Failing

The day I graduated from High School was the happiest day of my life, because though I was a nerd, I was a nerd of words.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, that’s not toast I’m surrounded by, it’s poorly drawn books.  The color’s in squiggles because it’s the past.

ANYway, it was the happiest day because though I was a wordnerd, I was not a test nerd and though I could write a killer essay, I sucked at taking tests.  Especially in math.  Or science.  Or SATs.  Or multiple fill in the blank choices.  And when I graduated High School I realized

I WOULD NEVER HAVE TO TAKE A TEST AGAIN!

But um, wait, AG, what about college?! I can hear you say.  Didn’t you have a post where you claim to have an MFA in Theater?

I do have an MFA.  And I did go to college.

PLAYWRITING COLLEGE!

Where sciences were a joke and math was exempt.  Sure, we had tests, but our tests looked like this:

Actual test.

What about the GREs, I can hear you ask as you all contemplate a career in theater, Didn’t you have to take those life sucking exams of torture to get into your fancy MFA program?

No.  I didn’t.  See above test.

What did I do at MFA school?  The following:

Actual schedule.

So you can imagine that in the time that passed, my test taking brain, which was already mush, had slowly disintegrated into soup.  But what had I to worry about?  Life is filled with philosophical tests, tests or moral character and feats of strength, not actual sit down at a table with a number two pencil and fill in a bubble with the choice closest to the correct answer tests.

Right?

So I mentioned on the twitter the other day that I was having a reading of another play of mine.  I rented the theater out way back in January, where I went and tearfully handed over a check for too much dollars, signed a few X’s and crossed a few I’s, found out I had to pay for audience insurance which also made me cry a little, and was told by the nice Theater Matron,

A fire what? I exclaimed, wiping away my tears with a soggy contract,

A fire guard, so in case the theater gets set on fire we have someone to blame I MEAN help usher people outside and call the fire department and all.

I shook my head and gnashed my teeth and sighed, How much is it going to cost me?

WELL, you can either use one of ours for THISMANYDOLLARS

No, please No

OR you can go get certified yourself.  All you’ll have to do is pass a simple 25 question multiple choice TEST

She made it sound so easy.

And so did all my friends.  In the weeks leading up to the test, I heard:

Oh yeah, don’t worry about it, I passed it in like .35 seconds

 Who isn’t a fireguard knowhati’msayin’?!

Is it easy?  Are cheeseburgers AWESOME?!

So I entered the exam room, having not really studied, believing that I would be out in .35 seconds, eating cheeseburgers with all the other fireguards of the City.

WRONG I WAS WRONG

It was 25 questions of me going ?!?! for each.  The same test taking issues I had back in the day came rushing back to me.  I get so nervous when I sit down to take a test that I don’t really read the question (because my eyes are covered in sweat) and I wind up stabbing answers at random.

Is it my own fault for assuming it would be so easy and for my common sense to take hold and my old test taking issues to disappear? Yes. Yes it is.

Did I fail?  I needed a 70% to pass.

64%

Shame welled up inside of me like a rotten balloon.  I was suddenly transported way back to tenth grade chemistry, where I had gotten a zero on a test.  I hadn’t failed anything in years YEARS, and this number was mocking me from the computer screen,

64% had bad manners.

Anyway, I walked out of there feeling like a failure.  And I realized something.

Feeling like a failure SUCKS. And is completely unnecessary.  There’s no reason to feel like a failure, even when things suck.  The only time you actually fail is when you stop trying.

SO I TOOK THE TEST AGAIN!  And I got an

So I am now a full-fledged fire guard which means I theoretically know how to use a fire extinguisher and pull a fire alarm!

My point is, never stop trying. Never give up.  Because when you finally pass, all that failure really means nothing.  Enjoy the road, as bumpy as it might be, because you can get a good story out of it – and some fun stick figures.

