Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Please don't go. We'll eat you up. We love you so."

Didn't get a play in today, and may have to cool it on my personal challenge for a bit. I've way too much else to do, but I'll try to hunt down the recommendation from Ms. Jen S. in good time.

Still have to write a paper due for Thursday, and this evening during my puppetry class I found out that I have to be moved out of my halls by Saturday morning. I had thought I had till next week. Like with so many other things recently: I was wrong. Things in this country have been kind of crap as of late, and I actually feel as though the nation is conspiring to repel me from this island (though with the consistent heat and noxious humidity, conditions are perfect for a New York summer, so it that respect I feel right at home). It's not all bad, though--at the very least, I do have somewhere to move to, and a lovely flatmate to cook Mediterranean inspired meals with. My God, but there will be dinner parties! And the best part about the flat I'm moving into: a double-bed. Hello feelings of adulthood: my goodness, but I've missed you.

Ignoring that final statement, here's part of Where the Wild Things Are, as interpreted by myself and two cohorts through the medium of shadow puppets. Those who know the story will hear a distinct narrative cock-up. Forgive it, please: it was a rehearsal, and he's Canadian.

Monday, June 29, 2009

29 June Play-->Noel Coward's "Private Lives"

Reading this play was a nice little escape from the doldrums of paper writing and festival feedback meetings (truly: a bore). It also made me want to sip cocktails somewhere on the continent.

No monologues in this play, but who cares with Coward's gift for witty banter. Amanda and Elyot are great, and really prove that it takes a really big love to make that big a hate.

I honestly don't have too much to say about this play, other than it was a lovely and much needed distraction, and I'll probably be reading more Coward this week to garner more of that.

Now I should really write something. Or read something. Or go to bed. "The party's over now..."

Friday, June 26, 2009

General Update--Winding down

I do actually have more in my life besides reading a play a day. I swear. Tonight I'll be in a three hour acting workshop about emotional access (cut to me, sobbing on the floor-->let's be honest: it will happen), and then an hour-long meeting about England 2009, the final offering on the Turbulence Festival programing. Similar to my stint with the Accidental Festival, we will meet up at 9:30AM tomorrow morning for breakfast, be broken up into companies, and devise a piece about England (the clue is in the title, get it?) which will be performed Saturday evening at 7PM. Tonight's meeting I think is just to go over logistics with us--though I'm not entirely sure what we're doing. And next week I have to hand in a paper reflecting on my Stage Three Practice, and outlining my dissertation writing. When will I write this? Who knows. Will I be seeing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen this weekend, if only just to mock it? Abso-frickin'-lutely.

That's all for now. I'll come back when I'm fully conscious. Promise.

26 June Play-->David Mamet's "Speed-the-Plow"

Another great Mamet, and brings up a question that I've been asking myself a bit lately: is there room for idealism in this business? The main character, Bob Gould, Head of Production at the studio, is torn between green lighting a film that will probably make him and his friend Charlie Fox incredibly rich, but based on a script full of predictable violence and smut, or pushing through an adaptation of a densely written book about the end of the world that discusses "how we all feel." The only reason he considers the second option is when his temp, Karen, who he's assigned to read the book and pitch it back to him (and who he must sleep with to win a $500 bet with Fox), meets him the evening before the big meeting and seems to actually reach to the last piece of humanity that may be left after all those years in the business. It ends the way you would expect. At least, it ended the way I expected.

Now, I'm a romantic--truly, I am. And it is hard to maintain a certain sense of romanticism while working in this business, though sometimes that's the only reason you keep on doing it. I can only speak for the theatre, which no one gets into "for the money." (And if they did, God bless them, but what were they thinking, really?) Sometimes you only do this work for the sake of your soul--and often, you're soul doesn't seem to be worth very much, monetarily speaking. But you can usually feel good enough about what you've done, what you're trying to do, to sustain yourself.

