Dear Stephenie Meyer…

8 12 2009

Dear Stephenie Meyer:

Hello.

You don’t know me, but I of course know of you.  You are the author of the ridiculously popular Twilight series of novels, which are currently enjoying a place at the top of our pop culture food chain thanks to a series of movie adaptions that are being warmly received from your legions of fans.  I have never read one single word of a single Twilight novel; however, virtually every single credible source of criticism I know of has described you as an absolutely atrocious, hack writer, who is merely popular because she is playing on the hidden, buried desires of bored and neglected housewives and rejected teen girls.  I think this is bullshit.  You have a legion of, not just fans, but rabidly devoted fans.  Clearly your work has touched on something…I don’t pretend to understand what…but I fervently believe that great writing is all about stirring emotion in your reader, and from that respect you are clearly brilliant.  As a fellow writer, you have my most sincere respect and admiration.

My disconnect with the Twilight phenomenon extends to yourself, to the point where I had actually never seen a picture of you before.  Until today.  I don’t remember what particular random internet-surfing tangent led me to run into a photo of you, but I did, and I must admit I was quite shocked.  I assumed you’d be ugly.  Now that probably sounds like a very unfair comment, but let’s be honest, you are: A) a writer…not known for their superior looks, B) a writer of a thinly veiled abstinence parable, and the biggest champions of abstinence tend to be those who can’t get any anyway, and C) a writer of vampire novels.  Nobody is lining up around the block to sex Anne Rice.  So I made a, in hindsight very incorrect, assumption.

Stephenie Meyer, author of the "Twilight" saga. I'd hit it.

You are actually quite attractive.  Not supermodel beauty type attractive, of course, but that shit is boring anyway.  You look like a pleasant, somewhat nerdy type thing, with a nice rack.  Not to belabor the point, but again, I am very surprised.  And this fact brings me to the point of my letter to you today:

You and I should totally bang.

Seriously.  I think you’d enjoy it.  From one writer to another.  Now in the interest of full disclosure, I am not a shirtless, glistening werewolf; nor am I a glittering, super-strong emo vampire.  But nonetheless, I will bang the living daylights out of you.  To quote the text message of Tiger Woods: “I will wear you out…” Forget about Breaking Dawn or New Moon…your next book will be called Aching Vagina, because that is what you will have.  An aching vagina.  From my penis.

So think it over, Stephenie Meyer.  I will be awaiting you in my romantic, gothic love castle…otherwise known as my mom’s house.

Sexfully yours,

Tim Gage

EDIT: I will give a shiny nickle to the first Twilight fan who can tell me where I could electronically submit this letter to Stephenie Meyer via the internet.  I looked all over her official fan page and couldn’t find a spot to submit things.  Seriously, if someone finds a place, I will send this to her.





Greatest Hits…

28 11 2009

I regularly get people who tell me that they recently started reading my blog, or recently got some other new person to start reading my blog.  That is cool and all, but every time I hear this I am painfully aware that blogs are organized from most recent post to earliest, and most people won’t ever get to some of my (in my opinion) more funny ramblings because they have to wade through my most recent stuff, which for the most part hasn’t been as interesting.

This realization inspired me to put together a quick hit list of what is, at least in my opinion, the better bits of nonsense I’ve managed to spew out since I started blogging.  This list cuts away the stupid whiny posts or silly quick gag posts, and instead focuses on the posts that, though I’m a little too close to the joke to actually laugh, make me smile inwardly.  So, if you are new to my blog, this is a list of posts I think you should seriously consider reading:

(Note: I’m including on this list posts from the my old MySpace blog as well.  I am not including anything I’ve written in the past six months…not that I don’t think I’ve written anything good in the past six months, but that stuff can all be found near the top pages of this blog.)

“The Tubelessness Problem…”— K-Bell and I are introduced to the harsh realities of tube capitalism at The Waterpark of America, plus we discuss the complicated relationship between Batman and The Joker.

“Everything really does happen for a reason…”— I experience divine intervention at the Taco Bell.  I’m actually fairly indifferent to this blog, but Nikki W. still claims it as her favorite of all time, so…there you go.

“Never a dull moment…”— The trials and tribulations of being sick.

“The list…”— A simple statement at a work meeting permanently fries my brain.

“I attend a lame open house BBQ, share an awkward evening with old friends, trip over some rocks, and play Mad-Libs…”— I think the title says it all.

“What would Daniel Day-Lewis do?…”— An approach to acting, the Daniel Day-Lewis way!

“Piss off, Barack Obama…”— A little political satire.

“Sitting duck…”— My co-workers insist on talking to me…about this stuff.

“If you don’t have sex with me, the terrorists win…”— 9/11 changed the way I attempt to get laid.

