August 2023


Claudine Jones | Scene4 Magazin

Claudine Jones

I just climbed the stairs to go pee.

30 minutes ago I did the same thing, only it was to get some sunscreen before I went outside. Sam was checking the tires in an overabundance of concern over tire pressure and I really didn't have anything to contribute, except I wanted to look inside the car. See if there was anything valuable visible after Ryan's weekend trip up to Northern California campground. I'm not going to take on the responsibility of cleaning out the car but I did have this relentless desire to mother the situation. Sam told me to snap out of it, so instead I filled a little bucket from the rain barrel and soaked the big old neglected jade plant. Why not? It's free water.

This time at the top of the stairs I noticed hang on, there's something in my left pocket. Must be the car key. That's OK, going up and downstairs is good as gold exercise-wise. But then I realized what the hell there's something in my right pocket. Shit. That's the car key, so what's that in the left pocket? Turns out it's the household thermometer Sam had custody of when he was testing positive couple of weeks ago. He just handed it off to me an hour ago.

So there you have it. Right side: go places, left side: dead stop. And they both have the same cute little profile.

Fat on one end skinny on the other.


Tuesday, I woke up from an insanely vivid dream (please indulge me)

I'm part of maybe two dozen triple threats in what seems like a very large multi-purpose room, of course just like high school. We're in a big circle, not so much auditioning as randomly demonstrating? I chime in. I'm deliciously sporting toe shoes at the time and thinking oh I can hit that high note, like my A is back! It's not shaky or subpar. In fact I'm quite proud of it; my body feels strong.

And then it goes downhill. It becomes quite clear that age is a factor. They simply pluck half a dozen of us out of the mix. By name. As a sidebar I think the production is West Side Story? Or Gilbert & Sullivan. Something like that. Anyway I'm disappointed but I step aside. Then they take another batch of people for understudies or some lesser duties. Still no joy. I'm standing right there and they're looking through me as if I don't exist.

Right at the tail end of the dream a person in charge says okay Bob and Claudine: gonna need you two to analyze the script. Which basically relegates us to office work. I don't react as negatively as I might because shoot, this could be an opportunity to change it for some creative reason and make my mark. I also wake up thinking you know what I'm not fooling anybody. I cannot play in an ensemble of 20 somethings when I'm the person who reads 70s. Audiobook maybe but there you have it.

In one of those enigmatic coincidences, half an hour after that dream I've got my coffee and I'm now reading an article in the Washington Post in which it's pretty clear my fantasy is exactly that: reliving the past where the future is extraordinarily bleak for Live Theater. And that piggybacks on the discovery that something I was sort of counting on for the end of the year, with three years of shutdown and 90% loss of revenue, my old pal The Christmas Revels extravaganza actually has ceased operations. Pretty shocking but absolutely predictable.


More sodden thoughts on anxiety. I went to a Mozart Requiem Singalong in SF and yay! ran into Stacey from Conservatory days so long ago—also, walking over there from Civic Center BART was actually fairly easy even going up the hill I mean that's a good two miles the breathing exercises must be doing something because I wasn't really out of breath only had to stop once didn't even check bpm—but, here's the thing: it turned out that I brought a different version of the Score and so did a few other people because we turn to each other in surprise when they skip over the Amen.

At the end of the day my sight reading was shit but I don't care. Mz. Early Music Dr. Stacey was up there doing a quartet and a few other little bits and it was pretty clear that she was totally flying by the seat of her pants, I mean she done real good, but even she was grimacing with apologetic expression on her face when she would lose her place. She's the last person I would think of as having trouble sight reading. So there's that.


But, now totally off topic, there's also something that I find not weird not spooky not existential there's a word I'm searching for that I just can't find but anyway strange which is that my desires around cleaning have never been real strong, except for countertops, and something occurred to me that just surprised the heck out of me. I saw what seems like most of the rest of the world must think.

What is more important? Being inside and out of the rain, having food in your belly and somebody to chat with or fuck? Outside of a hospital setting, is it not the most ridiculous joke that people might buy all kinds of products and machines and robots and brooms and endless amounts of other paraphernalia just so that they can clean things. When really if you just don't, what exactly is going to happen? You'll have to live in squalor? Or more likely it seems to me that your goddamn standard is only there because somebody put it on you. It's not like Maria Montessori said people don't automatically want order. They like it, but I don't think that it's a cause of suffering not to have a clean kitchen floor. Having somebody judge you or rag on you about it, now that's suffering. So the funny thing is I've been feeling so guilty for not using my robots and I just had to laugh.

The robots don't care.


Last night late, I did my semi-usual thing of going on Facebook just because I never learn, and discover that the kids are already in Greece. I didn't put the dates on my calendar but that's okay. There they are the three of them, plus her brother and his wife and kids, and Papou and Grandma, which usually would set me off because…Fox News. That led me to a couple or three comments from others. I've been avoiding commenting on Facebook because… algorithm. I guess.

I'm getting upset; I begin talking out loud, not dictating, just trying to sort myself out: where did this come from ? How did I suddenly make a little flip? with one comment which led to another which led to the third and boom I'm in a different world. I'm making fun of the complete waste of time it is to hate somebody. I don't even know my daughter-in-law's dad that well; I'm riffing off of exactly what we do when we superficially grab some meme or sound bite and then we're suddenly in full hate mode.

And it all comes crashing down with the damn internet and some olive oil.



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Claudine Jones | Scene4 Magazin

Claudine Jones has a long, full career as an Actor/Singer/Dancer. She writes a monthly column
and is a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives.

©2023 Claudine Jones
©2023 Publication Scene4 Magazine




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