And yet, this is not always the case. If we've learned anything from Entourage, we know that movie deals can be made and unmade based on one remark said to someone's daughter, or a bad gift given at a birthday party--things are that precious and tenuious. Fortunes are earned and destroyed everyday with one decision. It's a high pressure business that demands a lot of energy (no wonder there is so much coke), and often to survive it you seem to need to trade off pieces of yourself, bit by bit. How much can you compromise, and how much do you still need to be able to wake up and consider yourself a person? Hollywood seems rife for this sort of moral dilema, but I think the "problems" we associate with that kind of lifestyle can echo in many other places, for many other people, who have nothing to do with the film industry.

Good stuff: There are moments when reading the script where I was getting Fox and Gould confused, they spoke so much alike. There was something really great there, in that you understood that these men had spent a lot of time in this industry, learning how to "communicate appropriately." Such a starck contrast to the simple, earnest approach of Karen's dialogue throughout. Makes me wonder how Madonna handled it back in the 80's...

Monologues: 1 for Karen, a woman in her twenties (whoo hoo!), but it's a little one-note. Maybe appropriate for another Mamet audition, because at least you'll show you know the writer. Yuo could break it up with actioning, though.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

25 June Play-->Conor McPherson's "The Weir"

I liked this play a lot, but I think out of the McPherson I've read, I prefer The Seafarer, simply because of the more pronounced arch. The play is set in pub in a small Irish village, some miles outside of Dublin. The kind of place where the darkness and the quiet encompass you once the sun goes down, so far removed from an urban environment you are. The play is basically built around stories told by the characters in the bar, each one (excepting the bartender, Brendan) taking a turn at recounting some happening--most of them have a ghostly nature or local folklore feel to them. Similar to The Seafarer and its question of potential damnation (sorry if I ruined that for anyone out there), there are somethings you just believe more about this play because it is coming out of Irish mouths, from an Irish writer. There is that strange, "old world" mysticism that still exists as very much a part of Ireland's identity, and I suspect is one of the larger draw for tourists to the country. This play made me want to go out and buy a book on Irish myths.

What was really wonderful about the play was how each one of these stories drew me in as a reader, and you could tell just from the writing how it was affecting the speaker. For a writer to be that attuned to his characters is great--and rarer than you'd think, or perhaps would like to believe. You can tell that McPherson knows these men and knows these stories. He presents them with a kind of understanding reverence that's really beautiful. One of the best attributes of this play is how simple it is--just a few people, having a few drinks, shooting the shit. We have all been there. This action is completely relatable. And somehow, in that air of simplicity, some very personal admissions can arise (I will reveal no more here...). It was a nice, short play. I liked it.

But I liked The Seafarer better.

Monologues: A long one (about three pages, that I don't know could be cut down) for an Irish woman in her thirties (Valerie). Not age appropriate for me, and generally, probably not audition appropriate unless you were auditioning for this play and had been asked to prepare it. An enjoyable afternoon, nonetheless.

24 June Play-->David Mamet's "American Buffalo"

Wow--what a great play. Totally makes up for yesterday's Miller disappointment (sounds as if I've had a bad beer, or something). Mamet has such a distinct style, and such a corner on the American voice. I don't know how else to describe it--it's some meld of desperation and undying hope, and an overwhelming need for respect or peace or love, from characters who don't know how to ask for it in a nice way. That lack of eloquence, and the lack of any shame that comes with it, is just so wonderful to hear.

I've enjoyed Mamet since I had to read Oleanna in my Modern Drama class in high school. I have always been attracted to voices of male writers that don't talk about nice things in "ugly" or unconventional ways: Irvine Welsh, Bret Easton Ellis, Bukowski, etc. Don't know why, but I have always better identified with those voices than I ever did with any female writer I've perused (however, I am, again, woefully under read, so that may be why...). And Mamet appeals to that angry young man I have inside me, I suppose.

Favorite moment while reading the play: Realizing this was where "Action talks and bullshit walks" comes from. My father says that sometimes, and I don't think he knows it comes from a play. Maybe if he did, he'd go to the theatre more! It's the little things...

