Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Backyard Beach Birthday Bash

After 2 performances today I rushed home and got ready to host 21 six to ten year olds for The May Queen' 7th birthday party. Whew. Shark Fin and Beach Umbrella Cupcakes. I stole the idea from Martha Stewart. Easy and fun. The kids loved them.

Surfer Girl.

I took a picture of every kid "surfing" on this boogy board (on a surf of blue bedsheets). The shark, of course, came from my personal collection. We'll use the pictures for thank you notes. (and yes, I did have the Best of the Beach Boys CD playing in the background, why do you ask?)

Most of the kids cheated at limbo, but they still loved it.

We played several water games, including "fill the milk jug by squeezing the sponge." The kids seemed to like this one the best, oddly enough.

Presents were, of course, the highlight for The May Queen. I wish I could convince her otherwise, but she is still all about the loot. She did enjoy the whole party, though. I did, too. So did all the kids.

Success, all around.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Leisurely resume: Monday Mission

Painted Maypole

CONTACT: pntdmaypole AT yahoo DOT com

OBJECTIVE: To become a lady of leisure. I would be willing to start in a part time position.

EDUCATION: My back yard, the summers of 1974-1988. The summers of my childhood provided the best education in leisure. I was schooled by the best climbing trees, neighborhood friends, the sandbox and our family dog. I graduated with high honors.


Most of my experience is actually the OPPOSITE of leisure, but it has become increasingly clear to me that I need to pursue a new life direction. The times I have spent in leisure have been some of the happiest and most fulfilling in my life.

May 4, 2001
A late night alone in the backyard hot tub... just me, a glass of wine, and the stars above.

August 2, 2008
On a recent vacation to Cabo I enjoyed a glorious moment of leisure when for about half an hour someone else entertained my child in the pool and I was able to stretch out in the glorious sun and read a novel as the ocean breezes blew by. The sound of the surf called out my name as I began to drift off to sleep.

ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS: A love of reading, an enjoyment of naps, and two cats to pet.

EXPECTED SALARY: Enough to pay for a house cleaner, nanny, chauffeur, personal chef, personal shopper, cable television, occasional library late fees and a lifetime supply of chocolate.
This post has been a Monday Mission. Monday Mission is currently accepting all resumes from applicants of any position known to man, and some that aren't. Please submit your resume by placing a link to your post... I mean resume... in the widget below.

Also, I am specifically accepting applications for a new left foot. I will happily accept a foot on a temporary assignment as I wait for the current job holder to heal. This whole recovering from having a counterweight dropped on it thing while doing 2 performances a day and getting the house and yard ready for a backyard birthday party? Not going so well. My foot needs some sick leave.

A new month brings new missions!!! The first three were graciously suggested by the lovely De. Your missions for October, should you choose to accept them, are to write posts in the style of:

10/5 - Mambo No. 5


10/12- a toast (for an occasion of your choice, such as Anniversary, Wedding, New Baby, Birthday, New Home, Death, Curse, Holiday, Health, Love, Men / Husbands, Women / Wives, To Drink Itself... ed. note: if that's not enough to inspire you I don't know what is!)

10/19 - a Tanga or a Nonnet (they are apparently types of poetry. I will have to look them up as well.)

10/26 - an outgoing voicemail message

Saturday, September 26, 2009


It's my first evening home in probably 2 weeks. After 2 shows this morning and afternoon I was able to return home to have dinner with my family, play a few games at the kitchen table, help The May Queen with her bath, tuck her in.

I also managed to stress out about the cleanliness of the bathroom, look around the house in despair wondering how I'm going to get it ready for the birthday party on Tuesday, snap at my family and fall asleep after promising MQ I'd be right down to help her with something.

Not a perfect reentry, but an honest one, I suppose.



Monday's Mission is to write a post in the style of a resume. This is a repeat mission from 2 years ago. You can see my last entry here. I'll be coming up with a new one for Monday. Won't you play along, too?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baring It, part 2: Theatre Thursday

The last show I did (you know, the one that closed a month ago, NOT the one opening tonight!) had me disrobing on stage again. I only stripped down to a slip, and people at the beach certainly see more of me, but it is certainly a higher pressure situation to be the center of attention on stage while taking it off.

