Inspired by something inspirational

I wrote a great blog post for “National Coming Out day”, and then I left it on my work computer and couldn’t post it on the actual day – so I felt it had lost some luster and I wasn’t going to post it at all.

And then my old friend Jenn Adams posted a truly brave blog post – read it, it’s wonderful – and it inspired me to grab this 3 days old post and put it up.


It’s National Coming Out Day, and I have a secret.

You see, I’m not gay.


That’s right. Not gay. Never have been, and most likely never will be.

You see, I have always always ALWAYS identified as Bisexual. It took me so long to come to terms with how I felt inside. As I was growing up, I knew what “straight” meant, and I knew what “gay” meant. I had never met anyone who was out, but I had certainly seen “gay” represented on TV and movies – heck, I was in theatre – it was always around, even if it wasn’t acknowledged.

But I had never heard of the term “bisexual” – I didn’t know that it was out there, that it was an “option”. Frankly, I just thought that I was weird.

I had boyfriends – long term boyfriends. And I had sex, plenty of it. (sorry Mom & Sara). But I always felt that women were attractive too. I just couldn’t shake it. I was in relationships, and was perfectly happy with what I had, but I would notice attractive men AND attractive women. And I just didn’t know what it meant. I would step back and say, “Maybe I’m gay?”. And I’d think it through – yes, I found women attractive and intriguing…..but I also felt the same way about men.

I came to the conclusion that I must just be sexually perverted. That there was something terribly wrong with me. So I just bit my lip, and tried to stash those thoughts away. I took those feelings and bottled them up, and tried to forget about them. I would avert my eyes and look at the floor whenever I was in the dressing room for a show, or in the locker room before a practice. I didn’t want anyone else to know what I was thinking.

Then, I went to college – and there’s wasn’t a big “A-ha” moment or anything, but I was in a more relaxed mode, as well as surrounded by people who were very different from the rest of the college and were terribly proud of it. My synapses relaxed a bit, and it all just became apparent. And on 10/11/94, National Coming Out Day, I approached my theatre pal Danny Swain, who was the gayest man at Salem State Theatre (Sorry, Brent & Jay, Danny wins…), and I told Danny “I just wanted to let you know today on Coming Out Day, that I’m Bisexual”. And Danny just hugged me and said “That’s GREAT!” And he meant it.

All those years of feeling like a deviant just melted away. I was finally able recognize who I really was, and that THERE WAS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.

So I went forth – and dated men, and dated women, fooled around with men, fooled around with women, flirted like crazy, made some great connections, had some fun times, made some mistakes (as 22 year olds are bound to…), but no matter the mistakes I never EVER felt ashamed of my feelings. Whether it was 6 months of dating or 5 minutes in a bathroom (I’m looking right at you, Amy McHugh), it all made me comfortable with who I am. And as trite as it may sound, it made me a better person.

And I guess I’d like to add that to the “It Gets Better” movement. I’m in a happier place now than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I am proud of who I am and who I love. Sara is a kick ass chick. We’ve been together 9 years now, and we’ve both really grown into the adults we’re going to be while we were with each other. I am living the cliché – everyone always says that the physical attraction and the looks will fade and your partner you choose better be someone you like spending time with. I don’t just like spending time with Sara – I love it. She makes me laugh more than anyone else ever has, and I genuinely enjoy her company, her conversation and her companionship.

I’m able to receive love from Sara, because I first had to love myself and be true to who I am in my heart and in my head.


My head a-splode

It usually takes something big to boot my ass out of radio silence.

I haven’t posted a blog since April – life has been busy, and I honestly haven’t had much to say lately. Well, not anything Blog-worthy, I’ve of course been quite pithy on FB and The Twitter.

But sometimes a story gets under my skin, and just grates and grates until I think my brain is going to explode – usually due to stupidity and ignorance.

The ridiculously titled “Ground Zero Mosque”.

The rhetoric and bullshit surrounding this whole NON-issue just makes me want to scream. First of all – it is NOT A FUCKING MOSQUE. It is a planned community center. There are plans for a pool, Recreational facilities, a library, child care, cultural exhibitions, a separate mosque (open to all), and a 9/11 memorial and “quiet contemplation place open to all”.

