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  1. Acting Audition on Poetry Night

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015


     
     
    In between a very busy schedule of two jobs and many medical appointments (not mentioning the things really weighing me down), I applied for an acting role in a play. It was a part for a humorous narrator. I was invited to audition. Amazingly, the audition was on an evening that I don’t work, but the evening I do try to get to a poetry workshop that I find nourishing in a few areas (not only my writing). The week before, the workshop didn’t meet. I wanted it all. But I chose to go to the audition in hopes I’d be in and out early and get to the workshop too (even without a poem). Usually, after the poetry, some of us go out to eat. It is often at a Thai restaurant that I’ve grown to love. Like Pavlov’s dogs, when I think of the workshop, my mouth salivates for that food which makes my tongue tingle with all kinds of magical herbs. And I enjoy the company.

    When I got to 8th Avenue and 47th Street and saw the address, I was a bit taken aback that it was the creepiest building on the block. The actor in me forged ahead. I had a choice of an elevator or the stairs. It was only the 2nd floor, and it seemed safer to climb the stairs. Well, the 2nd floor was 5 flights up. Another woman entered a few seconds behind me. If she’d been there when I arrived, maybe we would’ve chanced the elevator together. So huffing up the stairs, we reach a door that says to take the elevator. I couldn’t fuckin’ believe it. I knocked on the door. Again. I knock louder. A man opens it and we enter.

    When the man in charge of the crowd hears we are there for the role of narrator, he says that there are no sides (pages of the script) left because so many people are there for the part of narrator. He has us sign in and take a seat. There were lots of people in a small auditorium. I wondered if I should bother staying. I wanted to be with the poetry people. I really missed being there. But I stayed. I looked around. I may have been the oldest person in the room. I wanted to see that as an advantage. I probably knew more. I was older than they asked for but not in terms of appearance, and in acting, that’s what matters.

    At some point, the man in charge asked those with sides for the narrator to share them with those who needed to look at them. I got the pages. I read them twice and thought a black gay man was who they had in mind for this. I really wondered if I should stay. Then the man in charge told us that when we go in, to make it our own and stray from the script a bit if we wanted to. That freed me up. I could do this as me. I didn’t have to worry about how much of a black gay man I wasn’t.

    The night went on and on. I knew I’d never make it to the workshop. At this point I’d have been glad to make it to the eating out afterwards part.

    They must’ve gotten tired of hearing auditions for the narrator, because the order of calling people changed and was now not going by the time we entered. I was starting to have to accept that I wouldn’t make it to the eating part either.

    Though the auditions were supposed to happen within 2 hours, they rented a 3rd hour when they saw how many people came. I was called in the end of the 3rd hour. I was taken in as a group of 5. There were 7 minutes left until the end of the 3rd hour. I felt like I wasted my night, but tried to give it all I had left. They asked me to audition with another person trying for the same part. We shared lines. They stopped us before we got a third of the way through. My face must’ve looked like “you’re fuckin’ kidding me. I waited almost 3 hours for less than a minute?” though I really tried for it to look like “thank you very much.” The woman auditioning us said, “Don’t be discouraged. We are rushing because of the time, not your performances. We will have callbacks.” Then she said to me, “I like your accent.”

    “It’s Bronx,” I said.

    We’ll see what happens. I’ll likely keep you posted. Meanwhile, I am so ready for Thai food with the poets.
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  2. Humble Pie By Rhonda Hansome

    Thursday, October 22, 2015


    Comedy has a unique way of keeping me humble.

    When I left comedy, I had no perspective on the success and equity I'd earned, working major casinos, resorts and numerous network talk shows.

    I've returned to a fractured, multi-producer system, nothing like the mercurial monster of my heyday.

    My objective now is no longer being as funny as possible, but to connect with the (ever growing number of) independent comedy producers (many very young-but when you are my age, everyone in comedy is young!) dominating the scene now.

    I obviously need a tutorial in how to talk to these folks, because every thing I say to them results in an immediate shutdown and nearly no possibility of collaborating with them.

    "I don't work with new comics."
    "Have 17 comics who work here recommend you."
    "Send me your HBO special tape."

    Every producer/booker is entitled to her business as usual, automatic response. 

    Being an overly sensitive (Cancer) sign of the zodiac, I hear these replies emotionally 


    and take them to heart. 

    BUT

    the saying of the day is, "Go hard or go home!"

                          So I'm putting on my big girl panties, 
    digging in my (not so high) heels for another day;

    while I truly appreciate those who recognize me. 

    It's a game. 

    I don't even know the rules or referees.
    But I'm going to have fun playing no matter who's calling the shots. So, come join me in the fun...  
    Or later the same night catch my 
    TRUE LIFE
    very scary storytelling at

    @RhondaHansome is #NotYourGrandmasComic









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  3. Different Things

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015











    On Monday evening, I shared this with my class (my students are adults).


    Those who got it cracked up. Those who didn’t get it still have work to do on capitalization.

    People, I’m going through medical stuff. I’m hoping for good or okay test results. I’m trying to keep my chin up.


    I’m going on an audition on Wednesday evening for an acting role. It’s been quite a while. Survival jobs consume most of my time and energy. However, my survival jobs are teaching jobs, so they are meaningful and often joyous and inspiring. But they are sometimes stressful and draining. And both are needed for survival. I don’t live fancy. My day job is often satisfying, but the pay is low. However, that is the job where I get health benefits. I have to keep the second job if eating is a thing. In both places, I feel much affection for most of my students.
    I miss the very loving relationship my son and I had. It’s not really a situation I can discuss here. But I do miss him. I love him so much.

     
     
     
     

     

     
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  4. 4 Horse

    Tuesday, October 13, 2015


     
     
     
     
     
     
    If you like to sip a drink and experience poems, consider attending a poetry reading next Friday evening, October 23, at 6pm. I am part of the line-up. I believe it is ten bucks, and that includes a drink. Not at all a rip-off.



    The reading will be downstairs. It will be over by 8pm, leaving you free to do whatever else you’d like to do on your Friday night.

    One of the other poets on the line-up, Jack Cooper, made a lovely flier which I am sharing here.



    It’s a good way to wind down from a week at the job. It would be nice to see you there if the mood strikes you.
     

    (A, B, C, D, E, F to West 4th Street and it is around the block between West 3rd and Bleecker Streets.)

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  5. "Put something in your mouth," he said

    Tuesday, October 6, 2015


     
     
     
    Well the past week flew for me. I have been dealing with health issues. I have also been trying to stop smoking cigarettes. I am not as successful as I am supposed to be. My doctors are going to be pissed. This is so fucking hard.

    One of the men in the neighborhood told me to put something in my mouth. Then he laughed.

    Why do men think dick is a substitute for cigarettes? One fits in your mouth comfortably and you inhale. One barely fits in your mouth and you get lockjaw. How is that the same? If it were, why would any straight woman or gay man who is sexually active spend so much money on cigarettes when dick is free?
     
               
     
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