In the middle of the run I hurt my foot (slicing the top of my foot open with a piece of glass from a broken perfume bottle). I had to take these killer boots off onstage, and getting the boot over my swollen and bruised foot was enough to make me want to cry every night. Oddly enough just last night I hurt the same foot by dropping a counterweight (used in the fly system at the theatre) on it during our final dress rehearsal, and will be soldiering on through the pain again tonight.

One of the other girls in my show watched our scene in a dress rehearsal and assured me that it didn't matter if I forgot any of my lines at the end of the scene because the audience would be too busy thinking "nice rack." Which I'll take as a compliment. But I still memorized my lines.

With tech week and a big birthday party I'm planning and gearing up to start rehearsing not one but TWO new shows, I apologize for the lack of bloggy content of late. But I really didn't want to go two weeks in a row without a Theatre Thursday

Monday, September 21, 2009

First Tech Rehearsals: Monday Mission

aka An Exercise in Patience

help me!

This post has been a Monday Mission. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to do a post as a photo essay. If you DO play along, please put a link to your post in the widget below.

Join us next week, when your mission will be to write a post in the style of a resume.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

not exactly gifted

Since Monday night I've been searching for the perfect way to briefly update you on Monday's Meeting. I kept wanting to come up with the perfect metaphor, but it's clear that I don't have Niobe's Superpower. So let me just say that it was basically a non-event. No one made a stink. The actions of the national church were referred to a few times, giving the Disgruntled Church Members an opportunity to speak up that they did not take. This doesn't necessarily mean that it won't still come back and be an issue later, but for now it seems that reason, kindness and grace are actually winning out. Imagine that.

I've been a bit busy this week, heading into tech week, planning a birthday party, and the other little things that make up my life, and I've been neglecting the blog. But I'll be back Monday with a Mission. Won't you join me? Our mission is to write a post in the form of a photo essay - tell your story completely through pictures.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Learning to say NO

After doing 6 consecutive shows last year I made a vow to myself: I would only do shows and roles that I'm really excited about. I would not drive an hour to and from rehearsal for a small, unrewarding part (unless, of course, someone was going to pay me enough to make it worth my while). I might bend this rule to work with a new theatre or director, but overall, I was not going to sacrifice so much of my time, energy and often money for something that would not ultimately pay me back in some way (artistically, financially, etc).

So far this year I have already turned down 2 roles.

And let me tell you, it's hard. I'm not used to saying no. I'm used to taking whatever they offer me, and truly dedicating myself to the project. I've been rewarded for such behavior. But there has also been a steep price.

There's fear that accompanies the saying of the word "no". What if they never offer me another role? What if I don't get cast in anything else and come the time this show would be up I'm sitting at home frustrated?

However, there is also freedom. The realization that there are other shows that will run at the same time for which I now can audition. The acknowledgment that staying home with my family can be just as rewarding. The possibility of doing other things I enjoy instead.


Two letters. One syllable.

A lot of power.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Two-Facedbook? - Monday Mission

Painted Maypole is proud of [her national church body] for passing a resolution that allows rostered homosexual pastors to be in a committed relationship. It's been too long in coming.

9 people like this

DCM* 1 Wha???

DCM 2 Who voted on this?

DCM 1 And why is our pastor's wife happy about this???

DCM 3 I knew she voted for Obama, but I didn't realize she was THIS liberal

DCM 1 Houston, we have a problem

DCM 2 No kidding

DCM 1 I don't think we can stay part of this church

DCM 2 We should pull all our money from the national church organization

DCM 1 We should pull our whole congregation from the national church organization

DCM 2 Yes, we cannot continue to be part of an organization that approves of this.

DCM 1 And if Painted approves of this, might her husband approve of this, too?

DCM 3 *gasp*

DCM 2 If that's the case, I'm not sure he can be our pastor anymore

DCM 3 *double gasp*

DCM 1 I agree. Let's talk some more about this.

DCM 2 Maybe we should draft a statement of our opposition

DCM 1 Let's talk with other people about our dismay

DCM 2 I'm angry

DCM 1 Me, too!

DCM 3 Should we maybe talk to them about it?

