Friday, August 17, 2012

Dog Days

I'm directing another show.  It's a play called Sylvia, about a man who adopts a dog against his wife's wishes.  A young woman plays the dog.  I'm excited because the show is very funny and I look forward to working with my four actors to build an hilarious show.

There is, however, a great chance that I'll be an emotional wreck after every rehearsal.

See, here's the thing: For the past twelve and a half years, my parents have had a dog named Lizzie.  Lizzie was a golden retriever, and Lizzie was a joy to be around.  She was a very loving dog, and every time I saw her she was overjoyed to see me.  She would flop around on the floor like a puppy even if she had just seen me the day before.  It's a huge understatement to say that I loved that dog.

Sadly, two weeks ago it was discovered that Lizzie was very sick.  Soon after that discovery, my parents made the decision to put her down and get her out of her misery.  It was a big loss, as anyone who has ever had a dog can attest.  They become part of your family and it's hard to lose them.  But at least she's not in pain anymore.  Lizzie never showed pain, so we had no idea how sick she was until the vet told us.  Why did she never show pain?  Who knows.  Probably because she didn't want to make us upset.

So, what better time to direct a play about a dog?  Obviously, this was not planned.  It's not like I said, "Hey, my dog just died!  Let's do a dog show!"  I made plans to direct Sylvia months ago.  Plus, I knew the end was nearing for Liz - goldens over twelve are rare, and she was never the fittest dog - but I continued to have hope that she would live forever.  Of course, those dreams are not realities, and the truth will sometimes come crashing in to your life when you least expect it.  Like after you've agreed to direct a play about a dog.

The character of Sylvia is at least not like Lizzie.  She has a sarcastic streak, which Lizzie never had.  Sylvia is more defiant than compliant.  Lizzie loved to please.  Sylvia does not.  She is feisty and doesn't mind causing problems between the married couple.  But she shares a lot with Lizzie, too.  They both love their humans.  They both love to chew things.  And they both want to make everyone around them happy.

I have no idea how this is going to go.  I've already decided that I will be paying my own special tribute to Liz by putting some of her toys on the set after Sylvia has settled into her new home.  I will also be dedicating the show to her.  It's the least I could do.

R.I.P. Lizzie the dog.  You will most certainly be missed.  Probably by my actors as they try to awkwardly console me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Poem, Kind Of

Hello, everyone.

I am still alive.

In fact, two weeks ago, I turned 39.

Honestly, that fact has kind of freaked me out.

39?!?!?!?  How in the hell did that happen?

Oh, well, at least I'm 39.

I promise I will start writing on this blog again.

Do I still have any followers?  If so, look for more posts soon.

I am not dead.

I have been very busy.

I was Charlie Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

I sang a bunch of songs and stuff.

It was a good show.

It also took a lot of my free time away from me.

I didn't really mind.

It was a good show.

With a great cast.

Good people, all of 'em.

But it's over now.

I will write more soon.

I promise.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Letter of Gratitude

Dear Aerosmith,

Hello.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I know you're busy either hosting American Idol or complaining about someone in your band hosting American Idol.  Your time is very precious, and I'll try to respect that.

I've been a listener for a long time.  I was born the year your first record came out, 1973, and I grew up on your music.  My Dad and I bonded very early in my life listening to "Sweet Emotion" off your Toys in the Attic LP.  Your career resurgence happened right as I was going into high school, and your albums Permanent Vacation and Pump got a lot of play on my then-archaic CD player during those years.  I even followed you in college, buying Get a Grip at a local record store and listening to the song "Eat the Rich" so many times on repeat that I would hear it in my sleep.  I even loved your last release, the blues album Honkin' on Bobo.  I'm definitely a fan.

However, there is one thing I have to mention: Your song "Walk This Way" has been very problematic for me over the years.  See, my name is Marcus Waye and, even though I know you're not, it sounds like you're repeatedly screaming my name over and over again for three and a half minutes throughout the entire song.  ("And she told me to MARCUS WAYE!! MARCUS WAYE!! MARCUS WAYE!! You get the idea.)  I know it's not what you originally intended, but it's followed me around for pretty much my entire life.