“Chick flick…”— One of my little private fantasies.

“A brief moment of self-image re-alignment…”— My fragile self-ego gets crushed at a call-back audition for “Barefoot in the Park.”

“The miracle of burf…”— I spend part of the day my nephew is born embarrassing myself in front of a cute bookstore employee.

“Shallow Tim…”— My embarrassing shallowness is revealed to me while attending a show at my old college.

 





You know it ain’t easy…

11 11 2009

Christ you know it ain’t easy,
You know how hard it can be.
The way things are going
They’re going to crucify me.

–John Lennon

I have a car.  A list of things currently wrong with my car, in brief: It rattles like the Enterprise going through a wormhole when it shifts from first to second, the right front bumper is crumpled, the right front headlight is smashed so that it points to the side, the dome light doesn’t work, the gear shift is sticky, the registration tabs are expired, and the inside needs a thorough cleaning in a bad way.  My car’s in bad shape.

Pathetically, the cars owner might be in worse shape.

I don’t think its much of an exaggeration to say my medical situation is becoming a cluster fuck of epic proportions.  After recovering from the much ballyhooed flu going around, I discovered I need surgery to repair a hyrdroseal in my left testicle, possibly caused by the melanoma.  While waiting to do that, I began experiencing excruciating pain in my right side, and I do not use the word “excruciating” lightly, particularly since I don’t know how to spell it.  A trip to the emergency room that involved me vomiting on not one, but two nurses, and I am informed this pain is caused from a tumor that has invited itself onto my liver.  That would be my liver that was, as of two months ago, cancer free.  Fucking cancer.

New Oncologist has advised I begin chemo immediately.  And he’s not talking about the pussy kind of chemo I did originally, that involved pills and not losing my hair; he is talking full blast, hospital stays, going bald type chemo.  Fuck.  My.  Life.

The worst part of all this is it’s becoming increasingly difficult to fight the urge to stop living anything resembling a meaningful life.  I’d like to continue acting, writing, dating pretty girls, maybe find a job again…but I can’t resist the notion telling me that doing any of this stuff is a waste of time, as it will all go straight into the toilet the next time I become ill or need treatment.  For the moment I am still plugging away,  but for the life of me I don’t know why…

On a positive note (but also contributing to my frustration with my health), I was fortunate enough to be cast in Lyric Arts upcoming production of The Mousetrap, which started rehearsal this week.  When Lyric announced their new season, this was the show I was primarily interested in being in, so to actually get cast feels really good.  Such a huge percentage of the time with auditions, you go home with your fragile self-ego stamped into crumbs like a loose Crunch Berry, so it’s nice when you occasionally get cast in something you actually made it a goal to get cast in.

Now if I can just keep myself alive long enough to perform the fucking thing.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep driving the old car up to the theater…gun the accelerator through the rough gear shifts, try to ignore my right headlight pointed 90 degrees in the wrong direction, and so forth.  People tell me I should stop driving that car, but beat up as it is, I just don’t want to give up on it yet.

The car or its owner.





Other people’s blogs…

30 10 2009

I get a lot of complaints from people saying that I don’t blog often enough.  They say, “Why haven’t you written any new blogs, Tim?”  “When are we going to get a new blog, Tim?”  “Hurry up and write some more, Tim.”  And to those people I say: Please stop following me to the bathroom…you make it very difficult for me to do my “business.”

I could blog more, but think about all the other awesome things in life I miss out on when I waste my time blogging: Reading a good book, flying a kite, making love to a beautiful woman.  I mean, I don’t do any of those things, ever…but if the opportunity ever came up, I need to be available.

The point is, it’s time for me to whore out some friends blogs, and when I’m not writing enough, you can read theirs.  Don’t let the fact that none of them are as physically attractive as me fool you into thinking their writing isn’t just as interesting.  In no particular order:

Jessica Scott, a young actress I’ve bumped into at a few auditions, writes “Musings of an Aging Ingenue.”  Her most recent post is an honest, well-written examination on the auditioning process and its effect on the psyche of an actor.  It’s very similar to something I would write, only without any dick jokes or pictures of myself in stockings.  What a fucking show off!  “Ohhh, look at me, I’m Jessica Scott, I write thought provoking blogs that neither insult my readers intelligence nor pander to people’s 3rd grade senses of humor.”  You’re not better than me, Jessica Scott, so stop thinking you are!