#14 – Broken Toe regrets…

Dear AG,
Thank you for your submission to the 2011-2012 Broken Toe You Were Never Gonna Get It Commission. Our selection committee has been diligently drinking and completed the review process, and unfortunately, though unsurprisingly as per our cute subject title, your submission was not picked this year.

This was certainly not an easy decision, except for the fact it was. We received over 200 MILLION submissions this time around which really shouldn’t be a surprise since we are famous and people have had our deadline marked on their calendar for a full year.

Our process made the selection completely blind especially because we read all the submissions in dark cellars by candlelight OH WAIT, that’s not what we mean, we mean that no member of the selection committee could see any identifying information which must really make you feel better

You see AG, it’s not about who you know, it’s about throwing darts at the submissions and picking randomly from there.

It was not really a joy for us to receive submissions of such minor quality and promise, and we politely, albeit insincerely, thank you for your work.

Sincerely,

Broken Toe
That’s right, the entire company, no one person made this easy decision!

3 Days Later….

In my E-mail box…..

 

Broken Toe Congratulates!

(AG’s thoughts: WHAT OMG THEY MUST HAVE MADE A MISTAKE BY SENDING ME THAT REGECTION E-MAIL OMG I AM SO HONORED

hahaha)

Congratulations!

Broken Toe received over 200 bajillion applications from all over the freakin’ universe for our 4th Semi-Bi-Triannual You Were Never Gonna Get It Commission Commission. This year’s award will be shared by two writers:

Fan C. Name for her project This Title is in Spanish and Joe Square for his project This Title is Also in Spanish.

Oh, I’m sorry, did you think you were gonna get it? Gotcha! Oh we like a good joke. No, no, this is just an e-mail RIDDLED with information you don’t want to know about!

Well, here goes!

This Title is in Spanish is the story of an old lady who runs away from a nursing home, meets a young’n and has adventures.  And also it takes place in Spain during a revolution in the future with aliens.
In This Title is Also in Spanish, something vaguely similar happens, but this time it’s about life and what it means to live. And also War. And also political mumbojumbo.  And also LOOK A BIRD.
This year’s finalists included: Not You, Him, Her, Her Again, Not You, I Think I Went to School With Him, annnnd Yup, Definitely Not You.
Catch ya later, gator!
Broken Toe: We Like to Bend Theatre Until it Snaps in Half!

Zombies and Candy and Regection, Oh MY!

An Event SO BIG it needs its own Banner:

WHO DID THAT TO THOSE PUMPKINS?!

I’m easily amused.

Anywho, this is basically going to be a week of posts incorporating regection with Halloween.

Don’t forget to click here vote to help me decide what costume I’ll be wearing on Halloween! I’ll be dressing up like the losers throughout the week, with the big reveal next Monday.  ROCK ON!

Speaking of losers and a convenient segway,

A few days ago, I asked you all what your least favorite candy was and an OVERWHELMING amount of you listed two not even in the running.  Talk about a backward Cinderella story.

Your revulsion at the very thought of them made your teeth shake and the saliva just evaporate from your tongue.  There is no candy in the universe that is hated more than these two guys.  Make sure to fill your candy bowls with chocolate, gum, even apples and pennies.  Do not enlist the help of these candies unless you want kids and their parents to go running from your home, screaming in absolute terror.

That’s right. I am talking about:

I’m talking about Candy Corn (or as Lizzie McMizzie says “THE FEAST OF CAVITY-RIDDLED DEMONS”) and Black Licorice aka “Black Rubber”, “Burnt Tar”, and “Dirty Socks”.

I was shocked SHOCKED at how passionate people are about the disgust of both of these candies cause, especially since I happen to love black licorice.  I actually went out to the store to purchase some because I was like Well, more for me!

I also turned into PAC-MAN.

As I was munching on my delicious licorice (say it three times fast!), I imagined a conversation that might take place between the two of these regected treats…

CC: You know what I find particularly funny?

BL: This blog?

CC: Hahaha no

BL: I know, right?  I can’t believe we’re featured on this rag

CC: It makes me so sad. Where did life go wrong for us, Lic?

