Dear Kitty 2.0,
We had a last run in the rehearsal room today, and, thankfully, it felt muuuuch better than yesterday’s. I’m still fending off the cold ickiness, but will hopefully be at 110% come Tuesday’s first preview. In other news, we had a taste test of the “dinner” we’ll be eating every night. In the script, I believe it’s “pickles, kale, and rotten potatoes,” and so we were given two options to try. One was a lentil-soup number, but gloopier, and the other was a sort of potato/kale/spinach mix. I think the latter was the winner; the lentil thing had a pretty unappealing texture, although Ari looked like he wanted to take it home for dinner. :-)
Hmm, what else. OH! Here’s something. The shoes that Miep gives me in the Second Act? The grown-up red heels that Anne loves so dearly? Those are going to be my own personal shoes, dyed red. I got this lovely, pale pink pair of leather pumps when I was seventeen for the opening night party of a show I was in and I think they were probably my first real pair of high heels. Since then they’ve been through a lot; I’ve taken them to multiple cobblers to see if they could be repaired, but to no avail. They’re just a sorry little pair, with the leather all stained and worn and stretched. But now they’re going to have a new life, in the *theatah!* It’ll be nice to have a little personal memento there with me... they’re just a pair of pumps, but they’ve been imbued with some pretty special memories. And I think they must’ve meant a lot to Anne, as well-- a symbol of her maturity, a gift from Miep, etc-- so I’m glad that we’re using them.
While we’re on the topic of personal effects and things, I was thinking today about this very blog and how useful it’s actually been as a tool for me-- not just to center myself and my thoughts, but to have a reminder of the progress I’ve been making... which is often just as important to remind oneself of as the challenges yet to come. (Especially when you’re looking tech weekend in the mouth.) I’m not a diary keeper, but I wish that I could be. I think there’s something scary to my about the permanence of it; when I’ve tried to keep one, I always end up looking at the few previous entries and feeling embarrassed about the sort of person I was yesterday or the day before. “Ugh, how naive I was,” I think. “I don’t want to be associated with the Me of yesterday.” But I realize that there’s also a sort of beauty in that. I love in the Diary how Anne would come back to entries many months later and add little footnotes, say, written from a calmer or more mature perspective, and often relating to her tumultuous relationship with her Mother. When (in the play) Peter says to Anne, “You sure know a lot about yourself... I guess it comes from all that writing,” he’s absolutely right. Anne had those many silent hours to write about her thoughts, but she also had time to reflect on them. So I realized today in the run-through, that any time Anne refers to a memory of hers, or, say, an image of the outside world, these are specific and vibrant memories that she’s kept very much alive within the confines of her diary. They’re not really wistful or dreamlike, they’re completely present and just out of reach...
My mom actually kept a diary for me, starting when I was about three.
Before bedtime, I would dictate to her my thoughts for the day, which is something I know I’ll have to do with my kids when I have them, because, well, the result is hilarious. Some of the earliest entries range from the obvious, “I got a diary. And I know it’s very, very pretty” to the Dussel-related, “I goed to the dentist for the first time and I liked it” to my brother’s personal favorite, the somewhat abstract, “I throwed up and I’m taking a bath now... I like my cabinets.”
In the back of my diary, however-- and this I had completely forgotten about until a few days ago when I was flipping through it-- are two little entries from when I’m thirteen, Anne’s age at the beginning of the play. One entry said, “...I can’t guarantee that I’ll bypass homework or going shopping to write in you, and if I’m not able to for a while, I might as well say [in swirly italics] life is beautiful.” And another simply stated, “Hi again. I have stress. That’s all I have to say.” It’s surprising to think of a thirteen year-old having “stress,” at least the sort of “stress” that comes with adulthood... (Which is not to say that I can even imagine the stress that comes with having a family of one’s own... Hiiiii Mama & Dad!) But somehow these two brief snippets of my life at thirteen provided me with a sort of connecting thread to Anne’s world. Life is at once beautiful and stressful at thirteen, and so how much moreso it must have been for Anne, huh?
Off to pack a bag for my two nights at Westport. Apparently there’s a pool at the hotel we’re staying in, but something tells me we won’t have time for a pool party this weekend...