Scene4 Magazine: Claudine Jones |
Claudine Jones
Hips & Tints

November 2013

Remember how when you were a kid you were walking home from school & for no particular reason you could tell, your socks would inexorably begin creeping down into your shoes? No matter how many stops & tugs later, you would arrive at your door with folded clumps underneath your arches. Annoying & inexplicable. 

My brain is outfitted with that paradox: that something perfectly useful suggests itself—like wearing socks—but becomes unceasingly fickle so that when I least expect it, I have to stop. Then I must tug.

Currently, I am wearing many mental sets of socks & shoes; some are behaving splendidly; others have come close to being tossed out wholesale while I walk home barefoot just for spite. One might say that this bespeaks a surfeit of leisure, to which I respond 'no'.  My noodle has never left me alone, whether I had a mountain of tasks, lines to learn, papers to write, orders to fulfill, bills to pay (o thank god for online banking), children to spank cuddle, or age to accumulate.

At rest, it seems as though it might be possible for me to reach a proverbial finish line—a place in which all things are 'done' & no more projects heave themselves up from under the rich loam (or sandy dirt); however it sometimes takes no more than getting up to pee at 3am to jostle neurons that set in motion another idea that might ultimately become the Mother of All Ideas *shudder* & lead to days or weeks or months of tedium.


Yes, tedium; for there is no joy of creation without the implementational charnel-house of repetition that follows.  Bits of inspiration sprinkled about tend to lessen the agony. Associated with this process is the potential for failure, apocalyptic misjudgment of skill, learning curve, cost, & disenchantment.  These go in boxes & are abandoned. The phrase 'Out of sight, out of mind' was invented for this purpose.

But boxes are limitless & so are temptations.  This is why when I sat down of a typical Friday, to eat a bite & peruse the miserable excuse for a newspaper that is delivered on that day of the week, my built-in scanner—set on such keywords as 'ballet', 'vocal', 'antique', 'recipe' & 'French'—caught the word 'audition'.  It can't help itself, so I've long since given up trying. But, you might say, this doesn't fit in the category of brain-capture, nor can it go in a box if unsuitable. 'O yes, it does!' say I, since this very week have I attended not one or two, but Three choral rehearsals that in fact would not have been in my viewfinder had I somehow missed seeing on FB the bearded countenance of a former schoolmate who now runs the choir in which I participated during the 1982-84 years that heralded my return to show biz.  'Man', I said, 'this is serendipity or something like that, as I am in sore need of some Pergolesi…'  And yes, this could lead to another type of tedium, involving all kinds of things I don't want to face like 'whywhywhy is the girl next to me singing flat, o god, rescue me' (this was in 7th grade choir & my mother said 'don't take it so seriously'). It could go in a mental box.

But back to the newspaper; there it was—a tiny ad for a production of The Dining Room with a phone # & request to call for audition, the magic word.  I immediately  began trying to figure out how I could:

a) finish up the positively ghoulish project just started (don't ask: we found it by the side of the road, having been forced into a detour off the freeway while in search of a succulent pozole, & it fit just so in the back of the car),

b) beg off going to Tuesday night rehearsals which are extra anyway, but which are very enjoyable now that I am passed the irritable phase of learning the music—not everyone is in this position which makes standing next to me a favorite thing for some of them—& I am too loyal for my own good,

c) do Greening committee meetings,

d) Mid-East Peace committee meetings,

e) SITSL core organizing group meetings (again, don't ask),

f) deal with my wonderful mother, who for the second month in a row mailed her rent check to the wrong address, & rather than being a help, I probably made things worse by getting into a threesome with her & the landlady. O my lord that was ugly.

What on earth am I doing picking up the phone, punching in some numbers & talking to a frickin' director about his up-coming, non-AEA, 40-seat theater production of…forget Dining Rooms! any play! Am I out of my lunatic mind? And, o, did I forget to mention that I cook for a minimum of a couple of hours a day, sometimes way more, which I totally love to do & I get to eat what I cook (modestly humble here, but it is pretty darn tasty a lot of the time).  And I'm getting a new piano very soon, but that is a long story. 

So, no; I have a short conversation with the guy, (who actually had done that strange thing that people do these days where you call & get an answering machine & you hang up cause you don't feel like leaving a message & two seconds later brrrrinng the phone rings & it's him calling you back…wtf?...) and I think we have a tacit understanding almost immediately that it's not a good fit, so rather than trying to coax it into something it isn't,  I politely hang up.  

Well, good for you, cloclo; you didn't bite.

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Like an orthopedic soprano, Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades. With her co-conspirator Jaz Bonhooley, she also has developed unique sound designs for local venues. She's also a Senior Writer and columnist for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives

©2013 Claudine Jones
©2013 Publication Scene4 Magazine



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November 2013

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