BL: I think it all began when my batch of sugar gelatin got mixed up with some shoe leather

CC: I COULDA BEEN SOMETHIN! I COULDA BEEN A Cupid Corn

BL: Cupid Corn?

CC:

BL: Honestly, that looks just as disgusting

CC: What do you know, you could have been in a shoe

BL:  At least people like me more than they like you

CC: At least people are guaranteed to hand me out at parties because I’m thematically appealing

BL: FORGET YOU! I’m gonna go make it on my own!

CC: Nobody likes you

BL: No, Candy Corn. Nobody likes US.  Are you crying?

CC: I just want to be loved, Lic! I just want to be loved.

And then I ate them both, because even though I don’t particularly like candy corn, I’m always fascinated by no matter how many I eat, I can’t seem to taste them.  Seriosuly, what do they taste like besides pure dyed sugar?

And then I wonder why my face is vibrating.

And thus ends the sad, sad tale of these two regected treats.  Show them a little love.  And then eat your chocolate instead.

 

#13

Dear AG,

Thank you for applying to the We Are Edgy Because We Wear Our Sunglasses Indoors and In the Dark Lab this year. We enjoyed skimming through your work while hung over and on the toilet and getting to know your voice by pretending to read Not As Edgy As We Are.

We received more applications than there are zits on a school boy’s bottom this year and honestly don’t really care or regret to say that we’re unable to offer you a spot in blah blah blah blah and blah.
‘Cause we’re edgy.  Too edgy to care.
Thank you for your interest in We Don’t Just Bend the Rules, We Shatter ’em and then take those piece and Make A Really Intense Mosaic out of Them Rep and the WAEBWWOSIAITD Lab.
Best wishes.

Sincerely,

Joe Kuul and The Fonz

Movies I Regect

I’m a last minute participant in the Worst Movies Ever blogfest, but better late than never, as the White Rabbit would say if he were an optimist!

You know what pisses me off?  That bad movies get made.  Not just sometimes but often. Madd often.  Why the BLEEP didn’t these people get BLEEPING rejection letters?! Can somebody answer me that?!

Money.

Well, here’s my open letter of rejection, regecting those movies that made me go R U FOR SERIOUS and yet give me a glimmer of hope that if absolute garbage can get made, maybe I, too, will one day shine on the big screen.

Probably not, though.

SPOILER WARNING: Some plot points WILL BE REVEALED! Read at your own risk, stay out of the water, etc!

Also, just want to reiterate that this is just in good fun, no intention to offend or anything; I like many a movie others would gag at, that’s the beauty of diverse opinion.

And in my diverse opinion, these movies are crap.

Anywho, my nominees are:

1. Anger Management

The movie poster I did not doctor in any way, shape or form says it all!

Fine, I doctored it a little bit.

First of all, this movie makes me want to kick a tree. Because it stresses me out. If you’ve seen the movie, you know why.  If you haven’t, please just read a book.
(Don’t worry, I didn’t kick the tree.  Because afterwards I would be overcome with feelings of guilt and buy the tree whatever it wanted.  And also, my foot would hurt.)

Second of all, it’s too long.  I started watching it when I was in HS and JUST finished it last week.  Okay, that didn’t happen, but after I watched it I felt like Robin Williams and Bonnie Hunt from Jumangi when they had to go back to being kids after living a lifetime as adults.  Know what I’m talking about? Good.  Don’t? Watch that movie immediately.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

Thirdly, just because you’re Jack Nicholson doesnt mean you’re immune to making a bad movie. It happens, especially if the writing is bad.

THE WRITING IS BAD.

Redeeming Factor:

The End.  No really, it had a cute ending that if it wasn’t a million hours I might’ve appreciated. Maybe.

2. The Happening aka Any of its working titles,

Is this Really Happening?
Why Are We Making This Happening?
Does Anyone Know What is Happening?
She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain Oh Really When is that Happening?

Things I wanted to say to M. Night Shamalamadingdong as this movie was Happening:

Really?
Seriously?
No.
Why?