OK, before I continue, I want to let you know that I'm not mad about this.  Sure, I did get teased about it in middle school, when your version of "Walk This Way" with Run-D.M.C. was released.  Kids all over the school would come up to me and shout my name in my face over and over again like in the chorus of your song.  This isn't me complaining about being bullied because of your song, because, really, there's no way I could make that claim.  Those kids were just screaming my name at me.  They didn't modify my name at all, just yelled it in my face.  A stranger would see that and think, "That kid must be hard of hearing.  Also, people like saying his full name repeatedly."  And, besides, at the end of the day, you know they went home and cried themselves to sleep in their Rambo pajamas because of how jealous they were.  Because how fucking cool is it to have a kick-ass band scream what sounds like your name throughout one of their most popular songs?  A song so cool that it became a hit twice? 

I have to admit, I have not always enjoyed this about your song.  Because of the (slight) teasing in middle school, I've gone through all the stages of grief about it:

Denial - Come on, it doesn't really sound like they're saying my name!
Anger - Fucking Aerosmith.  That song has made my life a living hell.
Bargaining - I will pay that radio station a million dollars if they will just stop playing that song. 
Depression - Why does Aerosmith keep shouting my name at me every time I turn on the radio?  Why?  WHY?
Acceptance - I love Aerosmith and I love "Walk This Way."  My life would be so less awesome without it.

So, thanks, guys, for giving me something very few people - if any - have.  (Unless there's a guy out there named Steve Emulsion that I don't know about.)  Thanks for giving me a great theme song, as well as a great ring tone for all my friends to use whenever I call them.

Marcus Waye

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Days 101-200

It just so happens that today is the 101st day of the year. I know this because the desk calendar at work tells me so.

And that really bums me out, because that means that I spent the first 100 days of the year goofing around.

I didn't mean to. I meant for this year to be the one where I got all my shit together and made a difference in my life. I had all these grand plans at the beginning of the year, plans that fell apart by January 3rd. And now the first 100 days of 2012 are over in what feels like the blink of an eye and I'm the same guy I was 3+ months ago.

But before you think I'm sitting here with the razor blade out, preparing to do some self slicing, think again. I'm looking at the first 100 days of this year as kind of a false-start, a mistake that can be corrected. So, today, I'm starting my "100 Days" plan, meaning I'm going to come up with some goals and stick to them. And I'm going to use this blog to hold me accountable. Why not? It may as well be used for something.

All of this self-help and goal stuff is new to me, by the way. My entire life I've just gone with the flow and let things happen naturally. I'm not used to a proactive approach. But I've been reading a few self-improvement blogs and they make it sound easy, so long as you have clear, definable goals. They say to write them down and cross them off when you're finished. So, here goes. Here are the ten things I'm going to do by day 200 of 2012:

01. I'm going to lose 25 pounds.

02. I'm going to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

03. I'm going to go to the doctor for a physical.

04. I'm going to go to Disney World.

05. I'm going to write a script for (as well as direct and act in) Off-Main Street Production's Random Acts II.

06. I'm going to research how someone gets to work in a major movie studio's archives.

07. I'm going to finish giving five stars to all of my favorite songs on my iPod.

08. I'm going to buy some new sneakers.

09. I'm going to put all my books in my bookcase. If my bookcase is too small for all my books, I'm going to buy a new bookcase.

10. I'm going to go to Symphony on the Prairie at least once.

There. Those are the goals I have for the next 100 days. We'll see what happens by July 18, the 200th day of the year. I'll keep you updated on my progress...

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Ten: Classic Video Games

I suck at video games. Always have. But I love playing the damn things, especially the really old games that were popular when I was a kid. And the more bizarre the game, the better. Here are some of my favorites:

OUTLAW - Two gunslingers shooting each other. That's about it. Hey, it was 1979. Not exactly the most high tech of times.