DCM 1 ???????????

DCM 2 There's a council meeting on Monday. Let's organize and come out with a strong stance at that meeting.

DCM 1 Agreed. I'll talk to some of my like minded friends.

DCM 3 Has anyone talked to Painted or her husband about this?

DCM 1 ??????

DCM 2 What's there to talk about, the bible is clear.

DCM 3 Well, obviously Painted doesn't think so, and some leaders in our national church organization don't think so. Should we take a look at the other side?

DCM 2 The other side is SATAN.

DCM 3 Ummmm....

DCM 1 See you at the meeting on Monday!


*DCM - Disgruntled Church Member

***** The original status is an actual status I posted on Facebook a few weeks ago. The comments are my imagined comments of some composite DCMs. Although frankly, I haven't heard any wind of someone as reasoned as DCM 3. And no one has said any of this as openly to me. I am hearing whispers and rumours. It was this that caused me to briefly go private with my blog. Monday night (9/14) is the council meeting. The actual comments that appeared under my status on FB were mostly in agreement, which some discussion and concern about this not going over well.


This post has been a Monday Mission. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the form of a facebook status (or several... with or without comments... be creative!). If you DO play along, please put a link to your post in the widget below.

Join us next week, when your mission will be to write a post in the form of a photo essay - tell your story completely through pictures.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Willy in the Park: Theatre Thursday

The summer after Midsummer I worked with the same company, and we did two shows... As You Like It and The Tempest.

Before each performance we would warm up the crowd with some "Shakespearean games." It helped the crowd settle in and would often attract people wandering by.
This is me, leading the "Shakespearean Choir," a crowd favorite.
I am not a slut,
though I thank the gods I am foul.

The FOWL became this big cast joke, and so Audrey carried the chicken around in several scenes.

My Touchstone was a good friend of mine, we had first worked together on Cootie Shots, then Midsummer... we taught classes to kids and led Boal workshops together in schools. We used to carpool to rehearsals. All told we did 5 shows together during my 3 years in Los Angeles. We had a ball together on stage.

One weekend I went on as Phebe. You can see that the costume didn't QUITE fit... the real Phebe was a bit shorter than me.
One of the things I really appreciated about this show was the director's attention to detail. We would work a scene over and over and over again to get the timing of something as small as a head turn just right. Comedy is precision, and much, much harder than drama to do really well. It's one of the things that frustrates me about so many directors. There are moments that could be hysterical if they would just take the time to make the physicality really clear, but usually they don't take the time with the actors to make it happen. The actors are left to their own devices, and often one actor tries too hard for the laugh. The precision of physicality really calls for an outside eye. Another reason I wouldn't want to work without a director.

In The Tempest I played a water spirit. Our Prospero (or, for our production, a female ProsperA) had a spirit for each element: Ariel was earth, and we also had air, water, fire. We went everywhere Ariel went. We did an enchanting little dance with scarves.

Pretty much everyone was in both shows. We did a fundraiser in the middle of the summer where we combined the two shows, having the characters interact and such. It was fun for us to put together, we got to combine all the inside jokes into a silly show. I'm pretty sure we tried to give it a basic plot, but I can't for life of me remember what it was.


We have a winner for the Barbara Kingsolver books...

Rima of RimaRama.

send your address to me at pntdmaypole AT yahoo and I'll mail them out to you!

No one seems to have a Sees in their area? I know we had them in CA. Are they no where else? Speak now or forever hold your Sees.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

noun: a person, place or thing

Dear MQ's Second Grade Teacher,

I certainly hope you aren't angry at me, but I really felt like I couldn't let it slide. The vocabulary list that you sent home last week gave the definition of a NOUN for a word that was a VERB. The definition even began "something that..." Some THING. A noun, of course, being a "person, place or THING." I hope that I pointed it out kindly to you, asking whether I needed to change the definition or change the word from "collect" to "collection," which is what the definition, well, DEFINED. Even though you admitted your mistake, I noticed you did not take me up on my suggestion to send a revised list home with all the students. Maybe you're assuming that the parents of the other 19 children in the May Queen's class didn't notice, if they bothered to look at the definitions at all. But now you know there's at least one set of parents on their toes.


