theater

It Hurts So Good, II

So after my poplock debut this weekend, I had to get back to my Oreo ways and content myself with some anglo-tastic stuff post haste!

To erase any unintended ethnic affect, on Sunday, I  bought some crossstitching, picked up my new guitar to learn some Neutral Milk Hotel and made a Quiche.

Hot.

And between the needlework and my first time playing the guitar, my fingers are killing me!!!  Seriously, I washed my hands this morning and it burned! How long does it take guitar callouses to form?

But good things will come from that pain. And it got me out of thinking of other things that were painful in just the right ways.

Relaxer It goes without saying that a relaxer is on this list. Sure, the salve that’s spread on my scalp once a month is expensive and burns like a thousand angry suns. But for that pain, I get pretty straight hair to whip back and forth.

Dressage Training – Making a 1400-pound horse dance by controlling it with the muscles at the top of your inner thigh makes it nearly impossible to walk the next day. But if you do well enough and you get to competition, you get to wear such pretty hats!!

He's whipping his hair back and forth, too!

Spin ClassGoing spinning immediate after dressage is especially painful…but bathing suit season is only 6 months away. Ladies…am I right!

Blue Valentine – This movie is one of the best I’ve seen. Painful to watch (especially with the $14 Arclight ticket!!) but Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are also beautiful, urgent, truthful and memorable.

Also hot.

That one break up – We all have one. The one that was so spectacularly awful that we were pretty sure we’d never be able to put ourselves back together. But not only did we get back together, all that scar tissue fused strong. Stronger than it was before. We learned more than we could have imagined and made promises to ourselves that this time, we intend on keeping.

*ahem* Now back to your regularly scheduled snark.

Shots – Burning and painful all the way down. But often delicious and always socially freeing! F u, inhibitions! Ladies…am I right?! 🙂

What do you do that’s painful but good for you? Let us know in the comments!!

And check out this vlog that details my journey toward poplock domination.

For Mor-eo Oreo: Follow The Oreo Experience on Twitter (@oreoexperience)

What’s the Oreo equivalent for this guy? Suggestions Please!

We’ve talked about it briefly before, but is there a term for a gay person who hopes to be seen as straight?

Hmm, charming, attractive and talented? Yeah, I definitely don't want this guy pretending to be after me!

The inspiration for discovering this term comes to us courtesy of Newsweek’s Ramin Setoodeh, an openly gay man in the media who writes that gay actors shouldn’t play straight people. He criticizes Sean Hayes and his current performance on Broadway in Promises, Promises and Jonathan Groff who plays a straight guy on Glee.

He says that neither of these guys’ performances are believable because they are, irl, gay dudes.

Thank you for the head’s up, Ramin. And thanks for sending more would-be’s to the self loathing fold!

Nothing’s going to freak out some up and coming young actors more than hearing that because of who they are, they should be prohibited from accepting the vast majority of roles in film and television. I can almost hear the collective cry from kids who haven’t come out yet (and thanks to you, sir, might never get around to breathing that sigh of relief) in theater arts departments all over the country.

Picture it with me! Scores of young men are now criticizing every syllable they utter–was that a near lisp, they’ll think, or did I just stutter? They will watch their feet as they walk to make sure there’s no hint of a super gay sashay…but what if they’re just side stepping to avoid their own tears? Oh well, better man up!  Otherwise, there will be a critic like Ramin to remind them that as gay folk, they’re just not good enough.

It’s a good thing that Ramin hasn’t noticed how  highly trained and experienced actors go through years and years of practice and preparation to erase biases they may bring to a character. Or that he overlooked the fact that straight actors play gay, that back in the day men played women. And no one tell him that Idina Menzel is not really a green witch, that David Hasslehoff is not really a mad scientist capable of creating a serum that can split a person’s personality into two distinct halves, that Josh Brolin is not George W. Bush and that Cate Blanchette is not John Lennon.

And why leave out the lesbians? Ramin cites a couple of guys in his piece, but doesn’t seem to think that

Sometimes masks fit so well, why bother taking them off, huh Ramin?

Lesbians playing not-lesbians is a apparently not a problem. Poor ladies, why let them get away with being okay with themselves. C’mon, Ramin, without adding the gals to the you-should-self-hate list, it’s like some sort of weird affirmative action program. And we all know how horrible those are.

So what is the Oreo version of the straight gay? If an Oreo is someone who is black on the outside, but white on the inside, what’s the word for someone who’s actually gay, but presents as a socially acceptable breeder? Spaghetti squash? Testicle? (c’mon, the latter–they’re basically smoothish on the outside and inside filled with, well, lots of not straight biological tubing)

And what do you think? Should actors have to put height, weight, training and sexual preference on their head shots?

Diary of a Mad White Black Woman – I Guess I Really Should Have an IPod Anyway

Dear Diary,

Sad news.

After bringing it into the theater to provide a selection of ambient classical music while I prepared for my Neil LaBute showcase, my CD case went missing.

Gone are my collections of the American musical. No more are my ATB German electronica CDs. Au revior to my Mozart arias, my Bach sonatas, my Shostakovichian overtures in all their festivity.

But the truth is, those collections are basically replaceable.

