Video Clips from “Who Am I Living With?!?!”

I’ve put up a few clips from the June 2015 performance of my one-man show on ADHD “Who Am I Living With?!?!” They are in a playlist at this link: WAILW 2015 playlist. There are currently 3 of them. I’ll put up more later.

I Want to Leave You But

I Want to Leave You” – a short blues tune.

“Control Freaks, Support Group, and ToDoList” – a bit that includes “I forgot to tell my wife I was retiring from my job…”

The Spinning Wheel of Attention” – a graphic example of how our brains work

I hope you enjoy these. Please send any comments or feedback. I’m not sure where or when I’ll be doing the show next, but watch for it!

Advertisements

“Who am I Living With?!?!” – comments afterwards

The show was Tuesday night and I spent most of yesterday catching up on things I’d been putting off until “after Tuesday”. (1) It went well. The Q and A afterwards was especially good, which is great because that’s kind of what I’m really after. Introducing people to new information and then getting them to talk about it.

That said, it IS a lot of fun getting up and doing characters and bits I’ve written. I have a whole stack of comments that I wrote up at about 5a.m. Wednesday, but I wanted to put a couple of them down here.

– I’m glad the song “Mommy, Which Daddy?” went over. I like the underlying theme, I like the structure and arrangements, but there are a couple of parts that are just embarrassing. “Will my kids walk on eggshells whenever I’m around? I really won’t like it if they do.” Incredibly clunky. I left it like that, though, because it’s being sung from a kid’s point of view and I think they might say it that way. But it hurts singing it!

– Lou’s character (representing ADHD as a disability, not a gift) became a gay man during a run through on Sunday. It was a whim – I’m not much of a actor and wanted to try on different characters. What I really liked was the line about “I don’t want to be identified by one aspect of my personality.” So, I kept it. I personally found that saying the line “I love him and know that he loves me” flowed very naturally. So maybe I’ve added one dimension to my acting. Still not comfortable trying different ethnicities or accents, but at least I got a little bit out of myself.

– I really appreciated everyone who showed up and their level of engagement. I watch for nodding heads and for cross-talk among audience members and there was plenty of it, so that felt good.

– To everyone who was there: I really think I should NOT have shown that last video. The wire between that laptop and the sound system was the one piece of tech I left home and maybe unconsciously that’s why I didn’t show the video where it was scripted. The decision to show it was impulsive and I think, in the long run, a bad choice. There was good information, but I think it looked really silly and forced out of the context of the show itself. So, sorry!

More later, but I wanted to put something down before people start wondering where the heck I vanished to.(2)

endnotes to the webpost (wow, really?)

(1) this whole bit with “does the punctuation mark go inside or outside the quotation mark?” just drive me crazy. Putting the dot inside the quotes was a concession to early printing presses. But it was being changed as early as the late 1800’s when newer typesetting equipment came around. And with most of this being done electronically now, there is no excuse for not doing it right. Except that “Britain changed and America didn’t.” Not much of an answer if you ask me. But nobody did, so you don’t have to read this…

(2) or “to where the heck I vanished.” I just had to put that down  because I know how much it pains Lisa to head the grammatically incorrect title of the show. 🙂

Mommy, Which Daddy is Coming Home Tonight?

Among the stacks of Post-its and scribbled ideas for the performance” was a one-liner: “Mommy, which daddy is coming home tonight?” It’s for a song I want to include in the show. I thought it was about unpredictability – “will it be happy dad or stressed out dad?” but now I think differently about it. I think it’s about a kind of PTSD we can cause around the house.

The more I talk with people and read posts on the various FB pages, the more I become aware of the hidden damage we cause. ADD people love their kids as much as anyone else – maybe more – but I don’t think we understand the impact our little explosions can have.

I certainly never did.

The more I unpack the last 20-plus years, the more clear it gets. Lisa and Jean both talk about “walking on eggshells” around me. I never understood that. From the inside (and many ADHD people have validated it), it looks like this: we get frustrated, we explode, we get better. Quickly. It’s gone, purged, and we’re back to normal.

From the outside, so I’m told, it’s different. It’s like of like PTSD. Yes, the explosion happens and then it’s gone, but the non-ADD people around you are tense, waiting for the next one. So it isn’t the explosion itself, it’s not knowing when the next one’s coming.

I’m not sure what the fix is, but it gave me a lot more to work on in trying to build this song.

Another Productive Day Ends

Checking in at the end of the day. Got a lot done. Feeling great.

  • gave names to the characters I’m doing
  • modified the order of the bits in the play
  • finishing off one of the songs
  • building the Spinning Wheel of Attention

It was pretty gratifying that I haven’t had to make big changes to my original stage design from about 4 or 5 weeks ago. Here’s a sneak peek:

Stage Plan 01

and

Stage Plan 02

Off to build the Wheel…

Another Productive Day

Last night, I went to bed tired and a little anxious about “Who Am I Living With?!?!” I have dozens and dozens of bits half written and more percolating in my head. This morning, I woke up feeling 100% confident I can put this together, probably in 1 day. It’s 1 p.m. Let’s see where I am by bedtime tonight.

I usually work this way. Correction, usually i would be pulling it together right up until day-of. I don’t mind, I’ve worked that way forever and it usually comes together. But this time, I need to be done sooner for two reasons. First is that I have a couple of people who are willing to watch it for me and give me input. The other is that I want to write a script that could maybe be performed by someone else. So, my entire approach of waiting till the last minute has to change. I’m used to leaving maybe 20-40% open for adlib. This time, I want to reduce that number to maybe 10%.

Let’s see how it goes.

Following Through on Things

Saturday night, I had an interesting dream. Most of the specifics are gone, but one telling thing remained: the teacher’s comment.

I was in a classroom. I’m pretty sure it was EMU and I’m pretty sure it was Decky’s.  I have no idea what the assignment was or what I had generated, but I remembered what she said: “you never follow anything through to see what it might grow into.”

This is really true. 

And it’s a lot bigger than just the typical ADD “we start a lot of things and don’t finish them.” Sure, I have hundreds of those, but I have finished a lot of projects. This is something else. It has to do with “what happens after it’s finished?”

Thinking back, I generated a lot of pieces over the last 5 years. Musical improvisations, staged readings, “Green Wood Voices”, and short dramas at Green Wood. Adaptations of Jerry Spinelli’s “Loser” and Vonnegut’s “Welcome to the Monkey House”. The one-act “Death of American’s First Woman President”, another full length play for Zettelmaier’s class, etc. etc. etc.

Here’s what I think the dream meant: I finished them and filed them away. What if I’d taken one of them and kept going? What would happen?

So, the question becomes (like so many questions): is it symptomatic or not? Is it just me? Fear of failure? Fear of success?

I think it’s the task oriented nature of my ADHD coping mechanisms. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to get to the point I can actually finish assignments on time. The idea of going further with them never occurs to me. At least it never has until now.

Which is where the one-man show research comes in. I’ve decided I am going to follow through on the “I Am Not Distracted” piece. (Hate the title but that’s for later.) I’ve done two spinoffs: the 2013 ADDA Conference piece and the “Who Am I Living With?!?!” talks. But, I want to go back and do more with the original piece.

So, I scanned Youtube to find some example of other people’s one-man shows. I’m going to watch and learn. I have a great toolbox of skills from Anita, Decky, Patricia, etc but I still don’t know how to put them together. They’re like LEGOs on the floor waiting to be turned into something. I need some models, so I’m going to spend some time this week seeing what others have built.

Even if it doesn’t lead to anything, it’ll be fun watching.