Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Oh but then/As my life has been altered once/It can change again"

The title to this, the final entry of this blog, is a nod back to my musical theatre days. ("Oh, musical theatre--what a bitch lover performance genre you are.")

I fly back to the States tomorrow morning. I'm taking a car to the airport, because I'll be damned if I lug my life--which, after much gift giving, charity shop drop-offs, and trashing, I have neatly compacted into two large pieces of luggage and a carry-on--to the tube and wait out that journey. Yes, totally over that. The worst part of going to the airport is getting there. Once you've checked your bags and gotten to your gate, you're golden (Though I personally live for that moment when you feel the wheels of the plane lose contact from the ground at take off. It is one of my favorite physical sensations). Before that, though: CHAOS.

The decision to go home was long in coming, but necessary. It is, perhaps, the most adult decision I have ever made, which is why I believe it was so hard to make and why I put it off for so long. Professionally it makes better sense: I know more people in New York, I understand the industry there, and the work there (whatever work that exists in this climate) I think more closely aligns with what I want to be doing right now for where I am in my career. And financially speaking it makes better sense: instead of worrying about where rent will come from, or where I'll actually live, I'll be having an extended sojourn at my parents until I scrimp enough money together to move on out of the house (again) and into New York (again).

I have a terrible habit of not finishing things. It is my one of my major flaws (though perhaps that is compelling in some dramatic character structure way...perhaps...). When I thought about leaving, I thought I was giving up, not finishing something here. And that is partially true of some things--some relationships, some work, remain unfinished, put on hold. But it doesn't mean those things are over completely, that I've given them up, or that they'll drop out of my scope completely just because I'm on the other side of the ocean. At the same time, not going back to New York felt very much like giving up on that life that I had just started to build there before I put it down, possibly for good, and ran to another part of the world. After a little more than a year, I am finally ready to admit to myself that though various demons sent me away, they needn't keep me away forever, nor should they. So I'm putting on my game face again and attempting re-entry. <--Is it just me, or does that sound like a really bad joke/line from some frat boy? My apologies.

So yes: New York/New Jersey living yet again. If all goes well, I will hopefully be moved back by the spring, and my life won't turn into my worst nightmare, an image I have described to a couple friends of mine in e-mails wherein I was debating the choice to go back:

" I think it has to do with the fear that I won't actually leave again, that I'll get caught up in comfort and complacency, and I will slowly die, rotting away in a not-so-truly fulfilling marriage, Sunday luncheons, carpooling, and QVC purchases...I worry most of all that I will become a case of wasted potential, one of those women I saw growing up who had more on her mind for her life than what she ended up with, and consequently was phenomenally unhappy about it, and became a drunk."

I don't intend on being a casualty of the suburbs. Getting out will entail endurance, stamina, and a sense of patience I don't think I've learned yet. But I'm still young, so now is probably a good time to learn. And in the meantime, at least I'll be watching TCM every day. Oh my God, how I am looking forward to that, as well as many things about American living. Last night a British friend of mine met me for drinks and asked me to list ten things I'd miss about London, and ten I wouldn't miss. There was a watershed moment when I commented that I wouldn't miss the state of the fast food in this country, where there are no Wendy's (!!!), and the KFCs are seriously confused. At that point I told him that the problems with the KFCs here, as I've mentioned before, is that there are no mashed potatoes, gravy, or Southern biscuits therein. His face changed, filled with a combination of shock, awe, and (perhaps) a touch of hurt. He said simply:
"Your KFCs have mashed potatoes?"
It was as if I had brought the Word to this man, so great was this revelation. We were a couple drinks in, but still, it seemed like earth shattering news. I did not talk about the extra, artificial butter we had at movie theatres for our popcorn--I feel that would have been too much, too fast, too soon. You have to ease into it.<--Again, another frat boy line. Sorry, sorry.

Besides the fast food, I'm looking forward to seeing my friends, family, and familiar scenery. I am not looking forward to the BITTER, BITTER COLD of US Northeastern winters (or the fact that I have lost a bet, and have to figure out how to go ice fishing in Maine before the season is over {Amy Lee, I may need to do this next winter...}). I will miss nights at Gordon's Wine Bar, walking Southbank at night, and concession theatre tickets for the unemployed (cultural revelation for me). And I will miss the friends I've gained here, the sense of home I finally attained in this city while still feeling enough of a stranger to maintain a sense of wonder at it all.

It is that last thing, that sense of wonder or discovery, that was the greatest thing about this journey--there was a renewing of that in myself, something I think is quintessentially a part of me, and something that I had lost, or covered up, or forgotten about at the time I left New York. It was necessary to come here to give that back to myself, to listen to my artistic voice again, to see it was still there. And luckily enough: it was. Underneath layers of cynicism, self-loathing, self-doubt, and massive fear (for the last time: I *am* an actor), there it was, sitting in a chair, waiting to be noticed again.

Thank God that happened. Thank God this happened. Thank God I don't know if I believe in God, because otherwise those first two sentences would be sins. But I digress, and now is the time to stop digressing.

In closing, I'd like to thank those of you who bothered to read this, loyally or not so loyally, responded here, on Facebook, through e-mail, or remained silent. It's nice to know people are interested, entertained, bemused in what I have to say, or may just be keeping an eye out. I may return to blogging later, (in truth, it probably will happen, but I need some time off and some actual fodder to write about), but if/when it does, it will be at a different web address with a different topic, as this story is over. Right now, anyway. And that is alright. "Right now," does not mean "forever." I am not finished. I am just turning to the next chapter.