Well, we better close that shit down! How dare they give back to the community and have a place of fucking PRAYER located so close to something that happened that was so ungodly? How can you even THINK about reading in a library or swimming in a pool so close to what Former Governor Dipshit says is “hallowed ground”????

The idiocy involved in this whole argument astounds me. And that it comes from people who have spent the last few years touting the fucking constitution everywhere they go (“right to bear arms!” etc etc), they seem to forget that people have freedom of religion here.

I think Sara said it best last night when she said “So, I guess the next step is that they’ll need to make sure all the Muslims move out of Lower Manhattan – oh, and just to be safe, let’s ONLY allow the relatives of the 9/11 victims near the site”

I had been thinking how ridiculous this whole argument is, and hadn’t really had anyone to chat about with this – and then my pal Bilal re-tweeted a link to a NY blogger who visually put into words everything I was thinking. See the post here (http://daryllang.com/blog/4421) . Absolutely brill. Now some others have picked up the story (http://gawker.com/5614428/the-hallowed-ground-near-the-ground-zero-mosque/gallery/) , and have helped spread the gospel of WHAT THE FUCK.

And the sane and peaceful place amidst all this crazy-ass bluster? The website for the proposed community center. (http://www.park51.org/vision.htm) I urge you to look through it – be informed, see what their plans and their mission are, know that they are good people, and know that they are committed to creating a community center that serves the COMMUNITY.


Note to American Theatre magazine:

I got a survey emailed to me from TCG, wanting to know why I didn't renew my subscription to American Theatre. Here's the thing:  I tried a subscription for a year - I just assumed it would keep me up to date on a lot of the goings on in the theatre industry and don't get me wrong, it did in some ways. I just got irritated that the coverage in the big feature articles were always very New York-centric. There would be an occasional short article on some regional theatre that was doing something different or outside the box - but that would be it.
In the survey, they asked "What was your NUMBER ONE reason for not renewing?". None of the multiple choice answers worked for me, and there was a "OTHER: explain" with a blank space to fill in.
This is what I wrote:
"TOO MUCH NEW YORK! You need to come to grips with the fact it is no longer considered the "hub" of new theatre that it used to be. Your branching out to other cities/regions needs to intensify. It's called AMERICAN theatre magazine, but you may as well call it "NEW YORK Theatre Magazine, with an occasional bone thrown to Chicago/LA/Seattle/St Louis/ et.al.” "


Days go by

Sara said last night to me “You need to update…”

I was confused and said “update???”

She said, ”…the BLOG…”

Ahhh… yes…

Last Blog entry almost 2 months ago.

Well, it’s not like I’ve been sittin’ on my butt doing nothing!

After closing Hopper on the 21st, we moved the next weekend, then I had one week off where we did some organizing of the new place, and then jumped feet first into a new show on March 8.

I’m stage managing at The Side Project – it’s a new play called “People We Know”. One of the reasons I’m completely loving this is that the entire group consists of people I have never worked with before. Adam Webster, the director, directed me in a silly 10 minute play for a festival and that was AGES ago. I’ve never worked with any of the actors or any of the designers – which is great. Meeting new people, creating new contacts in theatre. Making the community of ME bigger.

I know it sounds weird because the show hasn’t even opened yet, but I’m already keeping my eyes open for the next gig. I like being able to plan ahead and know when the next “thing” is. Plus, if I keep my eyes open early I can have more projects to choose from (hopefully). If anyone is in need of a Stage Manager after July 1st, you know where I am.

Sara and I are going on a KICK-ASS road trip in June after PWK closes. We’re heading first to the Mount Rushmore area and spending a couple of days there, then swinging west and a little south to Cheyenne for a day. Then we head further south to Denver for about 3 days, and then we head directly east across Nebraska and Iowa and head home. Both of us have never been to ANY of these states, and they all seem like the perfect road trip kind of places, with great views from the car. We’re so excited. And, as a cherry on top, guess what team the Colorado Rockies are playing while we’re in Denver? That’s right…. The Red Sox. It’s like a dream vacation.

