Tomorrow night my show, THE COMPLAINT opens. I am so excited I will have to take an adavan and drink a few more Blue Points to sleep tonight. These last few months have been a tumultuous and exciting few weeks. I am so awake that sleep has been an impossibility and food only seems to get in the way of the fire in my stomach. There is no reason I should be healthy right now- i have been "burning the candle at both ends" as my dad would say. I spoke to my father tonight and feel so full of gratitude for the tambor of his voice and the heh heh heh of his laugh that it makes my chest swell with pride and unbelief that I am cut from the same fat as he. Lucky lady amanda bird. That is me. My dad calls me amanda bird and says, "Your mother robbed, tricked, gipped (pick your grabby adjective) me out of calling you amanda bird- that is your name..." Always something like that said- I love it. He is the penultimate storyteller- I was raised by a master storyteller. Stories are addicting- especially good ones that you don't mind hearing again and again. I love my father's stories. They may be my favorite. I like to live big so maybe I can rise to the birthright I have been afforded by a good damn story telling man.
Acting and storytelling are the same thing to me...so I'm telling this story my buddy Randy wrote...THE COMPLAINT. Living in this story for the last 6 weeks has been the best thing I could ever be a part of. Randy Noojin is a good damn storyteller. It is a trip to get to live inside your friend's stories- truly- and then to be able to act out that story with the originator of that story is even more double rainbow trippy. Why does this story resonate with me....
When I was seven a man named "Uncle Tony" and my dad bought me little honda fifty four wheeler ATV. The first time I drove it I ran myself up a tree. I had on full body armor and helmet, but those men gave me my first opportunity for autonomy in a physical, risky way that it fueled the thrill seeker in me that I was to become. My "Uncle Tony" was a silver haired ebullient man that had the energy of an 18 year old. All my memories of him consist of smiles, and laughter, and celebrating. Full of life. A few years down the road from the honda "Uncle Tony" was incarcerated for marijuana. He has been in jail for over a decade and may very well die there...for pot... Recently many of us close to Tony wrote pleas to the judge to let him be released for time fitting the crime...he is still a prisoner. So- this show that I'm living in right now is a totem to my "Uncle Tony". There are cells across America that are keeping people from freedom because of a plant that grows out of the fucking ground. THE COMPLAINT only highlights the rediculous drug laws and their consequences to people that could be contributing in positive ways to our current society. Tony inspired a little girl to be bold and joyous and to live life on her own terms...but he is in a prison serving out a sentence that is unfair and unfitting. I think we have made great strides in understanding the reality of marijuana and its effect on society- but we aren't there yet. I wish my "Uncle Tony" could see this show- I know he would be proud to hear story where the protagonist prevails and pot is involved- I hold out hope that lawmakers will let him go live his life and put some love into the world. Damn it.
This show is about more than marijuana laws. It's about going after your dreams...the things you TRULY want down deep in your gut...no matter what the cost. I am newly single- and out of respect will not delve into the details...but yeah...that is what I am living right now. We all have intuition and instinct, but often we cut those impulses off to become more comfortable and safe. Fuck it. Why be safe? What are we so afraid of? You only get once chance to live this life. There are no rehearsals (cliche, but fucking true). Go for it. Give yourself a chance- because no one else will unless you believe that you have a chance. There is so much inspiration out there waiting to be eaten up- its so easy to get tunnel vision we lose our 20/20 and stop looking. OPEN YOUR EYES.
The cast and producing team of THE COMPLAINT are my family. I have been so encouraged and inspired by their commitment to this project that it makes me want to do more. Do more for them, for me, for the sake of art. One of the lines in the show is- "Suddenly Art is Possible"....it is. It is right at our fingertips and we are smoking it long and proud and sharing it with whomever wants a hit. This show has mother fucking heart. Come and be a part of it. We open tomorrow and have 15 performances to fill- its a 50 seat house- so 750 have the "opportunity" to be enlightened with our story- please be one of them....
Buy your tickets here:
THE COMPLAINT, by Randy Noojin TICKETS
If you want to know more about the project, check out CEOTheatre's website or read our write up in Broadway World