Monologue: No luck, as there are no women in this play. It's alright, though--it was so good, that it doesn't matter, and I've already filled my quota for the week anyway.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

23 June Play--> Arthur Miller's "After the Fall"

This play was one hot mess, and felt like it's how Miller got over his sense of guilt of possibly contributing to Marilyn Monroe's death. I wonder if it would have come off well as a film or a novel on some level, but as live theatre I just don't see it really working. The play is episodic, and takes place in the mind of the Miller figure Quentin, with characters from his life walking in and out of view. Some of the characters were clearly stage representations of people I'm aware of in Miller's own life, and others were not. It was not quite as scathing of Elia Kazan (whose dopelganger Mickey appears for only one scene, and then briefly as a recurring memory later) as I had anticipated, which may have been one of the reasons he accepted directing the thing. On the whole, however, it seemed to paint Quentin/Miller as this "upstanding" moral figure, who had been a victim his whole life simply by trying to do right by women who never seem to get enough of his love. His character is essentially struggling to accept and offer love again, by trying to work through these past incidents (there's also the minor sub-plot about naming names that would probably have made for a much more compeling topic, but I guess he already wrote that play, so oh well). It's hard to not be put off by Miller after reading this-->Quentin does not read as a sympathetic character, and is painted as an earnest man who never seems to showcase any character flaw except for his incessant talking and perhaps caring too much. And his quest for innocence for himself and for his relationships throughout the play just comes off as...boring? I suppose the problem is that there seems to be little sense of humility in the character, and the audience never really sees him do anything rash or, dare I say it, HUMAN, so there's no investment in watching to see if he redeems himself since he never seems to do anything wrong in the first place. He neglects his first wife because of his work, and his second wife Maggie--based on Monroe--is too destructive to accept the love he tries to offer her. But that affection seems disingenuous, undermined by the impression the audience gets that Quentin believes Maggie is just what he keeps telling her she isn't: a slut, dumb, used, etc. The fact is, Quentin seems to grapple with only the problems he manifests in his own mind by over thinking every relationship/incident in his life, and not the black-and-white situations staring him in the face that he had a hand in on some level. But maybe that's the point--to show the character completely devoid of this simple self-awareness. It may be a nuance that can only come out of seeing a performance. But I wouldn't put all my eggs in that basket.

Some positive things: The ripple effect Miller achieved by having characters enter and say lines from scenes previously staged for the audience to reinforce the effect/hold Quentin's past had on him was really interesting, and took the play deeper in terms of a psychological journey into this character's mind, and gave a sense of frenzy that probably helps the pacing at certain points.

All in all, this play could have used a dramaturge when it was first being written. Sadly, back in 1964, that job title didn't really exist. It's a shame, too--it's Miller, so the writing isn't bad, necessarily. The play's just a bit overfull, and was exhausting to read, and I suspect would be exhausting to sit through. I know I said A View from the Bridge was depressing, but it was still a very good play. This, in comparison, feels preachy, self-indulgent and self-serving, and just...unimportant. The best two lines in my opinion are the final two pieces of dialogue between Quentin and potential lover Holga. That says something all on its own.

Monologues: 1 for Holga, a German woman in her late thirties, early forties, but not for me. Alas--it might have made the Fall worth it.

"The play's the thing..."

Last summer I got all ambitious and set out to read one play a day. Didn't happen. After spending a lot of time trying to dig up a decent monologue of a certain length for last week's audition, I was once again confronted by how dreadfully under read I am. I mean it. It's almost embarrassing. So this summer I'm going to try once again, and attempt to read one play for every day of the working week. This will hopefully expand my general theatrical knowledge, and assist in the finding of more useful monologues--though the young, female comedic continues to elude me. (Seriously: girls in their teens talk a lot and are sometimes funny when they're not talking about being molested or having an abortion, thirty-somethings are neurotic about men and potential spinsterhood, and older female parts are ornery. But a monologue that's comedic and written for a woman in her twenties: they don't seem to exist. For reals. What the hell? Why is no one writing these? We are real, damn it!)