More to come….


Moving on up...

Tomorrow is the day --- The movers arrive at 9am. This is my first time ever using movers - I'm PSYCHED to not have to carry heavy objects up 3 flights of stairs. Yeah, our new place is on the 3rd floor. Awesome exercise when you coming and going from work --- awful to be carrying a box full of books!!! So, they come at 9. Sara and I will be filling the car with some smaller stuff (plus the TV - we want to take full responsibility for our expensive set....), and following behind. If things go fast (damn you impending snow), the movers should be done by 11, and we should be done completely by the end of the day (we can move slower...we're not on the clock!). I'll take pictures and post them of the new place, I promise.

On a related note, the condo we've lived in for 3 years actually belongs to a good friend of mine. He and his family moved back to Massachusetts 3 years ago, and we moved in just after they left. Now that we're leaving, he's trying to sell the condo. It's a great condo - if Sara and I were interested in a condo, we'd buy it ourselves. Here's a link to some more info about it, including some kick ass pictures. It is priced to sell as it is, but he is more than willing to entertain offers. Let me know if you want to contact him, or if I can put you in touch with the realtor, Connie, who is super nice.



I'm not sure if you're aware, but there are only ***3*** more chances to see our smash hit, "The (edward) Hopper Project". I am ridiculously proud of this production, and while I was only a small cog in the wheel, considering the massive numbers of people involved, I still know that my cog was NECESSARY.
(info and tickets - click here)

There are several pictures I could have used for this post, as we've had a bunch of pictures taken by a bunch of different people, but this one is by far my favorite. It sets the tone for the kind of show it is (dark but intriguing), I love the lighting (well done, Mr. Durst), the costumes are kick ass (woo hoo Rebar!), and these are truly 2 of my favorite people (not just in the show, but in life...). This little moment that Joe & Merrie's characters share is one of my favorite moments in the show, it's largely silent, and lasts only about 20 seconds tops. Brilliant.

(Photo by John Sisson - http://www.sissonphotography.com/ )


2 cents on diversity

There are far more intelligent discussions on diversity happening, for instance at Don's place99 Seats, not to mention the daily discussions on RVCBard's Blog. I don't consider myself even a SMIDGE smart enough to engage in this discussion. Sure, I would love to see some more diversity in Theatre, and Art in general, but I have no idea how to accomplish that.

Here's the ONE thing that has always needled me in the back of my brain, though. Cultivating diversity is a broader topic than just in the arts - how can I be expected to seek out and cultivate diversity in the arts when I'm not even doing it in my daily life? (and I'm sure I'm not alone). Personally, I need to refelct on MYSELF, and work on my stereotypes and pre-conceived notions that cloud MY head before I can work on coming up with ways to diversify an entire arts structure. Before we are artists, we are humans. The same white people who try to champion "Diversity in the Arts" are the same people who would change train cars if a group of black teenagers came on, or would cross the street to avoid a group of young hispanic kids. Do you look black people in the eye on the train or the bus? Do you choose to stand on the train rather than sit next to the black man?
I include myself in these questions - I *AM* that person. I am ashamed to say I have thought these thoughts. I don't know where they come from. Society? Upbringing? Personal experiences? Probably a fair helping of ALL of those things.
My growth as a HUMAN includes me now sitting anywhere on the bus or train, regardless of my seatmate. I don't change cars, I don't cross the street --- I look EVERYONE in the eye. And I even try to smile at all of them (depends on the mood - PMS usually derails Happy Dianna a little...)
Not looking for a pat on the back, or a parade proclaiming "Dianna is a CHAMPION of trying to bust through the stereotypes she has in her head! Good for her!". This isn't about how OTHERS percieve my changes in thought and action, it should be about how I percieve them. And I while I feel I've made some baby step style progress, I still feel I have miles to go.

