Austin, I love you!
June 28th, 2010 → 3 Comments
Austin, where sinks greet you with dead crickets galore.
I am enjoying my downtime here in Austin, TX after a much needed creative retreat to work out CAT LADY. I hadn’t really touched the play since I was at MacDowell in January. I spent the last few weeks rereading what I wrote and was just mired in confusion.
It’s my first play for an ensemble and it has me yanking my hair out. I can barely get myself alone out onstage, and now I’m trying to get five people onstage?! That’s some expensive theater. Argh! It’s kind of a headache. And a whole new growing experience as an artist that I’m grateful for.
I outsourced LA jobs. What it cost for me to fly out here for nine days, work with local Austin actors and pay an Austin director here was less than the cost for paying four LA actors, local hire LA directors, and renting Los Angeles rehearsal space. And far more productive.
Oh Los Angeles. It seems the only way stuff gets done lately is if I get the heck out of LA. Fancy K-town loft and all.
From left to right on the board you will notice a list of our avatar names, philosophy of how to leave women, basic pick-up structure and miscellaneous pick-up terms.
As part of my time this week, I taught an ensemble of actors basic pick-up artist technique. This show looks at existential loneliness through the personas of professional pick-up artists and cat ladies. So I’ve been doing lots of research on the teachings of pick-up artists.
I’ve been watching so many of those PUA videos the last few years that I found myself giving my actors a lecture with the same vocal intonation of some of those pick-up artists. Sometimes I found myself quoting these videos word for word. Scary. Above are my notes for the guys from my impromptu lecture. I was pretty proud of how good and comprehensive it was on the fly for someone who had never taught a pick-up artist lecture before.
We also required the guys to have done some basic reading from pick-up artist manuals I downloaded for free online.
Then we hit “the field” (a bar) with our knowledge. This is something I’ve not tried before– trying these scripts out on real people. Above is Aron (aka “Cash Baxter”) running a oneset that went really well. I was the wing woman and would come up to these guys between sets to give them DHV (“denote high value”). I’d hug them and saying “Wow! Half a million? What are you going to do with all that money?! Come over later and let’s celebrate. You are a rock star!”
It was all pretty unnatural and odd. I felt like we were doing a combination of guerilla theater and a three card monty scam. We look like such set-ups approaching women and high fiving them. But we wanted to see if these pick-up structures would work. Telling them complete lies about shooting music videos with Kanye West in Portland. It was so funny to watch the guys so committed to it. And to also witness how confused the women were that these very glib guys had stopped to talk them up.
Here is “T Gravel” wearing a cowboy hat as his peacock. The guys forgot we were sarging that night and forgot to put on better clothes.
Pick-up works. But my theory is that it’s a numbers game. We approached twice as many sets as we got results from. And most of the guys said they weren’t approaching women they’d want to date, they were just approaching who seemed most open to being approached. All in all, we had four number closes and one kiss close. All by Aron, who seems to already have natural pick-up in his blood because he’s so flirty and cute in real life.
Me dressed for a Texas hip-hop video with my friends’ baby Liberty!
What I’ve enjoyed about the Austin is the low-key normalcy of life that I don’t get to see in LA. I was in a car riding around with friends and loving how it didn’t take 30 minutes to drive to the next neighborhood. I love how the lawns are loud with the sounds of bugs. I love watching people walking in the streets. I love seeing all these outdoor patios that the bars have and people gathered in the heat drinking beer and cheering for the US in the World Cup. I love that Long Island Ice Teas are only $4!
Regular living is such a novelty.
I am hating Facebook. I spent most of the week fairly unplugged from the internet and still completely addicted to Facebook which I could only access from my phone. If I check Facebook in the morning, the next thing I know, the sun has gone down. WHY?!?! I am making obsessive lists of things to do besides update and comment my life away. So far I have things on this list like: read books, write poems, and make lists on what to do in lieu of Facebook.