Anyway, the stipulations of this self-imposed challenge is that I read five plays a week, Monday through Friday, and that I log/blog what I've read to prove that I have read it. I also cannot read a play I have already read (even if it's a different translation of something I've read before--doesn't count), though I can count plays I've never read the entirety of but have worked scenes from in various academic situations (yes: I should have read the whole play at that juncture, but I used to be a slacker--what do you want?). I can also read plays I read a long time ago but have, in fact, completely forgotten (it happens). My hope is to find one monologue a week<--and quite frankly, that's pretty ambitious, really, considering the ratio of male to female parts in plays to begin with, and then making sure it's actually a good, audition-appropriate monologue. I could go into what makes for an appropriate audition monologue right now, but I won't--because I have to start reading a play, and soon!

I began yesterday with A View From the Bridge by Arthur Miller. Boy, that was depressing. I really wanted to read Odets (Odets, Odets, Odets!) so I chose a play I had on me by an author with a similar voice. The overlying difference between Odets and Miller though is that while they both present characters who at times have to call into question their own idealism because of their "real world" circumstances, some of Odets's characters are actually successful in getting out and moving away from whatever may be plaguing them--or if they can't, by the end of the play there is usually a sense of renewed hope or drive (disregard Paradise Lost, please). With Miller, they're all pretty much doomed from the beginning. Still, there was a good monologue in this play--good for auditions for plays of that ilk--for someone my age, so I've already filled my quota for the week. Huzzah!

Today, another Miller: After the Fall. This play is terribly autobigraphical, even though Miller largely denied that when he wrote it, and it is supposed to suck. We shall see. If anything, I'd like to read his whole cannon this summer, as I'm really only familiar with All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible--those three standards. I have also seen The Misfits. Meh.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"I have of late, wherefore I know not..."

I don't normally talk about this sort of thing here, but for the sake of honesty (and honestly, I've nothing else to talk about right now) I'm going to indulge today. Because it does have something to do with theatre, and because I need it.

I've been feeling pretty down lately. Not all the time, but I have definitely been going through a general malaise for a little over a week. There's always a little sense of post-show depression after something you've done has closed, but it usually doesn't start for a couple days after the final curtain falls and you slowly begin to realize that you have nothing to do with your time. It happens to most professionals in any field, but actors--whose personal identities are so tightly woven up with their job description--are often left with struggling to define themselves in a world where they feel they can't refer to themselves by their chosen job title unless they actually have a gig. That being said, this is not what has taken hold of me this time. It's is something else.

It started a couple days before the Festival opened. I was feeling anxious for seemingly no reason<--That statement strikes me as ridiculous, seeing as how I had plenty to be anxious about: my final performance for my master's degree was going up in a matter of days, and was still very much working itself out; I was waiting on Loukia to make sure everything was going through for the room in her flat; I was debating whether to or what job to pursue this summer; my loan check that was made out in US dollars and could only be made out to me was traveling over the sea to be deposited in a bank stateside by Brian, and I was waiting to hear that it had gotten there safely; and finally, and something I discuss reluctantly here, I had an audition last Friday at the Old Vic that I was incredibly nervous about. The overlying sentiment behind all of these pressures is that sense of seemingly chronic waiting, where I had no power over the majority of what was happening and simply had to hope for the best. I hate that.

Then last Tuesday we had an invited dress for the show, and afterwards I went out with my ensemble and the participating guests for several drinks. I woke up the next day around 4AM, and couldn't fall back to sleep. So I decided to make the most of it and go for a jog down to the Old Vic, partly for inspiration and partly so I'd know exactly where to go on Friday morning. So at 5AM, I was out on the street, running from my home down to the Thames, past the Southbank Centre and the BFI and the National, finally ending up at the theatre. (Let me just take a moment to say I feel incredibly lucky that I can get up and jog to the National-fucking-Theatre. That amazes me.) 5AM in London is quiet--like New York on Sunday mornings. It's great, but you still have to get up at 5AM to see it. But I digress. As I jogged along, I started thinking about theatre, and living for art, and all that really deep stuff, and I came to a somewhat bittersweet conclusion, one that I've come to before: that no piece of theatre is actually fulfilling to me because it's just artificial.