That's enough inspirational, metaphorical, blahblahblah. I'm rabbited out. Goodbye, Great Britain. America: I'll see you tomorrow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Handbag: Redux

Tomorrow Handbag goes up again. If you find yourself in South London in the evening with not much else to do, please join myself and Ms. Lisa Castle (and several other ladies and gentlemen) for this performance event. Info below on the e-flyer I was sent (which for some reason was made up of several images...). Or you could just go here.

Posting this actually reminds me: I don't own a handbag that will go with the dress I'm wearing *still.* Yeep.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

In brief:

Here's what I've been up to lately, and some stuff that's coming up.

1) Still no job, so don't ask.

2) Still no idea where I'll be living in November, so don't ask that either.

3) This week I've been stage managing an R&D process for a relatively young company that seems to be a fan of the site-specific genre. My friend Max was brought on as designer for the show by the co-director/writer Poppy, who went to Central with us. There are several other Centralites knocking about in the cast of this show as well. Overwhelmed with boredom by lack of a job/daily routine, I asked Max if I could sit in on rehearsals. He mentioned it to the director, and I was offered this job. I snatched it up, I was so desperate for a purpose.

Anyway, one of the company members works for the Lyric Hammersmith, and so they're using the studio there as rehearsal/performance space. They show for potential backers and producing bodies three times on this Friday. I say "stage managing," but at the moment I'm just an extra pair of hands. The showing has not been completed (probably today they'll have the sequence of their lines down, and the staging refined), so there isn't anything that really needs stage managing as of yet. So I've just been around, kind of listening, acting as a sounding board, and being put to task when needed. Yesterday, I painted this table top:

I also painted a door and a chair. I suspect today there will be a bit more work closer to the heading of my job, but just in case I'll be bringing the spare pants I got paint on yesterday.

4) My friend Jen is in town this week in preliminary meetings for an opera she's designing the lighting for at ENO. I don't like to name drop, but Jen is awesome and I'm super proud of her. If you're in London come June-time, 2010, go see Bizet's The Pearl Fishers! The production will be great, and the lighting will be AMAZING, I just know it.

5) I've started doing work exchange at a yoga studio. It's not a real job in that it doesn't equate to £££, but I do get free classes, which I am in dire need of right now (physically, mentally, and emotionally). It's nothing new: straighten the props, check the flyers, light the incense. I like it though: it's really humbling work, and meditative in its way. I actually always enjoyed folding the blankets at my other studio during the down time we had there. So it's nice in that way. And that wall of props was fucking *stellar* when I was done with it, no doubt.

6) Handbag returns! Yes, the performance event I took part in May is being done again at the BAC on the 19th. I'm not wearing white this time, though--no way. And frankly: I need a new handbag. Mine does not work for this season. A trip to Primark seems in order. (Though, if I do purchase one there, it shall be a wonder if it lasts till the performance. Hmmmm...)

Well, that was a noble try a best I think to throw something up here. I feel like other stuff has happened, and I've thought, "I should blog that," but I have forgotten it now. Alas. Perhaps another time.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sometimes--there's [capitalism]--so quickly.

Walking on my way to Hammersmith today, and passed by a storefront with this window display:

It heartened me, and I just thought I'd share it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Let's not talk about the passing time."

Back in London after the few days in Paris. Had a nice time visiting my mom and seeing her for the first time since April (next time, Dad--next time). Thanks largely to the drive of my mother, we visited Victor Hugo's house, Napoleon's tomb, and the Musée Rodin. I requested a trip up to Montmartre (as it is the setting of my favorite noir film), so we went up there on Saturday, wandered around a bit, rode the funicular, bought some creme brulee-type sweets and ate them in the cemetery there. On Sunday we met Caitlin and Heidi (who were in Paris for the weekend themselves) in the Musée de l'Orangerie after seeing the Water Lilies. Overall it was a nice mini-break, and I even got a chance to read some of the planned Orwell and skulk in a couple cafes.

I feel like I should be writing more, telling you about the small snafu that nearly made me miss my train and could have cost me the trip; how I got caught in the pouring rain while trying to find Oscar Wilde's grave; how I saw the most attractive butcher ever (*Insert crude sausage innuendo here*); or how I had "Little Water Song" stuck in my head for most of the trip. But I don't feel like it.

I'm in a bad way right now, and as I've discussed previously, I can't unpack my heart with words here. And lately I have found this forum distracting. I may try tomorrow, or over the next couple days to recalculate a plan of attack for this blog, but at the moment there's just too much going on. What it comes down to is this: I used to know someone who kept a blog, and would on occasion list grievances he had with certain aspects of his life. And that is fine--it is within his right to do so, absolutely. But what began to worry me was that I was finding out more about him from his blog than what he'd share with me in person--we would meet, and I would ask him questions about his life that I knew part of the answers to because of what he posted on the Internet, and he would only half respond. He was my friend, and I didn't understand why it was easier for him to put on the 'net, probably knowing I'd have read it, but wouldn't talk to me about it in person. And in this world, where I seem to in effect be stalking my friends over the Facebook, finding out about babies and marriages and engagements there first instead of from the people themselves--I don't know, it just seems like the wrong order. It doesn't seem right to not turn to the help available to you, to the people available to you when you need them, directly, and instead: opting to hope that they'll follow up on something with you after you've left a huge hint for them laid out in bright, red, flashing neon letters. Not to be too crass about it, but that's just kind of fucked up in my opinion. And I don't want to cut my friends out of my life because I suddenly have a better relationship with them through my blog. That just doesn't seem fair, and isn't how I want to run the business of my life. And of course, it is far distant from the topic of this blog anyway...

...and just what was that again anyway?

I have some things I need to unload somewhere, and I know it can't be here. So I'm going to try to go and do that and come back here when it's settled. Or when I have any news of real note.

And with that: I'm out.