Opening Night

Das Lied vom Tod

Saturday June 23, 2001

Opening night was well attended and everything went well. I had a mild case of jitters, I found myself walking through the role in a strange depersonalized manner. I was an outside observer watching me do my thing onstage. that is the reason for all of that rehearsal. the object is to become zombie like in one’s ability to present a character irregardless of physical or mental state. as the performances continue I am more at home and in the role. Acting is like an existential exercise for me. It is a competition bewixt me and some ideal of perfection, and or a challenge I set myself, to perform actions in a detached and zen like manner. does this make sense? first, of course I invest the character with a portion of my soul energy and it lives in some back part of my brain where it can be accessed every night.

the first night i found myself pissed off leaving the stage. this is because I was told to play the part in a less sympathetic manner, the character is a real dickhead, a murdering sadistic swine. I summoned up some good vile negative energy and it took a while for it to pass away into my “real self”.

I don’t usually go on about acting, I don’t consider myself an actor, but as time goes on and I work in more theatre I am becoming one. I talk about “my character” in a detached manner. I want to work hard to preserve my “beginner’s mind” in this field. I do like this acting stuff. I find it a hell of a lot more rewarding than working with the bottom feeding scum who litter the music business, playing in stale beer smelling squalid holes, the whole drill. the play is like being in a big congenial school, a group of ne’er do well bit players. We were looking out at the fairly small crowd last night (the weather is shit cold) and I joked about how we were like some gypsy troupe. “look giorgos, ten people, we eat tonight!”

sorry I have avoided other life issues, I am buzzing in show biz land. things on my own personal emotion horizon are fairly benign at the mo. feeling good is good enough for me…..good enough for me and and bobbi mcgee.

Olive Loves Popeye

Thursday, June 7, 2001

Dear Carolyn,

I wish I could answer your question about meditation. I also find myself unable to spend any time in meditation and sipping from the ever-flowing spring of nectar which gushes forth from Shiva’s head, but hey, I never much liked drinking from someone’s dreadlocks anyway.

I do think that to every thing, turn, turn, turn, there is a season etc. That is to say I think that provided I keep the fundamental things in mind (life is carnal illusion, desire is suffering, ego is fantasy, olive loves popeye) I can just take it for a given that I can’t meditate just now. All things must pass. And so on. This is a Sufi notion as well, we construct the scaffolding of our belief from the materials available to us AT THE TIME; we must just try to avoid becoming attached to any particular edifice when it is time to move on. Make sense?

Presumably there will come a time, if not in this incarnation, in the next when this soul shall dedicate itself to endless contemplation of the godhead and not be distracted by mundane considerations. It is liberating in the extreme to consider that there is really no hurry as long as I don’t bitch when I have to go through this mess again because I was too lazy to resolve it this time around.

Oh, blah blah blah. You ask why, if Berlin is so great, I will return to Italy? Well, this is just a matter of prior commitments, work wise. It becomes ever clearer that this is a dynamic city full of possibilities, resources, opportunities and that I like it in spite of the weather. Why, just the other day I was in an absurdly well-equipped public library. After the deserts of Brussels and the non existence of such resources in Athens, you can understand why I was enthralled. How long since I have been able to have access to information or reading material without purchasing it myself!

I close now. Having come to the conclusion that brevity is the core of things in this medium, I go ahead and rattle on anyway.

Reading from a computer is like eating at McDonald’s, the memory fades almost immediately upon consumption, often before.

Buffalo Schneider


Buffalo Schneider (Kirsten Schneider)

Saturday June 6, 2001

Another day another deutschmark. I woke early, cycled down to the local watering hole where a free internet connection lives, ordered my daily Milchkaffee (cafe latte to you) and there you go.

Last night was a run through of the play. We open Wednesday (june 20). We had the horses, chickens, real guns firing blanks, make up, and the pyrotechnics. Yes, at one point they blow up a coke machine. The girls are all wearing wigs, the narrator whom we call “Buffalo Schneider” is made up like Buffalo bill in a costume with gold chaps containing white LED’S.

After much strutting and fretting in an armored ham manner, I must die in this play as well. I must lie motionless with a harmonica stuck in my mouth until I rise to sing a duet with one of the greek boys. We do “rock and roll suicide” by bowie and then we return to the dead. I, of course, had lots of practice being dead for hours at a time in Agamemnon so this is nothing, nothing I tell you.

When the chickens are onstage, held aloft by a chorus line of spanish dancers wearing huge mustachios and wigs, they talk about how frank, my character, started his career as a cold blooded killer by killing more chickens than his family could eat. I then give “the chickenspeech” in german where I tell of my delight in killing a nine year old boy at the begining of the film. When I shoot him, a chicken jumps on his neck and pulls out a vein, drags it across the farmyard for 12 meters. whoo hoo. big fun for the whole family.

enough. the coffee is kicking in and I am getting long winded.