Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I know, I know...many days have passed without a posting. I've missed it, but I've been busy. Well, I was busy last week, and this week I've been recouping from being busy. So now I'm ready to get back on track. Except I think Nik gave me the flu...so now I'm recovering from that...blah blah blah.

So the reason for no posts/no baking for the past several days (since the 7th...sheesh) was art of a different form...Martie's play. We opened last Thursday and ran through Sunday. Just 4 performances, but we had good crowds, positive feedback, no major oops, and it was an all-around good experience. But, of course, like most things, it got me thinking...I know, I know, don't think so much is supposed to be one of my mantras, but I can't seem to help myself.

So here's what's been swirling around in my mind, invading the synapses which usually are clogged by only flour and yeast...it/we/you/I start somewhere, somehow, as one thing...and end up different, later, someplace else. A nearly constant process of change and editing and revision and acceptance. Yet somehow, there's still that core, the kernel of the idea/person/material that remains, sometimes covered and camouflaged and twisted, but still there.

Here's why I am dwelling/obsessing on that rather basic fact of life. In the play, Martie portrayed 11 different characters, 6 of whom were related in some way...All of the characters experienced a dramatic change in their lives...Most of the characters were transgender, so had lived parts of 2 lives - a male life, and a female life...The stories were largely based on real people/real events, with additional fiction and details created around them by Martie and me. Some of the real people who provided the stories were in the audience watching their amended but actual stories performed on stage.

In other words, we created characters based on people who were living lives which were different from the life into which they were born...three degrees of separation all in the same person. And...on top of that heady dose of reality, I think both Martie and I felt a strong responsibility to be respectful and honest to the real people behind the stories, while also being aware of the dual need to both inform and entertain. All that and more...for only 15 dollars a ticket.

So I got to thinking about roles and personality and self...dangerous territory certainly, but important for a creator of onstage personages...and wondered how honest I am to myself throughout the day. Or maybe honest isn't the right word, maybe it is more an awareness of who I am in the context of what is going on around me and why some choices are made. F'rinstance...the guy that gets up and immediately hits the shower and gets dressed and is out the door with maximum efficiency...is not unlike the guy who shows up at work at almost the very same time everyday (7:18) and is task-oriented and works steadily and doesn't usually dilly-dally...but is very different from the guy who arrives home after work, ignoring dirty dishes in the sink and wastes time on the computer...yet he is very different from the ritual-and-rule-bound baker who is serious and can be somewhat intense and unforgiving...but who is different from the oft-inappropriate clown/fool who many have encountered in social situations.
So then you have to ask...or I have to ask, because I think too much...Is there one little voice hidden beneath each of these, one little voice that is the real self, the true person, the real me...who just happens to wear a series of different coats depending on when it is and where I am and who is around me? In the past I would have said that I am not sure. But that's a developmental question, a necessary question for sure at some points in a life, and I'm so very glad to say that I'm over that now. Chalk it up to age or experience or pharmaceuticals or apathy, or whatever...I know what I'm doing, or what I have to do, or what I should do...and I make choices.
The play is called TransFormations. I was proud to be a part of it.
Less proud was I of the Pear/Raspberry Charlotte I made to honor the act of transformation. It seemed like the perfect choice...just a few basic ingredients whipped and folded and beaten into various new incarnations, coming together to become something totally new and wonderful and impressive. Well...Nik didn't care for it at all, eating only one piece. I thought it was just okay...but okay enough to tweak for next time: forget pears, go with something a little more bold, and be sure to make the sponge cake/ladyfingers thinner on the bottoms and side. (No recipe today...like I said, it wasn't that good.)

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