Anyway…

My friend Meggan Massie earns mad respect for being as equally skilled a writer as I am, and nearly 85% as good looking.  That may seem like faint praise, but keep in my I’m ridiculously good looking, so 85% is pretty amazing.  Also, unlike me, she has actually been paid to write, which of course means I have to keep congratulating her through gritted teeth while secretly hoping she dies.  Meggan has a great talent for breathing excitement into ho-hum topics, and her blog, “Half-Fast: Meggan Runs a Marathon,” is about her…um…running a marathon, I guess.  Really, Meggan?  A blog about…running?  Were you just worried that writing about any other subject would be too easy, and you needed something boring to challenge yourself?  Okay…well, it will probably be amazing.  I for one will be reading, but secretly hoping for scantily clad pictures of Meggan and her L.A. friends to make an appearance.

Finally, Nikki Wakal has a new blog, “Witchynikki’s Blog.”  Nikki is the only baseball-loving, poker-playing, theater degree having witch I know, which makes anything she writes worth reading by itself.  Nikki also likes to write about things that annoy her…which means she should have enough material to keep her blog going for a long, long, long, long time.  I daresay “Encyclopedia Britannica” doesn’t have as endless of a well of material to draw from as Nikki does.

So go forth, read, and waste some of your free time on someone else’s ramblings for a while.





Fringe Festival Wrap-Up…

12 08 2009

I had a big ol’ long post planned where I would recap all the shows I saw in the Fringe Festival this year, and do some commentary on how my show, “Danny Is Going To Die” went.  But I’m feeling particularly unmotivated as of late, and don’t really feel like writing all that.  So I’ll just summarize by saying: Saw a bunch of shows…more than I had in previous years, but still fewer than I wanted to…some of them were amazing, some of them were crazy, and some of them put Nikki W. to sleep.  Our show went, I think, very well…some people though it was amazing, some people thought it was crazy…I don’t think anyone fell asleep.  For fun, let’s look at some of the citizen reviews we got on our website:

First, some not so good reviews–

Amateurish.
by re gurgitate Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
Some of the audience laughed, I didn’t. I didn’t believe the situation, the actors, or the sub-sitcom dialog. Better luck next time.

Ouch.  Definitely our worst review.  I won’t bother weakly protesting that criticism from a guy who calls himself “re gurgitate” on a website is difficult to take too seriously, or the fact that if Mr. Gurgitate were to be honest, he would have wrote, “Most of the audience laughed A LOT, but I didn’t.”  Whatever.  I still have to say of all the people who reviewed our play, this is the opinion I’m most interested in, as I always think criticism, no matter how hard to hear, is more constructive and interesting than praise.  However, with the name “re gurgitate” I’m guessing he (she?) wants to stay anonymous.  Too bad.

A bit stereotypical…
by Richard Sacagawa Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
This show was okay…the best part was the acting, but the show wasn’t written very well. The characters were a bit stereotypical and the humor was 7th grade-ish; cheap genitalia and curse word jokes. However, it was fast paced and full of great performances!

Another not so great review, although people in the cast tried to helpfully point out to me that it isn’t a bad review at all, just a so-so one.  This forced me to point out the fact that, yes, it is an okay review…UNLESS YOU’RE THE WRITER!  Then it’s not so good.

I already used this joke in a Facebook status update, but for those of you who read my blog but do not use Facebook, I will repeat it here because I think it’s a pretty good one:  Anyone else notice that the name Richard Sacagawa can be shortened to “Dick Sac.”  The fact that someone named Dick Sac is criticizing my script for cheap genitalia humor is, so far anyway, the only evidence of the existence of God I have encountered in my life.

How about some good reviews?

My must see…
by Michael Sheeks Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I thought this was an exceptionally well written comedy, particularly for this ensemble. I also enjoyed the fact that it didn’t try to be more than it could be within the context of the fringe, but there were a few moments that suggested this playwright could shift gears and turn it into a longer piece that had a less episodic structure and more levels. Nice work. I will definitely be watching for work by these folks after the fringe.

Sweet!  Thank you, Michael Sheeks, whoever you are.  I particularly like that he enjoyed “…that it didn’t try to be more than it could be within the context of the fringe…”  This is a very important point that is possibly missed by Mr’s Gurgitate and Sac, who maybe expect all their Fringe shows to be deep, moving pieces about the difficulties of being a lesbian or the angst caused by the meaningless of existence.  It’s a fun, cartoony show with some cheap laughs.  And that’s okay.

Finally, the best review we got:

Danny Is Going to Die
by David Bratt Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Very funny writing; some very strong comic acting (especially Tim Gage, Kim Hostrawser, and Andy Waldron); appropriately breakneck pacing.

David Bratt, for those who don’t know, was the chair of the theater department at Winona State University, so it’s safe to bet he knows a thing or two about theater…probably a thing or two more than re gurgiatate or Dick Sac.  He was also notoriously difficult to please, as anyone who was ever involved in one the productions he directed at WSU knows, so if he says there was some funny writing and strong comic acting, I’m inclined to believe him.  Thank you, DB!

