Wednesday, July 16, 2008

General Update--Housing, Lighting, and Robots

So I've been gone for a bit, and I apologize to my five loyal readers. Here's an overview of what's been going on...

I got word just yesterday that I got housing one of the University of London's Intercollegiate Halls, College Hall. Uni of London is associated with Central, and so housing is available through them to wayward students like me. The cost is going to come to 25.80 pound sterling a night, making that a little over $1,500 a month in American money. Yeep. But the savings really comes in the fact that the Hall also provides two meals a day, and since food is usually where I pour all my money into anyway, I'll at least be able to cut costs there. And finally having housing also means: I can finally finish my visa application.

It must be said that the only reason I applied at all is because my roommate had the gumption to go hunting about the university's website and found out about it, which leads me to ask the question: if Heidi wasn't around, would I actually be doing any of this myself? I worry that the answer is "no," and am ashamed at the codependency this process has brought out in me. In the process of applying, at some point I said to Heidi, who's been having some of the same misgivings as I about this journey, "I think one day we're just going to have to suck it up and accept that we're really going." And maybe that's the problem: the MAJOR DENIAL permeates still. But let's save the psycho-babble for my therapist, shall we? I think it best, yes.

I have been spending most of my time the past few weeks--hence the length of my absence from my blog--running tech for my theatre company's show, A Devil Inside.
It's a good little play with a hilarious script, and a couple truly stand-out performances. I was running lights for the show, as well as projections, and I have to tell you: as an actor, nothing is more painful than watching other people act, knowing you're not allowed to join in the fun. Being an audience member is different--you appreciate your role in that piece of theatre as being more separate from the production. But being involved, but not in the way you'd prefer is...painful. There's no beating around the bush. While I really love those people, I'm happy the play is over, because my ego needs a different kind of stroking all together. A huge part of doing this kind of work that is hard for me, is that it feels so cut off from any creative process. The design was set--the cues were even being run off a laptop (as were the projections), so I didn't have to adjust anything by hand. It was kind of mindless. In an effort to feel like I was doing anything to serve the action on stage (such an actor...), I tried to look at the timing of the lights and projections as having it's own part in the dialogue, that they were helping to shape the narrative to a story similarly. I genuinely think that they do. And on a good day, that was enough. But for someone who's been trained as an actor for so long, and who's had a substantial break from her last acting challenge (four months is like an ETERNITY--GPS units do not constitute a challenge), and who's waiting around to go to school for acting--I'm like chomping at the bit, people!

It got frustrating. I told myself this would be a good way to find out if I could do all aspects of theatre with an open heart and enthusiasm. Well, I've found out: I cannot. I do not like this thing, and have no intention of ever doing it again. Unless it's for money. And I mean A LOT of money. Or for the sake of my own, or a loved one's piece. But they better be taking me out to a lobster dinner afterwards. ("For serious.")

So yes--lesson learned, and I hope you don't mind that par-can shining in your face.

Luckily for me, through all this mental stress of reality knocking on my door with a batteringram, escapism only costs about $11.75 in Manhattan. Consequently, I've been able to catch the new Pixar movie, Wall-E, a couple times, at a minimal cost. And for the second viewing, my ticket was bought for me. W00t!

I should take a moment and say: I love Pixar. It is one of the few production companies I would love to work for in any capacity (Though that may not be completely true, considering the above revelation re: backstage work. I'm too glory hungry.). Any company that holds contests for dressing up the ugliest and whose executives have offices that are full of toys sounds like the place for me.

Wall-E is all around great for lots of reasons (I could seriously go on FOR-E-VER), but chief amongst them are the elements of classical clown the lead character has about him. Watching this little robot is like watching a Charlie Chaplin movie. The discovery and curiousity, the physical specificity, the optimism--it's all there. And of course there's nothing like watching something that isn't human experience things like love and self-sacrifice, to remind you what's best about your species and (you hope) your own existence. That's the whole point of Ariel recognizing that Prospero should show the royals mercy at the end of The Tempest, right? (Ln. 23) I wonder if I'll be able to create something like that while at school, something to remind people of their own humanity. We shall see.

Other than that, work has been a little crazy, I start training my replacement today, and I have (of course) been neglecting my TT homework. And I move out most of my things this coming Sunday, so that's...stressful. And I'm not packed of all. Of course.

Help, please.

1 comment:

Dani said...

Whenever I imagine the Pixar studios, I imagine Ralph. Ralph times 1000. Only maybe not so much an a-hole.