Thursday, April 24, 2008

"I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the course."

(That title is not only appropriate, but a nod back to the fact that I forgot to post yesterday celebrating Shakespeare's Birthday. Happy Belated, my dear, darling, dead author.)

After a ridiculous chain of events that are far too boring and ludicrous to recount here, I finally had the check (British spelling: cheque) drawn up yesterday for my initial deposit to reserve my place in next year's MAATP program at Central (the acronym stands for: Master of Arts in Advanced Theatre Practices). It's to be made out for one thousand pounds (there's no way to make that symbol on an American key board in Blogger, it seems) and because it's an international draft, or some such thing, it takes two business days to make. I'm not certain why this is, but it is so, and so it is.

Anyway, after the whole transaction happened, I left the bank feeling badly. The mood lasted the rest of the day, this kind of nervous fear. My roommate (who should be making her cheque out today, incidentally) thinks that it has to do with a few things:

1) Spending that much money all at once can cause excessive nausea.
2) It's a LOT of money.
3) This is something that we are investing a lot in, and somewhat blindly.

I can attest for the nausea, no doubt--I have it right now, as I'm writing this post. And it's not just "I ate too much" nausea, it's "Why is everything spinning?", sea-sickness nausea. Somebody please bring me some Transderm Scop.

And it is a LOT of money. With the recession going on and the general weakness of the dollar (Remember that great sketch with Topher Grace on SNL? I do, but can't find a link to it to put here.), the check/cheque came out to $2,119.20.


Now, this may not seem like a lot of money to some, but it's quite a bit to me. And given the fact that exchange rates fluctuate daily, if I'd had the check/cheque made out on Sunday, or today, even, it would have only totaled a little over $1,970. This kind of fickle behavior of dollar-to-pound value fills my heart with bitterness. And it also makes the idea of living and existing in England all the more daunting, because I am a poor artist-student, and London is fucking expensive.

But, as I like to say, there are always ways of getting money. And bemoaning my poverty is much more appropriate in person, over high-priced drinks. So let's cut this one off right here.

The third reason is really the resonant one. Going over means a lot of things for a variety of reasons, but I suppose one of the chief ones is the hope that this experience will provide some answers, some clue as to what the fuck I should do for the rest of my life. Now, experience and yoga tells me that no such thing is possible. Nothing will ever give you a set answer because there is no "one answer" and if there was you probably already know it and are either not conscious of it, or you're just flat out ignoring it. But a clue would be nice. I'll even take a suggestion. Even a kick in the ass--not too hard, though please. I'm not really into that. Furthermore, taking this first step in really getting the gears moving in terms of getting myself over there makes everything suddenly overwhelming.

I should explain how I got this far: In November, I came home from somewhere, slightly drunk, with some kind of fire in my brain, logged onto the Internet, looked up Central, and after cruising around the site for a bit, I found the page that talked about US auditions. I registered to reserve a slot, but didn't give anymore real thought to it until sometime in December when I received a reminder e-mail from the school asking me to send in an application. A month later, I finally contacted my references and asked them to send their letters in, while I still hadn't filled out a single application. Cut to the last week of February, I finally finish my applications and Fed Ex them to England. They get there on Friday at noon. My auditions are Saturday and Sunday morning. My audition piece for the program I got into I finalized the day before, after figuring it out two days before the audition. The lag in this process followed me stil to sending the money off--I've had it for about a month, but now, with it due next Friday, I'm finally getting it there just barely in time to make this deadline.

Mastery of procrastination is one of my leading characteristics, it must be said. But I think part of the fueling of this procrastination is some denial of reality--the reality of the work that will be involved in just getting to England (flights, living space, setting up a bank account while over there, living costs), the reality of the work that I'll encounter (my program focuses on forms of theatrical production that I mostly know nothing about and have no substantial prior experience with, save the idea of development within an ensemble), and just the damned reality that the way of life as I've known it for the immediate past 5 years or so is going to change so drastically.

When it comes to the unknown, surely a certain amount of apprehension is to be expected. But I'm the kind of person who doesn't even deal with the immediate reality of change until about three months after the change has occurred: I float along, and then one day, BAM, the flood gates hit and everything flows through, taking out every large and small city in its path. I've been trying to think of this time I have left in NY as a kind of preparation, so that I'm not back-logging so much. But instead of acting I've just been dragging my feet more. (Go ahead and ask me if I've filled out my FASA. Go on. I dare you.) I fear taking responsibility for myself. I fear adulthood, and whatever sense of loss and hardship comes with it. The whole thing just seems so daunting, so why even bother, just stay here and have another drink, and do it tomorrow.

"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow..."

So I'm freaked out, but not entirely willing to admit it (in my waking life, away from this forum, apparently), and while I know this is the right choice in the end, I hope to God I feel it at some point. And soon would be nice. Even if it was fleeting assurance.

And till then, I better get to work, because the recession is only getting worse, and I'll be lucky if a pound comes out to $3 by the time I get over there. Please forgive the introspective nature of this entry. Money does this to me.


Dani said...

I liked this post. A lot. I feel nauseous whenever I am confronted with the future myself.

Also, I'm glad you figured out how to post a picture of your own choosing at the top of your blog. Sorry I let you down on this one.

Lea Maria said...

Thanks, Dani. The future is sickening, isn't it?

And you didn't let me down. I just had a lot of time on my hands at work the other day.