Reedeeming Factor:

Drinking game. Done.  Literally, every time somebody says Happening, take a shot.  Every time Zoey Deschenal and Mark Whalberg look wide eyed into the distance, take a shot.  You’re welcome.

3. The Human Centipede

Or, as I like to call it, Someone’s Working Through Some Issues.

Seriously, it’s disgusting.

Not only is it disgusting, which is essentially what it was made to be, but it has weak characters, a shallow plot and absolutely no redeeming value.

Not only is it disgusting, has weak characters a shallow plot and no redeeming value, but it smothers puppies and eats dreams like they’re licorice candies.

Someone’s gotta get a therapist on speed dial.

Reedeming Factor:

Any movie that smothers puppies should be sent away to the place in Eternal Sunshine where they erase minds and stuff so that it never exists.

4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, or as I like to call it, You couldn’t come up with something better than aliens and nazis?

Did anybody else watch this movie going WHY!

And also, the special effects? Not so special.

And also, Shia Lahoweveryouspellhisname? Not that great.

And also, really? Really.

And was it just me, or were we missing an actual Kingdom? I think we were. I think we just arbitrarily threw a word into the title to make it have a couple of extra syllables.   But I don’t know, I was too busy crying into my popcorn, mourning the loss of a great trilogy due to the birth of this bastard son.

Redeeming Factor:

Karen Allen.  She was all adorable and “Yeah, I’m doing this movie, what’s it to you?” Love her.

5. The Lovely Bones

It was SO GOOD until Mark Whalberg came on screen.  I also have a prejudice against Mark Whalberg, but especially when he’s got his acting face on.

Observe it.

Redeeming Factor:

I thought the beginning of the movie was great. Oh and STANLEY TUCCI IS A BOSS! But only acting, not that character.  That character is the opposite of a boss.  He’s a Gross.

6. Mr. Deeds

Did anybody actually watch Mr. Deeds besides me and Adam Sandler’s mom?

Redeeming factor:

The commercials were funny.  That’s how they got me.

7. Rent

Chris Columbus DESTROYED this.  Seriously, it’s a freakin musical, nobody wants to listen to DIALOGUE THAT RHYMES.  It’s awkward and WEIRD.  Adam Pascal wouldn’t just walk around rhyming like he’s freaking the Cat in the Hat, he’d rock OUT!  Like they’re supposed to do!

Because its a musical, nobody’s going to go to the musical and say,
Hey, Tom, isn’t it weird how all of these people are singing instead of speaking?
Yeah, Bob, I was just wondering why they weren’t speaking in rhyme.

ARRRRRGH THIS MOVIE MAKES ME NEED TO SIT IN A DARK ROOM, PUT ON MY SUNGLASSES AND LISTEN TO SLAM POETRY

Redeeming Factor:

If only.

8. Winter’s Bone: A Title Too Good for “The”.

This movie is great.  There are lots of long establishing shots that establish boredom and realistic sounds of boots crunching gravel.  You want to see a girl get beat up? You’ll have MULTIPLE chances to in this film!

It takes place over the course three hours of your life you’ll never get back.  It’s about a girl who needs to saw off her father’s dead hands in order for her and her family to keep their shack.  SPOILER ALERT she does it!

Favorite line? “Come on, hun, you gotta do the other one, they’ll say you stole the one from a corpse”. Flawed logic? Just a bit

Redeeming Factor:

The End.  Seriously, never been happier to see end credits roll.

Well, I’m exhausted.  And I wrote this in a little bit of a rush so as to publish this before midnight (WIN!), so I apologize for the messiness, but I will edit it tomorrow. And then this statement will magically disappear.

Good night, folks!
ROLL CREDITS

#12

Hi AG,

Thank you for submitting your play, It’s Nice That You Try, to the We Eat Dreams for Breakfast festival this year. We received SO many submissions, we had to barricade ourselves in the office for 36 months to sort through some really fantastic entries.

