Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Don't Believe The Rose City Hype

I've been exposed to a few things in the past couple of days that could lead to deeper cynicism. For the record I hope I've made it clear that I don't want to be a cynic. However. Let's just let that contraction have a sentence all to its own.
We went to see Caberet last night. Ho hum. Wade McCollum was so weak. My goodness. He was completely self-absorbed, focused on showing us what was going on with his character interspersed with sexing things up in the most unimaginative ways. One more tweak of his nipples might have had me audibly groan. When he wasn't grabbing one of the girls or fondling himself he was standing in the shadows twirling his moustache. He seemed completely preoccupied with showing what he was about rather than supporting his fellow actors and inviting the audience into the show. His mic wasn't working in the opening scene. Rather than buck up and belt it out, he stayed pretty quiet relying on being lewd and wink-wink. It would take a lot for me to see a show that this guy is in again.
Oh look the stage is rotating again! Yay, I love how it slowly turns to reveal nothing much getting exciting over. Wait for it, here comes another lifeless scene with the lifeless dweeb playing Cliff at the rooming house. Storm Large was fine as Sally Bowles. Her singing was powerful, but a bit clean and polished for her as well as Sally. Her dialect slid a bit, but that didn't bother me so much. The Kit Kat girls were fine, could have done with more of them singing and dancing and less of them standing around acting the general debauchery of Weimar. The Kit Kat boys were straight out of gay strip club, substituting gyrating buff bodies for nuance, charm and talent. Ick. The ending left me cold. Wade's intense indicating that he was smacked out and the whole listening to Hitler on the radio thing was pretty anticlimactic.
After that we went to a release party for a music video. Let me say that the director and many of her friends are wonderful people. A pleasure to see and be around. There were a number of douchebags from the local film scene there. The good thing is that I've avoided many of them for such a long time, that we're basically strangers. Whenever I'm poised to be introduced or re-introduced, I slip away. And then Portland is so small that everyone assumes everybody knows one another so introductions are rarely made. I usually stand in the presence of new faces for several minutes waiting for an introduction. When I want to meet someone I more often than not have to introduce myself. Anyway, the video was on par with some of my more mediocre productions. Things I rarely show to people let alone host a party to present. There's part of me that envies the apparent humility to put stuff out there that's so-so.
Many years ago I was struggling to become an artist, concentrating primarily on painting. I took a few art history and design classes at City College. I was friends with a number of artists. To earn a living and to distract myself, I was working in nightclubs. I was doing a lot of drinking and taking ecstasy and acid often. There were always three or four women rotating in and out of my life. It took a lot of energy to maintain my own version of Wiemar. I was successful in some regards, but ultimately a failure in the pursuit of becoming an artist on a day to day basis. One hungover morning I was describing an art installation at the club to an artist friend of mine over the phone. I really wanted to justify my debauchery to him by showing him that I was in a creative milieu at the club. He listened to me blather on for awhile and then he said in a very kind and even tone: "Neal, you're an interesting guy, but when you try to talk about art you're completely full of shit." And I was. His reproach caused me to shut up until I learned what I was talking about. Not completely of course, but it was a big step toward having some respect and humility with regard to art.
I know a guy that I would like to take to task in a similar manner. In spite of being a pretty sweet guy he sounds like a moronic poseur most of the time he opens his mouth. Somebody said about him once that it seems like he looks up the biggest word he can find in the dictionary every morning and then goes around using it in the wrong context all day. Anyway he now has a job running a campaign for someone seeking public office. I can't help but think that anybody that would believe this guy's bullshit is not someone I for whom I would cast my vote. In the event that others do elect this candidate, it's likely that Monsiuer Malaprop will earn a job as communications director in the city government.
I'm considering moving to rural Washington State with all the nonsense I've encountered lately with my son's school and the school district, the hype for mediocre theater and the likelihood of one of the most deficient communicators I know of being gainfully employed by we the taxpayers as such. Not to mention that my property taxes spiked 11.5 percent to $7000 this year and another bicyclist was run over by a large truck.

Just Another Sucker,
Signore Direttore

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