Final analysis: It was a bunch of hard work, really fun, Nikki W. and I didn’t murder each other, though it was touch and go some days…and I can’t wait to do it again.

I’ve added the script for “Danny Is Going To Die” to the Non-blog related writing section of this page.  Give it a read, either if you didn’t get a chance to see the show, or did see the show and are one of those nerds like me who like to see how things develop from written script to actual performance.

(Note: The script I have posted is the FINAL PERFORMANCE VERSION, not the original script I wrote.  Due to time constraints, we were forced to make substatial cuts…this is the script as it was performed.)





2009 Minnesota Fringe Festival Preview…

30 07 2009

One of the most important days of the theater calendar is now upon us.  The Minnesota Fringe Festival opens today, which means a week and a half of glorious theater binging, and glorious stumbling around the streets of Minneapolis in a drunken stupor.

I’ll be using my blog over the next week to put down some thoughts about the shows I see, and also keep up some thoughts on the progress of my show, “Danny Is Going To Die.”  For now, let me just give you a quick peak at the shows I plan on seeing, and if you want to be as cool as I am, you should plan on seeing as well.

“Danny Is Going To Die”— The Playwrights’ Center

Okay.  So I’m starting off with an easy plug for my own show.  Sue me.  All ego-driven, self-interest aside, a whole shit load of very talented people have put a ton of hours into this show.  With eight cast members and a full time costume, prop, and stage manager, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this might be one of the most ambitious shows of the Fringe.  Chances are, you know someone involved in this show.  Please support their work!

Martha Wigmore, Tim Gage, and April Gage perform in "Danny"

Martha Wigmore, Tim Gage, and April Gage perform in "Danny"

“Slow Jobs: Servicing America for $12 an hour”U of M Rarig Center Arena

The creators of this show, Curt Lund and Laura Bidgood, are basically legends of the Fringe Festival.  They’ve brought their unique brand of humorous story telling to the stage for several years and have developed quite a following.  Plus, I need to see this show because I would love to find out where, for only $12 an hour, I can get a–wait, hold…the name of the show is SLOW Jobs…Slow Jobs.  Not– Okay, never mind.  Well, see it anyway.

“Boobs”— Gremlin Theatre

Creators Molly Dimba and Kari Kelly put on a show of improv and sketches centering around everyone’s favorite body part.  I will be seeing this, of course, to support my former high school classmate Molly Dimba, because I believe it is important for artists to support other artists in the community to strength the web of…BLAH HA HA…nah, I’m joking, obviously, I’ll be seeing this because I’m a dude and it’s a play about BOOBS!  Boobs!  Holy crap, I hope they talk about motorboating!

“Best Little Crackhouse in Philly” (Or…Crackwhore: The Musical!)– Southern Theater

Finally!  A musical about crackwhores!  Plus it features the talents of one Madison Olimb, who is a singing/dancing/acting triple threat supreme!  Little known fact, though: Crackwhores actually prefer to be addressed by the more politically correct term, “Emotional Enhancement Substance Physical Pleasure Artists.”  At least, that’s what your mom told me last night.

“A Dream Play”— Southern Theater

“A Dream Play” is the product of Amanda Sterling, who has done some amazing work at the Fringe over the years.  I’ll be seeing this show because I know it will be well acted, well directed, and of very high quality.  I won’t be seeing it just because I’m harboring a borderline-creepy acting crush on Stephanie Kulbeik.  Because I’m not.  Not in the least.  Oh, Stephanie Kulbeik, why won’t you run away with me?





Northfield Arts Guild “Very Short Play Festival IV”…

14 05 2009

This past May 2nd was the performance of the VSPF IV in Northfield, and despite some early scares (my sisters van breaking down on the way there, and a woman literally walking off stage in the middle of the first play of the evening), it was a great show and a blast of an experience, both for me and my cast.

After hours of furious clicking, dragging, and swearing (God, Facebook is the flakiest website ever created), I finally managed to get the video of my show, “Handle With Care,” ripped off the DVD and posted online, and here it is for your viewing pleasure (displeasure?).  The script can be read by clicking the link on the right, so you can see how the show developed from the page to the stage, if you are a nerd and interested in such things.

And huge props to the cast of the show: Kim Hostrawser (Casandra), Nikki Wakal (Jennifer), April Gage (Eve), and Andrew Nawrocki (Matt), who worked super hard on this in rehearsals and then went out there and gave a tremedous performance. Click on the video below to enjoy their work!

(Note: Like most recordings of live theater, the sound quality on this sucks. I recommend some headphones or cranking your sound to the max.)