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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dad Hands

When I was talking to her, I had to stop and think about it: are my dad's hands still larger than mine? I looked at her tiny hand laid against mine, palm to palm. I was sure the difference wouldn't be as dramatic, but his are surely still larger than mine. They must be — he's my dad.

It had been a while since the last visit. I live in Minneapolis, just over three hours up the road from West Des Moines. It's not that far, but when you work weekends as well as weekdays and get no paid time off, it complicates things. When you're an actor juggling multiple jobs, it makes the concept of vacation time even more unlikely. At ten months and counting, home felt too close for it to have been as long as it had been.

I wasn't smooth about asking and with Dad I didn't have to be. I told Dad how tiny her hands are and how it made me wonder. Being the person he is, knowing his adult children to be bigger, more experienced versions of the tiny humans he helped create and raise, he obliged.

I had expected there to be a huge difference.

Because of my frame, my hand was not as thick. The fingers were more slender. My skin was lighter than his, but the differences were small. End to end, heel to finger tip, my hand was the same size. It was odd. And it was a testament to the fact that I am indeed an adult.

By my age, my father had a fourth child on the way. Even when I stopped being short and could look my dad in the eye, he seemed to tower over me. Even now, when I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the man who taught me to shake hands — and hug — like you mean it, I feel I will never be as big a man as he.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sunday Callback Freewrites (with prompts)

I had an amazing callback audition on Sunday. Part of the process involved freewriting and even though neither of them was incorporated in the final product (which we were proud of), I liked them enough to keep them. Sometimes you don't have to kill your darlings, but you set them aside for other uses.

THE SUN SHONE THROUGH THE CRACKS IN THE GYM CEILING LIKE LATTICEWORK IN AN ENGLISH GARDEN.
Weaving a pattern, a blanket of light. It was an odd blanket, but in that way that mystifies instead of scares. It was thin at one end and spread wider and wider, with room enough for anyone who could see it. Dust motes were not dirty, but living, warm and comforting, massaging each tiny hair that rose in goosebumps. I wasn't cold; I was energized.

GRAVELLY, DRY, DUSTY; THE ROAD TO HEAVEN IS PAVED WITH KNUCKLES, EARTH, PRESSURE, TIME
You hate the struggle — resent it. You learn to curse your tenacity and loathe your ambition. But you are so focused on the goal.
     "Keep your eyes on the prize."
     "Follow the drinking gourd," the ancestors say.
Why do you do this to yourself? Not cool, Robert Frost. "Road less traveled" my stubborn, Black ass. But if I quit, there's no way to succeed