Painted Maypole


This post has been a Monday Mission. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the style of a letter to the teacher. If you DO play along, please put a link to your post in the widget below.

Join us next week, when your mission will be to write a post in the form of a facebook status (or several... with or without comments... be creative!)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Why isn't this a non-issue?

Emily said it so well and so succinctly that I feel like I shouldn't post about it at all, but I can't stop thinking about it. It seems so patently ridiculous.

(Plus, posting about it here may help me keep it off of Facebook, and we all know I've caused enough of a stir with my liberal politics on Facebook lately)

What are people so afraid of in the President's planned speech to school children this Tuesday? (Honestly, if you can help me understand, please do. Because the whole indoctrination in 10 minutes argument is completely lost on me. And do people REALLY think that President Obama is so stupid as to use this time to try to further the political divide?)

My child is in second grade, and I don't know if they plan to show the speech in her small private school. I hope they do. I do know that people are planning to pull their children out of the local public schools on Tuesday because they will be showing it.

Really? You'll pull your kid out of school because otherwise they will hear the democratically elected president of our country talk for ten minutes about the importance of eduction?

I've tried to understand what they are afraid of. I've followed the links people have put up on Facebook. But it's all inflammatory nonsense. Irresponsible reporting (like giving the "I pledge" video as an example of what the kids will see on Tuesday. That video was an inaugural gift to the President, and not produced by the White House, and not intended for display in school. Although, frankly, I thought it was quite good. )

Here's what I think. Not allowing your child to watch the speech speaks only to your own fear and paranoia, and teaches your child that you believe he or she is incapable of thinking for themselves. It teaches them that you have no respect for Office of President. It teaches them that a differing point of view is dangerous. It shows your belief that 10 minutes of the president talking and perhaps a follow-up discussion in class will undermine any values you have taught at home.

The president wants to encourage our children to do well in school. What is wrong with that? I did not like George W. Bush as a president, I think he made horrible decisions and will go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever. But if he had made a speech to school children about the importance of school? It would not have OCCURRED to me to pull my child out of class. Because he was the PRESIDENT.

I want to teach my child to respect the Office of the President. I want to teach my child that I respect people I disagree with. I want to teach my child that we can discuss things. I want to teach my child that I'm not afraid to let her decide for herself. I want to teach my child that I do not make decisions based on fear and misinformation.

Plus, you know... education. It's a good thing.

(please feel free to disagree with me... just do so respectfully)


Monday starts our Monday Mission. Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the style of a letter to a teacher. "Dear Mrs. G.... please teach our children to respect the president by showing his speech in class. Thank you, Respectfully, Painted Maypole"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Once Upon a Dream

As I've mentioned numerous times before, the name of my blog comes from A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's an insult hurled at Helena by Hermia.

It's hard to believe it's been 9 years since I had the pleasure of playing Helena.

I was talking with a friend the other day about the production, which then had me digging out the scrapbook, and then I had to go and google all my old cast mates... so it seems appropriate that I reminisce about this show this week for Theatre Thursday.
We performed outdoors in a public park for 6 weeks, and on the road at other public parks for another 2. We had to set up and strike the two story set every night because we couldn't have kids coming and playing on it during the day. I was pretty quick with my power drill. The night we first loaded the set into a truck for the tour had my husband in hysterics... he said that actors carrying large wooden set pieces were funnier than any 3 Stooges act.

We even did one performance (with a trimmed down set) on Catalina Island. We then camped out on the stage in the park there. In the middle of the night the wild boars came down the hills and rummaged through the garbage. It was an adventure.

We performed to large crowds every night, but had to deal with the things that happen in a park. Like dogs wandering on stage. Drunken people. A guy on his bike rode right in front of the stage one night. We all stopped, watched him pass, and then carried on.

The backstage area was small and musty, so we would sit in the grass behind the stage and apply our makeup. We stood in circles doing warmups, and would cartwheel through the grass.
During the middle of the run I took a two week intensive in Viewpoint/Suzuki training. If you're familiar with the SITI company that might mean something to you, but the thing you have to understand is this: the Suzuki training is very physical and particularly hard on the thigh muscles (I'm sure there's a technical name for them, I just don't know what it is). I wanted to cry every time I took the stairs. Most of my entrances and exits came from around the back of the stage, and I had to climb 6 or 7 steps to get on and off the stage. Plus, I had to RUN up the stairs on the set to escape Hermia. I loaded up on ibuprofen, doused myself in Ben Gay,and apologized to the rest of the cast for the smell.

