Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Life with the Chapmans

Ever wondered what an average day in the Chapman Home is like? Pictures speak a thousand words. (So here's daily life in 4,000 words...)

Oh, and here's Thanksgiving in 5,000 words:

There was lots of music.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Work in progress

I'm almost done with the first draft. One day, I'll hand a printed copy to my mom, who keeps reminding me that this MUST be written.

There's still a lot of work to do, but this ROCKIN' cover and perfect title for my little Kirby memoir, is great motivation to finish.

(The title is from the "Kirby song" we sang as an office to get us pumped every morning. "Up in my head, down in my feet, deep in my heart, I got the whole Kirby spirit!")

Friday, November 18, 2011

Quirks of evolution

The other night, as I was watching a documentary called "Clever Monkeys" (narrated by David Attenborough of course), I was introduced to one of the weirdest looking creatures on the planet today.

Really. It's really weird. Wanna see it?

Scroll down. I dare ya. 

TA DA!!!

This is a proboscis monkey. Or the "long-nosed monkey," as its also known. And I think it might be my new favorite animal. I'm not sure, though.

It's kind of like a car crash. Part of you wants to look away, and the other part of you can't help your fixation, you know? When I showed this picture to my sister-in-law Laura, she said "I don't know whether I want to cuddle it or drop an anvil on its head."

Anyway, they're endangered, and they live in Borneo, and only the males have those weirdly large noses. Here's another picture for you.

I mean, doesn't this guy look like a muppet? Or an old man? Or a muppet of an old man? Several people noted that this guy is "The Jimmy Durante of Monkeys."

Here's another picture. This is "Zoolander Proboscis Monkey."

"What? I'm a proboscis monkey, biotch! Don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful!"

(Okay, that might have gone a little too far. But it seemed the appropriate caption to this photo.)

The thing I can't figure out is WHY they have those huge noses. What evolutionary purpose could they serve? Since only the males have them, are they some sort of...wooing display? Like, "Look at me and my large nose. I would make a good mate!" (That's as far as I'm going with that...I don't think I could continue without feeling uncomfortable.) Or are there foods in Borneo that demand a keen sense of smell to be found?

I can't think of any truly plausible reason that nature would select for this nose.

I have a hard time believing it's real. I've concluded, however, that the proboscis monkey must belong in the same genus as these guys:

Squidward, from "Spongebob Squarepants," and

the Blobfish.

(The Blobfish is a real creature, by the way. I know that picture doesn't look real, but it is. According to Wikipedia, the blobfish "is a deep sea fish of the family Psychrolutidae. Inhabiting the deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, it is rarely seen by humans. Blobfish live at depths between 600-1200 meters or 1968-3937 feet where the pressure is several dozen times higher than at sea level, which would likely make gas bladders inefficient for maintaining buoyancy. Instead, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming. Its relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats in front of it. Blobfish eat invertebrates like crabs and sea pens." Yeah. It's "primarily a gelatinous mass.")

Oh, and proboscis monkeys tend to have large "beer-bellies" too.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Ain't this glamorous!?"

Acting is usually billed as a glamorous profession. Red carpets, Dior gowns, cool drinks and personal assistants. And while that is part of the life for the 2% of the world’s actors who can demand six figures for every project, the majority of the time, acting is probably the LEAST glamorous job in the world.

Here’s what acting actually is:

Acting is wearing a spandex full-body suit for two hours while scales are being painted onto it. And then not moving while it dries.

It is putting on a wig-cap (which makes everyone look like a transvestite, regardless of their sexual/gender identity), then having bobby pins lodged deep into your skull for several hours.

It is wearing a gown made of three layers of upholstery fabric under 50 brightly focused lights.

It is saying the same words hundreds of times, and trying to make them sound new every time.

It is changing your clothes (and occasionally your entire identity) in less than 45 seconds, either in a darkened corner with three pairs of hands gropingly assisting you, or else while running through the restaurant below the theatre.

It is spending 20 – 30 hours per week (that’s a part-time job, people) for two months in order to receive 30 seconds of applause.

It is standing outside in the dead of winter in a light coat and being told not to shiver.

It is being told to stop what you’re doing every two minutes or less, for five to six hours a night, for one long long long week.

It is a non-lubricated condom pulled over a mic-pack worn around your waist under your costume, with a mic thread pulled through your hair and taped onto your face with medical tape.

It is having a rib popped out of place by someone falling on you, and going on with the show anyways.

It is cleaning blood out of the inside of your character shoes.

It is being told, sometimes even by those that love you, either directly or indirectly, that your contributions to the world are not worthwhile and do not matter, regardless of how life-changing your experiences in that theatre have been.

It is bruised elbows, hyper-extended knees, ripped off fingernails, dislocated toes, and pulled muscles.

It is not getting home until midnight for weeks.

It is finding Ben Nye makeup (which I’m pretty sure is a combination of pottery clay and Crisco) in your eyebrows a week after a show has closed. (And fighting the zits from that makeup for months after the show has closed.)

It is having your hair wrapped in plastic wrap, straws stuck up your nose, a garbage bag put over your shoulders, and strips of plaster laid over your face. (And again, being told to not move while it dries.)

It is singing and dancing for six hours straight, six nights a week, in 103-degree weather.

It is looking into the eyes of one person some night, and knowing that you made some difference in their life. Maybe they learned something, maybe they felt something…something in their face tells you that you did something meaningful.

I’ve been in somewhere around 30 productions now. I’ve done tech for another 10 or so. (Tech is two hours of boredom interspersed with five minutes of sheer panic.) Every one of those things I mentioned up there I’ve personally experienced. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t mean for this to sound like bragging or anything, I’m just trying to share what I love.

I guess all I really have to say is that those who stick with acting DON’T do it for the glamour.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Least Festive Halloween Ever

Between designing sound for one show, and starring in it, and running sound for another show, and working 15 hours a week, and going to school full-time, there simply wasn’t time or emotional energy to get excited about Halloween this year. No costumes, no jack-o-lanterns, no candy, no parties. No nothing. Kinda lame.

But here’s the thing. Last night I was filled with gratitude to just sit at home with my husband and not have to be ANYWHERE. We’ve been basking in the free time we’ve had the last two nights. Sunday, we got into bed around 7 and stayed there until we fell asleep around midnight, with only a break or two to get dinner (Rocky Road ice cream and Great Value peanut butter cups). Jacob read a J.R.R. Tolkien story aloud and then we made out.

If that all sounds perfect, it was.

Last night, we went out to dinner, and then I shaved my legs, soaked my feet, and read “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” while eating chocolates. The whole evening was rather Holly Golightly, actually. (Except for the part when I fell on my face while weather-proofing our bedroom window. Not so Holly Golightly.)

So Happy Halloween, I guess. In the future, the Chapmans will be more festive. But this year, sitting in the living room, listening to Jacob play the guitar while I read and wrote, was the perfect Halloween.