PAC MAN - Yellow pie with a piece missing eats little dots while avoiding ghosts. He can eat special dots to turn the ghosts blue and eat them. Whatever they were smoking in Japan in the early 1980s, I want some.

DONKEY KONG - Plumber saves girl from big ape who throws barrels to distract him from his mission. Big ape also inexplicably throws springs. Plumber can grab a magic hammer and pound away at all the barrels and springs in his way. At the end of each level, big ape takes away the girl. Big ape is a dick.

DIG DUG - Man digs underground and has to avoid fire-breathing dragons and some other creature that looks like a Tilt-A-Whirl car wearing a belt. Man can use his air pump to blow up these creatures. And I mean that literally. He has to blow them up until they explode. Why is the man digging around in the ground? Hell if I know.

CENTIPEDE - Little ship fires at a centipede. This game is kind of boring, but you don't understand! The arcade version had a spinning ball thing instead of a joystick. A SPINNING BALL THING INSTEAD OF A JOYSTICK!!!! It didn't take much to impress us in 1982.

BURGERTIME - You have to create some hamburgers by walking over the parts of the burger, like the bun and the lettuce and the patty. But the pickles and the ketchup are chasing you! Basically you're playing the video game version of a chef's worst nightmare.

ROOT BEER TAPPER - You are a bartender at a very seedy bar and people want their root beer NOW! Apparently people get belligerent when they don't get their A&W.

PITFALL - It was a very pixelated version of Indiana Jones, but those crocodiles were always a bitch to get around. Plus, apparently Baby Jack Black liked to play it as well.

ELEVATOR ACTION - It's retarded, I know, but I always found it fun.

PAPERBOY - It's about a paperboy who has to deliver papers on the route from hell. Between all the road construction, breakdancers, robbers, dogs, hearses, and skateboarders, it's a wonder this paperboy hasn't quit in a fit of disgust. Or been killed.

Since then games have gotten bigger and more complex. I have a friend who spends upwards of 20 hours solving each current game that he plays. Could you imagine playing Paperboy for 20 hours? Nah, give me these three minute games over the current crop any day of the week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Six Months of Updates

Wow. May 7. That's a long time for me not to update this thing.

What's been happening that has kept me from blogging? Well, pretty much everything under the sun. Let's face it, it's kind of pointless to update this thing when no one is reading it. That's not your fault, dear stranger or friend who is checking his links to see if Waye's World is finally dead. It's mine. Content is king on the Internet, and I haven't provided it on a regular basis. My bad.

Instead of beating the I-promise-I-will-update-more-often dead horse, I will say this: I intend to keep this thing active, mainly because it's like a journal of my life from 2003 onward. And as long as Blogger or Blogspot or whoever the hell controls this account allows it to remain alive, I will post here occasionally. Might be tomorrow, might be in May of 2013. But I will never stop posting.

Now, what has happened in my life since May 7th? Let me open my calendar:

May 30-June 3 - Staycation at my house. Loved it. Needed it. Did very little during it. I did manage to watch some old-school movies I'd never seen, though. There's nothing like a vacation to give you an excuse to tackle The Seventh Seal. (Which was excellent, by the way.)

June 14 - Saw Ray LaMontagne at The Lawn at White River State Park. Great show. The vibe was laid-back and peaceful. And, yeah, I probably got a contact high while I was there. I'd see him again for sure.

July 5 - Took a trip to Chicago to see U2. I'm not going to lie: I expected more. I've only seen them one other time, in 2001, and they kicked ass. This time their stage was huge and the grandness of it overbalanced the band themselves. Plus, Bono is a jackass. Great night for an outdoor show, though.

July 7 - I turned 38. Yay for me.

July 24-25 - I held auditions for the next show I was directing, Steel Magnolias. Lots of talented people turned out. It was difficult honing it down to six women, but I did it.

July 31 - Steel Magnolias rehearsals began. I loved the women, but they drove each other crazy. And me, at times. Let's just say it was a positive but frustrating experience.

