There are a little over two weeks until opening night for “Almost, Maine”, the John Cariani stage play I’m directing, and I just lost two cast members.
I’m not surprised, honestly. We can’t predict health problems, but then again I’ve often felt like Murphy’s Law operates frequently in my life. Ya know, things going wrong at the worst possible time in the worst ways. It’s not as if this production has been smooth sailing from the get-go. No.
This show was meant to have happened a year and a half ago. I was always meant to direct – just with a little help from my friend. He flaked on me. I floundered for a bit, half-heartedly looked at alternative methods. The non-profit I work for finally got me to push through on my own and we set things in motion. Set a date. Held auditions. Bought the rights. Found the venue.
Things came together. And then they began to fall apart. Again. The friend who let me down before did it once more. Committed to being an actor, took on a few scenes, and then stopped showing up to practices. Wouldn’t answer phone calls. Won’t respond to texts from his scene partner. I reiterate, not surprising.
I’m grateful to be surrounded by a talented and understanding group of actors, who banded together and found four guys to replace the one. And somehow they encouraged me to take on a scene, one of the more lengthy ones in the play.
Only now I’ve got one scene that I’m constantly putting a pin in and, unless I insert myself – mind you, sixteen days prior to opening, will likely lose another scene.
It’s also Twin Peaks Day! Twenty-six years ago, Special Agent Dale Cooper drove into Twin Peaks, Washington and changed my life. Really. I knew the theme song in utero twenty-five years before I ever watched the show. I even have the same tattoo of the marking the Log Lady (Rest In Peace, Catherine E. Coulson) had on the back of her leg and Audrey Horne herself, Sherilyn Fenn, responded to me on twitter this morning at the exact moment I received the bad news.
Naturally, I keep thinking about one of my favorite lines from the show. “The owls are not what they seem.” Things are not as they first appear, they don’t happen the way we expect them to. And maybe they shouldn’t. Maybe things fall apart so better things can fall into place. Who knows? I don’t, but I’m still optimistic.