this band's album as one of his. Zowie! Now I'm in google obsession mode. It's so easy to fall into that. I go from Wade (for whom I find nothing on except the aforementioned blog) to general curiosity about peeps from my past. I'm back to my Sarah Combs monomania, only now it's not her. It's a category, rather than a person. And I am as likely to satisfy my curiosity regarding the latter as I am to learn about her. What is this? My version of the annual late summer cold? What is important to note is that I don't necessarily want to contact these folks, I just want to know what they're doing. Where they are. What they look like. Basically, I'm a coward. I'm secretly searching, afraid to admit that I'm curious. Do they wonder about me? The "I was just a dork in high school" side of me is certain that no one gives a rat's ass about my current doings. But maybe there is a song that plays and they, too, start to google. How would I ever know?

I'd like to read this book, based on the review. I heard that durn song, and suddenly, just as the reviewer says, the movie in my mind of that particular moment of my life is playing. In fact, I might even blame that review for sparking this whole new found goofiness--googleness. Because reading that article is what reminded me that I wanted to buy that song from iTunes. Yeah. That's how it all started! And I wax nostalgic and even have dreams starring these people, looking exactly as they did 14 years ago. Though I, lucky me, look like I do now. Phew.

And I'd like to say, just in case Wade happens to stumble upon this, that I hope you're doing well. I wonder, do you still have that copy of Leaves of Grass I gave you?