Less replaceable, a CD that got me through some of my darkest days. A CD, given to me by a friend with whom I am no longer in contact, that always picked me up when I was low, put a spring in my step where there was none and gave me the strength to journey on.

The Georgetown Chimes.georgetown-logo

Ahh, the Chimes. The premier all-male a capella group from the school that graduated President Bill Clinton, America’s Next Top Model contestant Sara Albert and a host of other notables,  Georgetown University.

These 10 – 14 masculine voices blend in perfect harmony to bring classic songs to renewed and brilliant life. Nevermind what they do with timeless folk songs like Danny Boy and Loch Lomond, it’s what they do with traditionally ethnic music that makes my heart skip a beat. Motown and Do Wop just don’t truly resonate until they’re sung by a baker’s dozen of boarding school bred boys.

As the CD came from a friend whose contact info I no longer posses and not from amazon.com, the dulcet sounds of The Chimes will have to ring on in my head and never again through my car stereo. I will have to Hoya Hoya Saxa it alone.

Goodbye, boys. I shall miss you dearly.

Lie down forever, lie down, my friends

Lie down. Forever lie down.

Playing it Safe

I went to see an August Wilson play last night. I know what you’re thinking. Nearly buying watermelon last week, now seeing an August Wilson play, am I giving up on the Oreo lifestyle?

Not at all, friends. Like with any one night stand, I took precautions.preview_600_787

  • I went in the company and at the suggestion of a white friend. Taking someone up on an invitation to an awkward social situation is par for the course for, say, Hampton society, so why not embrace!
  • Pre show, I took care to keep a bubble of unblack patron between myself and other patrons of color. Sitting next to a black person at a play where themes of racial identity will be discussed would tempt anyone to discuss the shared experience of being a minority in America. Such discussions could lead to empathy for and an embrace of one’s ‘culture’, which clearly derails the hard and necessary work one has done as an Oreo.
  • As an extra precaution, before the show started, my host and myself engaged in a rousing discussion of comparative literature.

This definitely helped offset the high ratio of color to Caucasian in the theater.

Then during intermission, I realized: this situation was not as dire as I thought! August Wilson was the son of a black woman and a white man. Not just white, German in fact. Upon this realization, I breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed the rest of the show.

To celebrate, I’ve listed some other things that are not nearly as dangerous as they seem, plus how they can benefit anyone looking to hide from who they are.

Scorpions.
scorpionThe fake danger: With half a dozen eyes, a crispy exoskeleton, giant pincers and a tail that means business, scorpions are as terrifying looking as a rerun of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. But it turns out it’s all looks. These tiny horrors are nearly blind and have only a very mild venom. Getting stung by one is only about as harmful as getting stung by a bee.

The Oreo Upshot:
Even better than the fact that scorpions can’t really hurt you is that they are found in places where people of color are not: remote desert campsites, historic Victorian homes and exotic pet stores.

So if you as a person of color do have the fortune to be stung by a scorpion, wear that injury proudly. It shows that you are hanging out where you should be.

Swine Flu
The fake danger: Despite a handful of deaths and promotable nicknames like “Hamthrax” and “Snoutbreak,” the feared 9o5trTSwine flu is not really all that bad. Some experts are saying that it is in fact much less severe than the yearly regular flu outbreaks and the CDC is considering changing the definition of ‘pandemic’ to accommodate the general unseriousness of Swine Flu.

The Oreo Upshot:
Initial Swine Flu cases were coming out of Mexico. Should you come down with fever, chills and diarrhea, just show off your pics from the white sandy beaches of Cancun with the other white sandy patrons and anyone who was afraid of your symptoms will be delighted that they can reminisce with you about how fun it was to have drinks served to them by brown locals whose hovel homes are hidden by the American based hotel chains who give you decent rates by refusing the natives a living wage.

Texting While Driving
Avoid-texting-while-drivingThe fake danger:
Sure there is an accident or two more now than there were pre iPhone, but the frustration incurred by not answering text messages while avoiding pedestrians on the on ramp is the real danger. Gen Y is accustomed to getting what we want when we want it. Even if we want it while operating a 2,000 pound thing that can kill an innocent on contact.

If we don’t keep our hands at 4 and 8 on our phones and not at 10 and 2 on the wheel, how can we tell our dinner date we’re running late, passively aggressively avoid our parents with a digital birthday greeting or find out if the object of our affection texted us back yet…no? how about now?…Now?  NOW?!?

Don’t think of it as creating an accident by being visually distracted, think of it as avoiding the death of our self-esteem, which is way more important than that guy selling roses and oranges by the side of the road who we just grazed.

The Oreo Upshot
Everyone has a cell phone, so that’s not going to make you stand out. But if you can get someone to call you to trigger your Grateful Dead ring tone while the cops are finishing your accident report, so much the better!

Move 10. e5
The fake danger:
ChessThat’s right, chess fans. What was once seen as a problem move in the trusted Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense, is playable after all. Thank to the continued efforts of the folks at Rybka, there are many solutions this seeming stalemate of a move. Including of course, but not limited to: 10. h6, 11. Bh4 dxe5, 12. fxe5 (alt: 12 wfd7).

The Oreo Upshot:
If you understood any of that, you have Oreo points for life, even if you do decide to watch an episode of House of Payne.