Yesterday my blog went up online although I’ve been writing blogs almost daily since January 5th. Blogging just to record what’s happening day to day feels different than blogging when there’s starting to be a buzz about the very fact of my blog and people are beginning to actually visit my site.
I haven’t had a chance to read all the feedback and comments that have come in this far but I will over time. As I expected, there are a few people who want to know whether the things that have been said about me over the years, the things that I have been accused of — the Hanoi Jane stuff– are true. There are also those who need to believe they are true and, as a consequence, have nasty things to say. I intend to answer these questions. I would like nothing better than to put these lies and myths to rest once and for all. I will try to do this as soon as possible but these tech rehearsals are really exhausting and I can’t imagine being able to get to it until Sunday. But then, my daughter, Vanessa will be in New York this weekend doing a media training with the Women’s Media Center and Sunday is the day we’ll get to spend some time together, so even getting to it then isn’t a sure thing.
I encourage those folks who want to know about my activities during the Vietnam years to read my book, “My Life So Far.” The chapters entitled ‘Hanoi,’ ‘Bamboo’ and ‘Framed’ deal with all this. There is also an excellent and exceedingly well researched book, “Jane Fonda’s War,” by Mary Hershberger that answers all these questions in great detail.
Having a blog feels like growing another limb, or maybe a goiter! There’s my life…and then there’s this thing that’s blossoming alongside reality. It’s my life, in a way, but not quite. I need to remind you that I Googled for the first time this summer. I have never read anyone else’s blog so I don’t know what they usually look like. I trusted my new Atlanta-based techie friend, James Andrews, when he said he knew this guy out in Detroit, J.J., who would set it all up for me and maintain it. Good. That meant I didn’t have to learn everything myself. I’ve absorbed a lot in a short time and worked by phone with J.J. and James tweeking and changing the look, the categories, the photos, what goes where and how to get there.
The feedback so far tells me people like how it looks, find it easy to navigate, like that I’m active on it, find a lot of good content. My daughter-in-law, Simone Bent, sent me an email today saying, “Personal enough to be intimate, but not a road map to your front door.” Smart cookie, that one. She also says Troy will be coming back from Russia soon. He’s been making a movie there about out-of-work jet fighter pilots directed by Mario Van Peebles.
Back to rehearsals: Tech is really tiring. Not sure why because it’s a lot of standing around. Maybe it’s standing for so long under the lights. It is, however, a swell way to practice lines and moves and even new ideas.
It’s also the first time Moises is seeing us all in costume, on the set and under the lights, so there’s a lot of wardrobe trials and errors. David Woolard (who’s doing my clothes) and I are really in sync. I feel very comfortable with the look that we are evolving for Dr. Brant (me)—stylish but not too; academic but with an edge. Diane Wash, our classical pianist, walked by this afternoon and said, “That’s great, Jane…a ballsy musicologist.” I think she meant I looked strong which is how it should be. Speaking of Diane, can I tell you what a treat it is to be privy to a private concert everyday as she warms up at the gorgeous Steinway?
Made a positive discovery during the dinner break. I was able to fall asleep with Tulea on the couch in my little antechamber. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to cause its real tiny, but when the lights were all off and my ear plugs were in—swish. I was out. It’s a kind of Pavlovian thing that started in 1989 when I did the film “Stanley and Iris” with Robert DeNiro. I was fifty or so back then and finding that I needed a nap during the lunch break. I had never been a napper but I found that ear plugs made all the difference—signals to tune out. Even if I was only really asleep for 10 minutes, it made a real difference. My napping skills got honed during the decade with Ted who is a daily napper, then I got out of the habit because if your life isn’t arranged so that regular napping is possible, you find you get wiped around nap time but have to push through. Now, with this play, I can tell that napping will be de rigueur again.
I’m thinking all this isn’t very interesting so I will stop for today. Tripping out about naps must be a sign.
See you next time.