Now, let me say: yes, this statement seems pretty obvious. And this sense of artifice is actually what gives theatre all its power. To paraphrase Peter Brook, if a play is completely naturalistic, then what is the point? If there is nothing heightened, nothing distorted in the reality, then why stage it? I mean, in a simply practical sense, if I see a play with no element of theatricality in it, can't I just stay at home and watch my own life and get the same effect? Surely--and I'll save money doing it. No, you go to the theatre to of course suspend your disbelief and for a couple hours sit on the outside of life to reflect--a reflection aided by various theatrical devices. In the end, however, this is not the artifice to which I am referring.

No, it's far more simple than that. It's just all fake. You show up, put on your make up, do a tap dance for some people who are hopefully paying you, then get off stage, slap on the cold cream, and go home. Nothing has really happened--you just "acted" for two hours, and then went home and may do it again tomorrow. Nothing has really changed. I mean, there is more to it than that. But then sometimes, there's not.

I'm usually far more idealistic about the theatre. Don't get me wrong--I think it can still change things, still alter people's perspectives. Look at Angels in America. Look at The Laramie Project. Look at Waiting for Lefty--that audience on opening night all standing up, yelling "STRIKE!" to the actors on stage. (Every day, I wish I was reading Odets. I miss him.) I guess what bothers me is that those examples are so rare, so, so rare, and in the end are so fleeting--again, one of the things that makes theatre theatre is that it needs an audience to exist. A film can still be projected onto a screen without anyone watching it--it still happens. But theatre does not. And then it's there one moment, and the next: POOF. Gone.

This consistent sense of transience that has pretty much accompanied me through the past twelve years of my life (half my lifetime at present, it should be noted) has caused me to consider over the past few years what really matters to me--what I really want. These things include, but are not limited to the following:
  1. A husband
  2. A house (Own outright--not rent or mortgage)
  3. A baby
Two things should be said: I know that actually acquiring any of these things will not guarantee happiness, and I also know that these are not necessarily things that should be established on a check-list of the things to get in before you die. I also don't believe in living my life on a timeline, ala, "I have to be married by the time I'm thirty!" Why put so much pressure on yourself?! These things will happen when they are meant to happen, not a moment before and not a moment after. And considering the era we live in, I'm a little too young to be preoccupied with the thought of becoming a crazy cat woman. Yet, I am now strangely impatient. And thinking again about the ever-ephemeral theatre, I find myself desperately clinging to these things which are somehow meant to last. And of course, that's a big fat lie.

My friend Mauro told me over dinner tonight that it was because I was turning 25. He said he went through the same thing then, and something similar when he turned 30. It may be that impending adulthood is causing me to wonder about the future. (I see it, there, at the end of that long tunnel--don't look directly at it, or you'll turn to stone!) But to me, there is also a sense of needing to re-evaluate what I'm doing right now--and what I may not be doing is making enough room for a life that expands outside my job or identity as an artist. Consequently, my work and art loses all of its value, practically and personally.

Which brings me to something else. I found out that a friend of mine that I'd grown up with's father died on the 9th of this month. I didn't find out until 21 June (Father's Day, of all days). I hadn't spoken to her in a while, but she's still someone I had been terribly close with at a time, had always been there when I needed a friend, and is one of the few people from my hometown I try to always see whenever I'm back in that neck of the woods. I found out because of the Facebook, because I got to thinking about her, pulled up her profile, and there as her picture was a tree with a ribbon tied around it--a memorial for her dad. I couldn't believe that this had happened and I hadn't heard about it sooner, and am confused that I ended up finding out about it because of the Facebook. I felt many things--that I should have known sooner, that I should have kept in better contact with her, that someone should have told me, and that I was a bad friend because I hadn't known and hadn't been there for her when she probably needed someone. I can understand the rational argument against this sense of guilt--that I am an ocean away, that we hadn't talked in a while, that we are no longer as close, and that our families weren't close enough for my parents to know this happened (I called them when I found out, and they hadn't heard about it). And still, I feel badly. I feel like that relationship, that so many relationships, was left untended. You can't keep in contact with everyone you know all of the time, of course, but surely a larger effort to let people know that you're thinking of them and they are important in your life is a good thing. I don't know if that would have changed this specific situation, but that's where I'm at with it.