It was just a mountain of pages and words.
A mountain.

Selecting the final 6 scripts for production was madd difficult, but after many sleepless nights, a couple hundred break downs and some involuntary reenactments of Lord of the Flies, we have whittled that massive pile down by arbitrarily grabbing 6 and arrived at our final program.

The final plays are:

A Teardrop At the Edge of Two Days From Now by Mel-Anne Koli
When a man loses his umbrella on a subway, it’s really a metaphor for losing his soul to a giant cooperation, and also death.  Sadness abounds in this play.  Bring a tissue.  You’ll only need one, it’s not that sad.

Actors are Different from Normal Folk by Irmma Actoorre
A former famous actor has a present not as famous actor son and he doesn’t understand why he doesn’t act to get money and ruins his love and DAD LOVE ME DAD PLEASE LOVE ME!

Play with the Panda by Izzaz Badazit Zoundz
Street thugs snatch a cello as a an Upper West Side couple contemplates the future.

Word by Al Readie-Famous
This guy is famous so we’re just happy he sent in a play.  No really, it can be ten minutes of a man banging on an out of tune tambourine, reciting a list of salted meats alphabetically and backwards while flowers and butterscotch candies fall from the sky, we’re doing this play.
WERE DOING THIS PLAY.

An Emotion by Yuleneva B. Hapi
Life sux so I wrote a play about.

A Monologue of Epic Proportions by BA-BA-BA-BAM!
This is the tightest monologue ever written, all!  You are gonna be blown away by the one person talking for like TEN FULL MINUTES all about things!  And not only things, but different things! And a lot of them! There will be POLITICAL JOKES and SEXIST HUMOR and RACIST COMMENTS and then FIREWORKS!
THIS IS WHAT THEATRE IS!
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.

$7 suggested donation at the door. 


Job Interview #3

The Interview:

The Interviewer:  Hello, I’m so sorry I’m late WHOA you’ve been waiting here for 2 hours?  My bad, lunch and all.

AG: That’s. Fiii iii iii ne, my time is not important at all.

The Interviewer: Does it hurt to talk through clenched teeth like that?

AG: No.

The Interviewer: GREAT so, shall we get started?

AG: Is that a real question?

The Interviewer: So let’s see, your name is AG…can I call you A, buddy?

AG: Can I call you T.I.?

The Interviewer: A! You’re funny! GREAT! So am I, so am I, listen to this one- knock knock.

AG: This is totally…this is totally not a waste of my time.

The Interview: MOO

AG: Moo…moo who

The Interviewer: THE ECONOMY!

AG: ….

The Interviewer: Oh mah bad, I totally messed up those punchlines

AG:  You are…so funny……………………..

The Interviewer: So let’s see…you are completely and utterly qualified for this job!

AG: I know.

The Interviewer: You are actually the MOST qualified person I have met to date and am telling you this right to your face!

AG: Is that appropriate?

The Interviewer: I think I have lunch in my teeth.

AG: Wow.

The Interviewer: ANYWAY, yeah, this looks great, and I will be in touch!

5 Months Later….

AG,

Hey there buddy.  I wanted to drop a note and thank you for applying to proof and edit my blog.

I did just hire someone for the position, five months after the fact. But why are you surprised, I was totally late to the interview!

My life is very important.

Thanks again, I remember what it was like reading those Playbill ads myself, back in the day when I was just a young theatrical whippersnapper like yourself.    Ah, those were the days, my friend. I thought they’d never end.

But they did and now I’m too important to even be on time for an interview. 

Good luck. You’ll need it.

Wait, who are you?

I am completely unprofessional!

Love always,

Snookums

Oh how EMBARRASSING I meant that for my lover!  Ah, isn’t life funny? 

Well, I hope you can forgive me and not try to seek revenge by completely re-writing this experience and posting it on a BLOG or something hahahaha.

That would be…that would be totally ironic.

 

 

I didn’t touch the first sentence of that rejection letter. Just wanted to let you all know!

AG