Monday, February 28, 2011

L.A. Diary postscript

May I say firstly that on the strength of one substantial strawberry margarita and two double-plus vodkas I am finding myself unexpectedly keen to say a little more tonight, having ended the run on a real high, and subsequently spent some quality time with my beloved comrades-in-arms in a Mexican bar across the street from this curious apartment. My tongue is artificially loose, perhaps; well, good. I'm the one person I know who I think should drink more. It's bad, really, isn't it, but it makes a difference.

The time we spent with our last-ever audience tonight was deeply beautiful -- I really saw the play tonight, saw what it was we've been doing, was kind of moved by that, by Tim's bravery above all, for which I feel so grateful. Also, something happened tonight, in relation to the travel of the box of Maltesers that makes a cameo appearance in the show, that was so touched by serendipity as to be almost unbelievable. It would take so long to explain; you had to be there, and/or "you had to be there": but it was a moment of incomprehensible beauty and loveliness, that occurred in a zone way beyond even the most meticulous rehearsal or crafty authorship. It was something that happened that couldn't have happened in any other medium. It made me re-love in excelsis what we do, what we've done. Even in its most ostensibly trivial accidents, theatre shows us, keeps re-showing us, how it can, and will, and does, change the world for the better. Fuck, please, the idea that this is somehow a hypothetical question.

Mostly I want to say though in this lubricated moment how much I love and admire my fellow actors, and how deep my respect and admiration is for Tim. My post last night was coming from a sore and ungenerous place after a difficult day and, honestly, a difficult fortnight. And that is something that happens; and I think my policy of never deleting a post from this blog, unless I happen to feel (and I don't think I ever have) that it was dishonest at the time I wrote it, is the right one. But yesterday's blurt came from a specific place and time, as does tonight's. This morning I thought a lot about Tim, about the kinds of qualities in him that I was trying to describe and, more broadly, to understand last night: and I realized, it was revealed to me in a huge "aha!" moment in the not-wholly-satisfactory shower here, that so much of what I was trying to deal with last night was about my baggage, my hopes and fears, rather than his. And it seems worth trying to say now that for all that it's been difficult over the past fortnight and often over the past eight months, my love and admiration and respect for all that Tim has done and continues to do is, or should be, untouchable.

I sat in the bar tonight and found myself giggling with pleasure at what this lately has been. I was in a play, a really good and important play, in Los Angeles; and if twenty years ago I'd told my seventeen-year-old self that -- jesus, I shudder to think what would have happened, but it certainly wouldn't have seemed remotely plausible. So, good, good. All is full of love.

Thanks, btw, to everyone who's left comments over the past fortnight: I had forgotten until this evening that I'd made a change to the blog to require comments to be moderated, due to a sharp increase in the levels of spam here over the past few weeks. So, I've broken out those comments and I'll try to remember in future that they're stacking up somewhere.

This morning, we were treading the sands of Paradise Cove, Malibu. I am not a Paradise Cove, Malibu sort of person. But I was, and am, glad of it. I'm realising, somewhat, that all along I should have been saying yes to some of the things I said no to. In the car on the way home from the final show everyone was singing out their memories of good moments, good times, over the past few months, and I realise that my hairshirt refusenik thing -- wanting to go home and work (i.e. save the world), rather than hang out in whatever bar -- is generally unproductive of those sorts of indelible memories. I think I too readily file the outcomes of inebriation alongside Peter Handke's stern assessment of t.v.: "Whoever and whatever is known to you through television is not known to you." Actually, sometimes, having a drink with the people you're nearest to (even when nearest is not the same thing as closest) can make something real happen. I would love to learn to let my guard down without chemical help: but then, hasn't this whole journey been, to some degree, in praise of guardedness? I don't know. It doesn't matter. It does matter. I'm writing partly about this sense I have of wanting to save the world, save people, make things happen, make more happen, more birds more air. It's not wrong. But it's wrong if it takes you too far from the place where your allies are. ...I'm rambling, innit.

We're going to have a good day tomorrow, and get on a plane, and go home. Home to cold grey England, where my work makes fucking sense to me, more sense than anything, purpose as clear and bright as anything, and the bodies I want to be closest to are radiating their beautiful inspiring heat. Home where my nakedness is waiting for me. So I suppose all this post is trying to say is: I'm so glad of The Author, I'm so glad of tonight, and I'm so glad of what's next. What a life. What a life.

Mazel tov!



thanks for this beautiful and illuminating post, Chris. said...

Hello Chris,
Arthur Jones - your Cambridge Trinculo - here. I've spent the whole day with a tune in my head that I'm certain is something you wrote for The Tempest… and I thought of you and thought I'd write. Hope this reaches you - and that you filter it from the comments! I am looking for music for a film.
Would love to hear from you,
Arthur -