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Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Mistakes Madeline Made is plugging right along. So far, so great! We had a very epic meeting with our scenic designer Sean yesterday, and quite frankly, I’m stoked about this set.

What does this have to do with the Peace Corps? Nothing! But job guilt is what I’m thinking about today. In MMM, this guilt is a current that runs underneath everything. What are you getting paid to do, and how is that helping anything? Let’s face it. Most of us have jobs that aren’t “making a difference”. Of course, we make an individual difference. I work in marketing by day. If I can get companies to buy our product, then we make money. If we make money, people get paid. If people get paid a little, they survive. If they get paid more, then they spread the wealth, by purchasing things or giving money away, thereby helping other people survive. So, sure, my job can help 3rd world orphans in a roundabout sense. But who thinks like that? (If you do, then power to you.) Instead, on a good day I think how nice it is to have a job. On a bad day, I think how my job, in the same roundabout way, is helping add a layer of stress to lots of people, because I’m trying to convince them that they need something that isn’t food or shelter. ARG!

But what do you do when your job is just a regular job? If you don’t join the Peace Corps, are you a part of the problem? Sure, we’re not all Mr. Burns, but a lot of us probably compromise the ideals we had at 19 to pay for cable at 29.

Certainly, finding something else is key. Working with Holland Productions keeps me sane when I’ve had it up to here with filing reports. As do my monthly donations to WBUR and Planned Parenthood. Sure, I could do more. But that’s what balances my apathy, not just with my job, which actually can be great sometimes, but with life as someone quite privileged and loved and supported who would have to work hard to become destitute.

I don’t know. This is certainly a ramble. What do you think? How do you deal with having a job that isn’t “making a difference”? Are we all just a bunch of babies and secretaries, or is there some sort of happy medium to be found? Or do we simply overthink everything? Hmmm…


As we get into rehearsals for our next show, The Mistakes Madeline Made, Lydia, Krista, and Victor are going to post on some of the themes in the show, and how they approach them as dramagurge, director, and actor respectively. First up is Lydia talking about not taking a bath.

In The Mistakes Madeline Made, two characters suffer from ablutophobia, the fear of bathing. This phobia is fairly common among children, especially toddlers, but pretty rare in adults.  So what causes it? Like a lot of phobias, it depends. The shower scene in Psycho (apparently Janet Leigh never showered again after filming it).  A traumatic experience in the water. Or a traumatic experience elsewhere.

I find this last cause the most fascinating. In The Sky Is Falling, anxiety specialist Raeann Dumont talks about “magic thinking.” We all do it, just to different extents. Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Knock on wood. The Scottish Play. MANY of us say/do these things, knowing they don’t alter anything. The point is, we keep saying them. We know, really, that knocking on wood doesn’t do anything. But we just keep doing it. Not because we are saying a prayer and holding our cross or crucifix (the origin of the phrase). But because it’s a reflex. It makes us feel a little bit better. People with obsessive compulsive personalities take it to the next level. Something bad happened before or after I took a bath. Therefore, I cannot take a bath. Of course to most of us, that seems illogical and preposterous.  But isn’t it also preposterous to make an actor go outside and spin around three times if he or she says, “Macbeth”? What’s the difference between “tradition” and “disorder”?

That’s what I love about this play. Can you relate to the characters because they are afraid of bathing? Probably not. But you can relate on fear. Just fear, plain and simple. We all have something we are afraid of. Maybe it’s a big thing like death. Maybe it’s a little thing like snakes. But when you are truly afraid of something, it’s the biggest thing in the world.