August 7 - Saw Neko Case and My Morning Jacket at The Lawn. Yet another great show, although this is the third time I've seen Neko and I'm getting a bit tired of hearing all the same tunes over and over again. MMJ was fantastic. I will be seeing them again in the future for sure.

September 13 - I was supposed to see Wilco, but I had to skip it thanks to the state of Steel Magnolias. Lesson learned: Never buy concert tickets during the rehearsal process. Even if you think you'll be able to get the night off, you probably won't. C'est la vie.

September 16 - Steel Magnolias opened. About 150 people saw it the first weekend, 180 saw it the second. A lot of people raved about it. I consider that a hit.

September 20 - I started rehearsals for my next show, Lying in State, which a friend asked me to do at Epilogue Players in Indianapolis. It had been awhile since I had been onstage, so why not? Breaks are for whimps.

September 26 - Saw Elvis Costello at The Murat. Best show of the year. He did a great mix of new and old, including one of my all-time EC favorites, "Mystery Dance." Love that song.

September 30 - Saw Stuffed and Unstrung, the Jim Henson Company's puppet improvisation group, at Clowes Memorial Hall. The show was like any other improv show: There were some hilarious bits and some bits that just fell flat. Still, Muppets. Swearing ones, at that. (Plus, it made me think: I could do that...)

September 3-7 - Another staycation, all though this time I helped my Dad paint my house. OK, he painted 94% of it, but I still helped.

September 22 - My Mom was seeing Huey Lewis and the News with some friends. One of my Mom's friends dropped out. I got to see Huey Lewis for free. And I've been listening to "Heart and Soul" a lot ever since. What a great, underrated song.

September 24 - I attended my first Encore Awards, the annual local community theatre awards show. The Christmas show I was in last December - Every Chrstmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) - was up for five awards, including one for Best Comedy and Best Ensemble. We performed at the show to a lot of laughs...and we lost every award we were nominated for, further proving my theory that award shows for artistic endeavors are a waste of time. I'm a sore loser, I guess.

November 4 - Lying in State opened. Audiences were quiet the first weekend, but this past weekend they were loud and raucous. We got a mediocre review on a local community theatre website - although I was praised as one of the stronger elements of the show - which has been a bone of contention among the cast. A review's a review. It didn't really bother me. (Of course, I was prasied in it, which might have helped.)

And that brings us up to date. I lead a busy life. Now can you understand why I haven't posted on here in six months?

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Shuffle Off, Buffalo

I've reached the end of another show: Moon over Buffalo closes tonight. It's been a great run and audiences have really enjoyed it, so I'm calling it a great success. Everything came together: The show is perfectly cast, with each actor fitting their part to a "t." The set looks like I envisioned it in my head, like the backstage area of The Muppet Show. The costumes are fantastic and look great on everyone. The production aspect has been smooth with very few bumps or conflicts. And the directing...well, the directing is flawless.

That said, I will be glad when it is all over. Participating in shows is my hobby and it's an all-consuming one. Between work and Moon over Buffalo, I feel like I haven't spent any major time at home in weeks. Things like laundry and house cleaning have been neglected. I've managed to see about one new film a week, not an average I like. And my yard...oh, my poor yard. Every night I've had free it's been raining, so my yard has been especially neglected. I finally mowed the whole thing this afternoon - up to now I've only had the chance to do it in chunks - so now it finally doesn't look like an eyesore. I will do shows until the day I die, but I won't lie and say that the time off between shows is just as nice. There will be some sadness tonight at the final cast party, but I guarantee you as I'm driving home it will be like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

And then I can start planning on the next one: Steel Magnolias, which I'm also directing and which debuts in September.

So I will miss you after the show closes tonight, Moon over Buffalo. You've given me a lot of laughs over the past seven weeks. And the people I met - and the friends I got to spend more time with - while in your presence makes me happy. But I will also be glad that if we need to visit each other sometime in the future, we'll have to do it on DVD. And I'm OK with that.