Aaaaaahhhhh--this entry has gone on forever, and has been full of only a single and somewhat vague connection to the theatre! How about this one: to accurately convey something on stage, one must have a sense of life that exists off stage so that one has something to offer. I want a larger definition than just my job title. So for the sake of being a better actor, I have to start taking better care of my life outside the work, because that's what'll make the work valuable anyway. And besides, you can't take an audience home with you. Right? I mean, I guess you could take some of the audience home with you. Hopefully they're worth it.

I know, I know: life's just a bowl of cherries, and I need to let go-go-go. In the meanwhile, it's wicked late, and I'm headed to bed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Post-Festival Talk

First week of the Turbulence Festival is over, and my performance event One Thing May Lead To Another ended last night. It went off rather well—we had to add an extra seat at the table both Friday and Saturday nights to fit in extra bodies. As per usual with shows that have extremely limited runs, we finally got it the night we had to close it down. Having only three performances seems a little disappointing, considering how many hours we spent working on it, but such is the ephemeral nature of theatre, particularly the unfunded kind. That said, I’m glad to have next week off to catch some of the other offerings on the Festival schedule, particularly Little Dark Deeds, a performance centered around the action that takes place in and around a Victorian toy theatre. The audience functions as voyeurs while sitting in a wagon, where a series of panels open around them, displaying the toy theatre and several live staged scenes. Many of my friends worked on this, and it has the distinction of being the only show in the festival featuring an element of puppetry. So I’m psyched for that, and the extra loafing I’ll be able to get in before the last week of this term.

The summer term is coming up, and I’ll be spending most of my time reading, researching, and writing parts of my dissertation, but during this I hope to still be able to find the time to explore the city more, and maybe travel for a few days, either to Ireland or Paris←all for you, Clayton. I’ll be staying with my friend and fellow classmate Loukia until the end of August at least, which will put me closer to school and secure access to television. Which means I can watch trash. It is wrong how excited I am at this prospect, but there’s nothing better to do while forcing yourself to lift and do sit-ups.

Which brings up something else I need to turn my attention to this summer: getting into shape. Again. My body is definitely a casualty of the theatrical process—not enough sleep, eating whatever crap is cheap and available at all hours of the night, never having enough time (or motivation) to work out during the small amount of downtime you get since all said downtime is devoted exclusively to being as inactive and un-contemplative as humanly possible. Basically, I have slowly turned into a slug, and fear I am on my way to Jabba-the-Hutness. This is perhaps an exaggeration, but nonetheless, I just don’t feel well, and I know that can change. That still doesn’t make the prospect of working out consistently any less obnoxious. But if you weigh that option against the facts—like having eaten an Entire pizza today--it’s probably completely necessary.

That’s it, kids. I’ll be back when I have something more compelling to share. Peace out for now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

You ask, "Why have you forsaken me?" and I tell you, I have not.

Up way too late (early) doing some work on the "script"* for the play, and realized it'd been a while since I threw something up here. My apologies for my silence, it has been so busy I'm surprised I've been able to get through the week at all. Many, many things have happened.

The day following my blog entry from the 4th, we finally did our first showing with a test audience. The experience was very surprising, and we basically got the complete opposite reaction from them than what we had expected. We had been working with a really crazy, HUGE narrative (that I will someday regale you with, but not here, not today) that held the back story as to why this dinner had come about, why the audience were guests at it, etc, and we had been convinced that it was going to be like pulling teeth (that's actually a hint at said narrative) to get a reaction from them. The audience ended up being very vocal and participatory, and we found that because of this we couldn't actually get nearly any of the narrative across in the moments we had planned during the part that we showed. The focus was too split, and suddenly what we were trying to do seemed largely inappropriate. After our feedback from this group, we started talking about this, and gradually came to the conclusion that we needed to be economical with what we were sharing with the audience, make sure it was really important, and that only those moments would be the ones that were kept. But then nothing we had done seemed useful. I made a comment saying, "Well, I've always been the kind of person who, if it's not working at the eleventh hour, would go in and say, 'Let's throw everything out!'" Lisa suddenly spoke up: "I was thinking the same thing!"