I was the oldest actor among the lovers, and the most experienced. I think it was the first Shakespeare show for all of them. The guy playing Demetrius was... well, not the brightest bulb in the lamp, if you get my drift. Opening night, as we sat watching the Pyramus and Thisbe play within the play in the fifth act he delivered his line, " He dares not come there for the candle; for, you see, it is already in snuff" and then leans over to me and whispers "What does "snuff" mean anyway?" I managed to keep a smile on my face as I patted his knee and whispered "I'll tell you later, dear."

Snuff. SNUFF. 6 weeks of rehearsals and he hadn't bothered to look it up? And it's not even a Shakespearean word. You can find it in any dictionary (not to mention the fact that the directors had their Shakespearean Lexicons at every rehearsal. How do you not bother to figure out what your lines MEAN??!?)O weary night, O long and tedious night,
Abate thy hour! Shine comforts from the east,

My husband always tells me that I'm the toughest critic in the room, and he's probably right. As we were rehearsing for the show I expressed to him that I thought the show was pretty good, but that Demetrius was not. He kept telling me that I was just being too hard on him.

He came to see the show opening night (and many times after that) and loved it. But on the way home he said "But you were right about Demetrius." One of the best compliments I ever received was from the man who played Theseus. He told me that every night I go on stage and make him believe that I'm actually in love with Demetrius. No small task, I tell you.

I had heard that the actor had gone on to study at NYU's Tisch drama school, and, after speculating how on earth he had managed to get in, hoped that he learned something there. If he did go he apparently learned that he's not an actor, because google tells me that he now works in foreign policy.

(and that's about as catty as I get on this blog. sorry)

Even still, it was a great experience.

With the show being outdoors my husband got to take pictures, and so I ended up with some great productions shots. At our last performance I gave everyone an envelope full of photos. It was a great gift, to get actual, GOOD pictures of a performance.

Our Lion. At the end of the run he gave everyone a Christmas ornament that looked like his mane. I hang it every year and think of my dreamy summer.

I'm debating changing The Big Guy's bloggy name to Demetrius.

So methinks:
And I have found Demetrius like a jewel,
Mine own, and not mine own.

I don't know. It seems like an awfully long name to type. I'm still debating.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gifties and giveaways

I've received a few fun things in the mail this summer from other bloggers. Mad at Under the Mad Hat sent me a package that contained some candy and the best maple syrup I think I've ever had. That was earlier this summer and I didn't think to take a picture before I began consuming it all.

The marvelously crafty Louise at Potted Frog sent me this fabulous summer banner she made, which I won in a giveaway she was having. It's so cheerful in my living room, and oddly enough the kitten hasn't attacked it (it hangs low enough that I feared it would become and toy and I would have to find a new home for it).

Magpie Musing drew my name in a little pay it forward meme, and she sent me a garlic baker, some homegrown garlic, and an antique drink muddler.
(please excuse the weird shadow.
I'm too lazy to take another picture
The garlic isn't shown because I've already baked it. Yum. I was delighted when I opened the surprise package. I've always wanted a garlic baker, but never enough to actually think to buy one when I was at the store. And now I have one. Yum. I still have to make a drink so I can use the muddler. Hmmm....

There don't seem to be any rules to this pay it forward meme, and so I'm going to pay it forward with some things I found around my house while cleaning and organizing. I'll send two packages... so indicate which one that you're interested in, and I'll pick one blogger for each package. If you win you can start thinking of a creative way to pay it forward.The books are The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver. I picked them both up at different thrift stores and read them this summer, and LOVED them. I would love them to go to someone who would enjoy them as much as I did. Also, there is a coupon for a pound of Sees candy. I almost hate to give away chocolate instead of eating it myself, but there are no Sees near us. So if you have a store where you can use this gift certificate (no expiration date), it will do you far more good than it is doing me sitting around my house.