Cowboy hat: $5.
Egg timers: $14 ($7 each).
Prop sandwich: $2.
Print expenses: $4.
Potato chips: $1.
Nerf guns, spraypainted mock rifles, laptop, speakers, empty champagne bottle: Owing lots of people, big time.
Totally sweet stage production: priceful.
(The best things in life are free. For everything else, there's overdone parody.)
Mexican Standoff went rather swimmingly, largely because my actors were fucking sweet. It certainly isn't the best of the stage readings my class has done so far (Alex Huntsberger and his cast are way too good at this kind of thing! And Aries is at least as batshit insane as me!) but it still far exceeded my expectations. Jon Good and Alyse were a magnificent duo, as I expected. They each dropped a few lines, but the bizarre onstage chemistry they worked out of my script was so strong that hardly anyone seemed to notice. I was a bit worried about Harris and Mercedes because they didn't have much prior experience, and by the end of the last rehearsal were still finding their characters, but once they were actually on stage they were magnificent. (Stage fright worked massively to their advantage!) It's great being the playwright / stage manager for a tiny production like this, because while it's extremely stressful having the responsibility of getting everything together, once the show actually starts, all you have to do is sit back and watch your carefully planned machinations unravel (and occasionally drop a cue or set off a prop). I'm quite proud of how I managed to improvise an explosion noise by using a borrowed laptop to connect wirelessly to the CS lab network and filch the C4 bomb sound off the computer where Akshat was playing Counter-Strike. Being a computer science major is so useful.
For the losers among you who didn't come, I've uploaded a copy of the script here. It's definitely not as cool without Jon Good talking in his cowboy accent, or Alyse wrestling him into the Reservoir Dogs standoff stance, or Mercedes being cute, or Harris delivering the "We meet as friends, but we leave as enemies" line in the most hilarious way possible. Or Jon Good's beautifully absurd prop guns, which he built specifically for the occasion. Or the audience laughing horrifiedly every time someone mentioned dead babies. But I understand. Some of you had more important things to do than watch something I made not actually suck. Nag nag passive-aggressive. But you can still come to my senior reading on Monday! GUILT TRIP. :]
There was this warm glow, as I came out of Warner, that I really liked. This is maybe the first time I've ever done something in theater besides watch. Six years of being friends with theater and drama club folk, of being the awkward groupie who goes to every improv show alone, who hangs out at theater-person parties quietly watching the antics of people too attractive or too full of personality to pay him any mind, and I've finally earned my place. Never mind that few of my theater friends actually came, or that none of them will see me any differently. It's not about social acceptance. It's about legitimacy. Next time I come out of the Cat after Sunshine Scouts or A House Divided, I'm not going to think, "Gee, I wish I was interesting enough to be part of something like that." I'm just going to stand outside, pop open a soda, and smile.