Sunday, November 12, 2006

"We all breathe the same air...."


I'm currently in the middle of the run of The Secret of Madame Bonnard's Bath at the Firehouse Theatre Project, and the audiences are really enjoying it. I love working with Jennifer Massey and Rusty Wilson, as they bring so much depth and nuance to the play night in & night out. The play runs until November 25th-- Don't miss it!! Call 355-2001 for ticket info.

So, onto my next gig. I recently got a call from Reuel Olin, owner/operator of the Villa Resort in Palm Springs, CA-- Seems they want to bring The SantaLand Diaries out to the west coast with yours truly as the Pint-sized, Pointy-shoed, David Sedaris-esque Macy's employee. So, on november 27th, I fly out to Cali-for-ni-a for a four-week run of the one-man play... which, did I neglect to mention, is at a RESORT in PALM SPRINGS???

Wow. Just-- I mean-- WOW. I never thought it would pay off to be a skinny, short gap-toothed geek until now. If you need a west-virginia bat-creature or one of Santa's helpers, I guess I'm your man!! I mean, I can't even believe how lucky I am to land this gig. It's at a gay and lesbian resort, no less, which means everything will be spotless, gorgeous, stylish-- and the food and the people will be FABULOUS, girlfriend... I'm going to try and sell them on bringing I AM MY OWN WIFE out there someday as well.

Meantime, like Andrew Hamm over on his blog-- I've been blogging a lot about politics lately. Sometimes it's just a quick copy of an article I read that moved me, or a deep seeded desire to pop off and vent about the issues of the day.

I'm encouraged by the results of the midterms, and I hope it leads to actual bipartisan problem-solving, chiefly on the war in Iraq, which needs serious attention. I look forward to the dems finding common ground with those across the aisle. That having been said, though, I'm not one of those that think that we shouldn't hold the Administration responsible for their misdeeds for fear that it will look like 'Partisan Bickering.'

There are so many things the GOP never questioned on it's watch, and in giving the President carte blanche, they failed in their duty to provide oversight in the interests of those they represent. Chief among these are their blatant ignoring of the 'Downing Street Memos,' which indicate that during the pre-war period, 'The facts were being fixed around the policy' of pre-emptive warfare; and that the administration was creating justifications for an illegal invasion that, as we have seen, has cost so many lives. That's a very serious and troubling series of documents from UK intelligence, which should be looked into with serious scrutiny. Who knew what, and when? Was intelligence cherry-picked in order to provide suitable reasons to attack Iraq?

I fear, however, that should John Conyers pick up that torch and attempt to get to the bottom of the matter, our ever-objective media will simply paint it with the 'Bush-bashing' brush and ignore the real questions such a probe were meant to answer. And let's be clear, there is a lot the GOP let slide. Halliburton continues to make Billions hand-over-fist with no-bid contracts from Iraq to New Orleans, while Mr Cheney's stock options continually rise in value. That's not a slam, it's a fact. The last hope for oversight in Iraq was snuffed out last week, and, as a nation, we still countenance the use of depleted uranium munitions and cluster bombs in civilian areas.

These things make me ashamed.

These things need to be looked into. Deeply. Without partisan rancor, but with the spirit of truth and a desire for justice.

Yet we can address these things at the same time as we:

Raise the minimum wage; Provide tax-deductability for college tuition; Engage in healthy debate over embryonic stem-cell research; Secure our ports and nuclear power plants; Follow up on the rebuilding of the gulf coast; Cast a critical eye on the Military Commissions act of 2006 and the Patriot Act; Discuss the root causes of illegal immigration by bringing Mexico to the Table; Look into education iniquities in inner city schools; Provide tax incentives for companies to develop hybrid vehicles & accelerate alternative fuel research and development; Eliminate 'Earmarks' on spending bills which dilute the integrity of congressional attempts at fiscal responsibility; Engage in the Kyoto protocols; Clamp down on credit-card companies which prey on the young and the uninformed by doling out credit at crippling interest rates; Hold cities accountable for the upkeep of infrastructure (So we don't have a repeat of the Battery Park flood crisis elsewhere); And begin to make the intertwined problems-- of illiteracy, poverty, and youth gangs-- a focus of making America stronger.

We CAN work together, I feel, and I am excited about the prospect of having some of my views on these subjects represented in the government for once.

Red or Blue, Democrat or Republican, we must really try to see that we all love America equally and we want it to be a real land of opportunity for everyone. Andrew's blog echoes these sentiments, and it really is a great thing to know that we're all not so different. Like Andrew, I too have been reading a lot about Abraham Lincoln lately. I'm writing a touring show for Theatre IV called FREDERICK DOUGLAS & HONEST ABE about the relationship between the two men, and there is a something Abe Lincoln said once which inspires me:

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.
The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.


And from President Kennedy:

So let us not be blind to our differences, but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's futures. And we are all mortal.


3 comments:

Frank Creasy said...

Okay dude, I've done my political posts on Andrew Hamm's page, so I'll leave that topic alone for now (though I LOVED the Mini-Wheat reference in your post!) But what I REALLY want to say is, CONGRATULATIONS ON THE "SANTALAND" GIG! Man, that is just so freakin' AWESOME brother!

I'm not surprised in the LEAST at your success (shit, I've seen shows in NY and London and such and those fucks got NUTTIN on you man), but it's still sweet and I'm sure not what you expected to come from out of the blue. And while I'm not comparing our careers or anything (I've got no wall-sized posters reading "Frank Creasy IS Title Character"), I can totally relate to being something other than a "marquee idol". I'm out there going "Hey, anybody need a stocky middle-aged bald guy clown type? 'Cause I am YOUR MAN!" And so even as a fellow character actor, I know how you would feel your look is uncommon. But hey, maybe that IS the appeal - there's only ONE "Scott Wichmann" type. There's something to be said for being inimitable. You're one of a kind amigo, and it's working for you. I am SO happy for you to get that gig. Will you be packin' the "Charlotte" pearls for the trip???

WAY TO GO SCOTTO!

Andrew Hamm said...

Scott,

First of all, congratulations. Homestar would say, "You'we going to be in The Santaman Diawies? That's fwickin awesome!"

Your post is beautifully written, and I respect the hell out of you and your convictions, many of which I share.

Please come back from paradise relatively soon. I want to play together more.

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