At a recent post on Don's blog, Jesus left the following comment:
"Well, when I read all these discussions about diversity in theatre, and how we can expand the presence of minorities in casts and in the theatre as a whole, it feels like watching people wonder how best to spruce up the siding on a house that has no foundation. It all sounds great and pretty, but those communities have bigger issues than how many of their residents are on stages across the city."
And that sums up how I have always felt about this issue....diversity on the stage is the new vinyl siding, but the issues of racial equality and the breaking down of stereotypes is the FOUNDATION.

People, we can't make our house look pretty on the OUTSIDE unless we fix the INSIDE first.


The Facts (again)

I blatantly stole this from Brownlee about 3 years ago.

This is the third time I’ve updated “The Facts”

I am 35 years, 0 Months, 9 days and 10 hours old

I have lived in Chicago (total) for 8 years, 5 months & 20 days

I lived here in 99-01 for 1 yr, 11 mo & 5 days

I moved back here in 03, which now equals 6 yr, 6 mo, & 16 days (and counting)

I have lived in 5 different apartments – but I’m moving to apartment #6 in 2 weeks

1 of them I simply moved from upstairs to the downstairs.

In only 1 did I not have a room mate

Sara and I have been together (officially) since August 9, 2001

I have worked at my day job for 6 years, 5 month, 15 days.

I have produced 4 shows in Chicago.

I (still) have mixed feelings about all of them.

I have been in 1 play since college.

In it, I played mother to an actor who was only 8 years younger than me.

I knew only 1 of my great-grandmothers. She still spoke with an Irish brogue.

I have been to many funerals.

I am 2 degrees from Kevin Bacon. (Although it’s been almost 3 years since I typed this originally, and I can’t remember the connection)

I have skied many mountains many times.

I have owned 3 cars.

I have been in 2 car accidents. (::knock wood::)

I have ridden in 1 ambulance.

I have had 0 moles removed.

I had a throat abscess “lanced” when I was 16. My only hospital stay to date.

I am about 20 credits shy of a BFA in Theater.

I keep in touch with a few friends from high school.

Facebook changes that number from time to time

No offense to all ya’ll from EHS, but reconnecting with Shayna has been the best.

I actually enjoyed my 10 year reunion, and frankly am looking forward to the 20.

I have many fillings.

I have 2 missing teeth (thankfully, not in front)

I have had 0 broken bones. (::knock wood::)

I have been in 1 fist fight.

I have lost 1 fist fight. But became best friends afterward (we were 12)

I have never shot and killed an animal.

I have visited 19 states. This includes airport layovers, which count in my book.

After our planned road trip this June, that number will jump to 25.

This does not include Puerto Rico, which is not a state (yet). But which I have been to. But again, doesn’t count (but should…)

I own more movies than I can count anymore.

For the move, I am actually giving away a lot of them. While I love them, I don’t watch them the way I used to. And MAN, do they take up space. And they are HEAVY.

Pitchers and catchers report in a matter of days. That fills me with glee.



Just gotta keep sayin: "Good stuff on the horizon, good stuff on the horizon"

I've defintely had a week. The normal jabs and uppercuts of life have connected a little bit better due to my PMS - so, something that would normally just aggravate me for a little while and then fade, well, now it's bringing me to tears. Yesterday, I was so keyed up and stressed out I was choking back tears the entire 15 minutes I was shoveling my pre-show dinner in my mouth (yeah, see how I only had 15 minutes to relax and have dinner? icing on a shit day). Dealing with shit I shouldn't have to deal with, compromising on something only because I was guilted into it, spending the last hour at work dealing with ALL of this so that I left work late (hence, not a lot of time for dinner). What a crap freaking Thursday..

In the "life is good" column, though, I always have to remember that my cup pretty much runneth over. I have a well-paying stable job, where I have seniority, vacation & benefits (yeah, benefits for Sara too...). I have a roof over my head, a nice place to boot, as well as nice material things that make me feel comfy and cozy when I am at home. Best of all, I have Sara. I mean, I get home and she can see the stress on my face and she just wants to give me a hug. Never mind that she got home from work at 8 (she goes in at 7am) and she still had to do a full night of homework before goinmg to bed and doing it all over again tomorrow. She came to bed after I did, and she gets up way before I do. She's a rock star. :-)

So maybe I just feel bitchy and cranky ... maybe I need a vacation ... maybe I just need for it to be the weekend alrready... wait... it's Friday? Well isn't that just fan-freaking-tastic!!!!



