September 3, 2005

At present I manage a movie theatre. It's not a multi-plex, it's a single screen. But it's the largest single screen in the country and it is one of the most iconic and beloved buildings in the city. When my boss was away and I was the one in charge, I was on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. God bless the staff, they never called. But if, for example, they had failed to get the safe open in the morning, well, they would have called. And I would have run down to help. When the front window was smashed in I didn't leave as I was about to. I stayed. And when the computers crashed I worked on them for hours while on the phone to a tech assistant until they were back up and running. Why? Because managing a theatre is a big responsibility. The staff have to know that in a crisis situation there is someone they can call. My boss has to know that his theatre is in good hands when he's away. And the theatre needs to be managed or I wouldn't have a job. So I just ASSUMED that running a country would be a similar sort of situation. That in a crisis, like, for instance, a HURRICANE, one could call for the leader and he'd come running to help. Because my god, running a country is a big responsibility. There are a lot of people counting on you. If a natural disaster levels several cities and drowns another, killing people and ravaging the countryside as a matter of course, well by god if I was in charge I'd be on a plane that very hour. I mean call the National Guard, call the Red Cross, call Congress and pass a bill for some serious aid dollars, whatever you have to do. Right? Because if managing a theatre is a 24/7 deal, running a country can't be less. The people need somebody to DO something, by god. They need to be pulled off rooftops and fed and clothed and housed and told that it will be okay because the water will be forced back and the city will be rebuilt and the dead will be buried and mourned and they will all be kept safe and warm while this is happening regardless of societal status or skin color. That's what people need. So I just assumed that if that day ever came, the President of the United States of America would rise to the occasion and make things better, goddammit.

In a way it's good to know I was right about Dubya all along. Though admittedly this is one instance in which I'd be only to glad to concede I was in error and step aside to applaud the immediacy with which the leader of the self-proclaimed free world stepped in and took charge of caring for his suffering people. I'll take what comfort I can in knowing that Dubya will never make me eat my words about him. Fat lot of good that does for New Orleans, Biloxi, Mobile, and the rest of Katrina's discarded and broken playthings, though.

Maybe next time America should hire a manager instead of electing a president.

If you're the praying kind, get to it. Because those people need somebody BIG on their side and there's only one kind of power that will do in this instance.

September 1, 2005

PLAYTIME!

A couple weeks ago I went to see Bash by Neil LaBute at Circa Theatre.
Then last night I went to see Lashings of Whipped Cream: A Session With A Teenage Dominatrix by Fiona Samuel at Downstage Theatre.

Bash was great in that "oh my god these people are SICK SICK THEY'RE ALL SICK" sort of shock-you-move-you-shake-you-out-of-your-stupor kind of way. And Lashings of Whipped Cream was hysterical. Light and sort of frothy, not the mind-fuck that Bash was. But definitely highly entertaining and a great night out.

Bash starred your friend and mine Oliver Driver and the stunning Mia Blake. Lashings of Whipped Cream starred the marvelous and daring Sara Wiseman. Oh all right, he's not your friend or mine. Well maybe he's your friend. But I don't know him except that he was really good in Bash and is stupidly tall. Like crane-your-neck-and-get-vertigo tall. Also that he once did a play with Craig Parker. Just like Sara Wiseman once played a doctor on TV's Mercy Peak with Craig Parker. Not "played doctor", played a doctor. Though Craig's character Alistair sure wished they were playing doctor. But that's a whole other story.

What was my point? Right. New Zealand is a small place. The acting community is small but full of brilliantly talented people. Living in Wellington is a prime location because eventually every actor turns up here in a play or for an event of some sort and you get to see their brilliance live for yourself. It's great! It is. AND... no Hilary Duff. An important bonus.