I stupidly remembered why this birthday means more, why 35 for some crazy reason, is depressing me more than 34 did, and more than I suspect 36 will.
In exactly 9 days I'll be the same age my dad was when he passed away. Jeeeeez.
It hit me like a ton of bricks as I was falling asleep the other night. I was drifiting off, and I was thinking about my dad, and there it was. Dan Driscoll, dead at 35. It's one of those things that drifts along the edge - you can't quite reach it, but you know it's there, you know? I guess my subconsious always had a problem with turning this age, and I just had to pry it loose. And it was defintely bugging me. I mean, I don't feel old, or even old-er. I feel so normal, like I haven't even really aged in the last 5-8 years or so...So I just didn't understand my pre-occupation with 35.
But when it hit me, it really hit me. Sure, I cried a little. Anyone who knows me knows it doesn't take much for that to happen, really. It just made me so....sad. I look ahead to my life down the road, I see me and Sara, I see a kid (or kids), I see a house... I see contentment, and comfort, and LIFE.  About 2-3 months after his 35th birthday, my dad first noticed the lump on the back of his head. It all went quickly downhill from there, and he was gone 9 months later. I've always wondered how I would feel in that situation - and now, at this age, with all the joy and gifts I have in this life, I wonder what it would be like for me NOW.

There is truly nothing I can do about it except embrace my birthday. Embrace my age, and embrace that number.


Away away

Been away for awhile. Opening a show, dealing with life, finding a new apartment.

The Hopper opening went really well - lots of words of praise. Everyone all around really seemed to enjoy it. I'm really very proud of the show - it's ambitious, and scary and awesome all at once. And the food props are crazy but manageable. I'll survive :-)

The life stuff? hmmm.... I'm not comfortable blogging about it yet, since it's not my news. Just suffice to say some sad things afoot for Sara's family. Really kind of knocked us all for a loop, and we're all still dealing. Sad stuff, but a little personal right now. I guess that's probably one of the hardest things - not being able to unload about it. Well, think good thoughts. That's the best I can do.

New apartment has been found - we're in the process of getting the cashier check together for the first month. It's a HUGE one bedroom in Edgewater. (Right at Clark & Granville, just across from the Raven Theatre). It has a huge seperate dining room, which is important considering the behemouth table we just bought last year - plus it will give Sara the space to spread out and do her homework. Huge living room, big bedroom, 3 walk-in closets, heat included... and we'll be paying $315 less each month in rent. Savings account for house downpayment, here we come! Even if we ONLY banked that 315$ difference each month, at the end of our 3 year goal we'd have 10 grand for a downpayment. And trust me, we DON'T plan on just banking that difference.
We'll have a little overlap... our lease begins at the new place on 3/1, and our lease at our current place ENDS on 4/1, but it does give us the flexibility to move at our own pace, turn things off and turn others on at a slow pace as well.

Something that's been on my mind. During a weekend brunch trip to Ann Sather in Andersonville, Sara and I wanted to show her mom one of our favorite stores, Four Sided. It's this cool store that does custom framing, but also has these cool art pieces, antique items. It's really a one-of-a-kind store. Except of course that they have 3 locations. You know what I mean, though....
Anyway, while there, I noticed a print on the wall and asked about it... the staff told me it was this local artist Shawn Stucky, and I have to say I REALLY love all of the things I've seen of his so far.
This is the print that was on the wall. Awesome, right?


Not ready yet for the next box

Took a quick survey yesterday online.... at the end it asked if I were female or male, whether I worked full-time or part-time..... and of course, which age bracket do I fall under.
So for the next 31 days, I fall under the "25-34" range.
On February 6th, I start to mark the next box.

A small part of my heart just died.