And so it came to pass that we literally threw out all of the story and character development that we had been doing for about three weeks previous (in what is essentially a six week process, that is a crapload of time). I was kind of so blown away by the prospect I went home and fell asleep at 8PM. It's all well and good to talk about cutting everything, but when you decide to do it two weeks before you open, an understandable amount of apprehension plagues you, no doubt. I don't know if this sort of thing happens in traditional theatre. I'm sure it must in some form, but I've never encountered it. I think part of what makes devised theatre the beast it is is that apparent fluidity--that it can and does change every day you are in the rehearsal room. But sometimes that is hard to accept, especially when those changes are so drastic and monumental in size. Recently, I have been constantly comparing the devising process to bipolar disorder: the highs are amazing, but the lows make you want to kill yourself. Everyone I've said this to on the course seems to consider it an accurate statement, so I express it here in full confidence of its validity.

Anyway, we decided on Thursday to cut everything, I went home and slept for about fourteen hours, got up the next day, met Amy Lee for one last coffee before she headed back to the states, and then had an amazing rehearsal with my company wherein we re-wrote the entire performance. It was pretty awesome, though at the end of it, again, I was completely drained. We ended up going back to an idea we had initially, trying to align that with the audience's action during our showing, and also choosing what we already had in place in the performance that was worth keeping and would serve this new direction. In the end, it is a simpler idea, and hopefully more meaningful.

So yes, things were headed in the right direction after that rehearsal and they continue to be. I look forward to the run, and while I'm nervous, I think it will be alright. It must be. Where is Geoffrey Rush to tell me so?!

Seriously, though: we can pull this off. I know it.

In other news:
  • The great hunt for housing has begun. Went to look at a room in a private residence today up in Willesden Green. The proprietor was a very sweet, older woman, and the price was good, but I've lived above another older woman before and had a pretty unpleasant experience with that. There's also the thing about living in a private residence: you always feel like you're a guest in some one's home, and that you don't have you're own space. I don't know if I could relax (or come home drunk) in a situation like that. I'm seeing another place Sunday afternoon, so I may have a better idea then if this is the direction I'm headed in. Yeep. I hate moving. So much.
  • The project I was meant to work on that was slated to travel to Germany is not happening. This is not so much a surprise, but it is disappointing, and raises the question: what am I going to do with myself during the summer? I asked myself this question in my head, and responded aloud with, "Get a job, you lazy immigrant!" I can be so unnecessarily abusive sometimes. A job is an option. But whatever I do, the dissertation is going to have to be the first priority, and as the work I was going to do on proposed project was meant to be part of my research (damn it) I have to figure out how to make up for that. I think I can manage it somehow with something, but it's got to be really good.
I'm sure there must be more I should/could tell you, but it's now 2AM, and I have to get to sleep. I'll try to drop by next week and let you guys know what goes on, but if I don't please know: it's not you, it's me. I mean, I just need some time off, you know? To think things through. I mean, things have just been going so fast and well, maybe we just need to take a step back. And also: you could be a little less clingy.

Until then, enjoy this.

*Since there is very little scripted dialogue in the performance, it feels wrong using the word "script" to its full value in terms of normal understanding. Perhaps what we have been piecing together is closer to a "running document," reflecting what goes on in the show more objectively?<--Can you tell I go to grad school? What a piece of theoretical bs. And yet: there is sense to it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Quote of the Day

Again, something I could only say while studying what I do:

"We need to talk about the dramaturgy of the spoons."
--Me, to my company regarding a pressing matter of design during rehearsal today.
Lay your fears to rest: we solved this one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What a difference a day makes...

Had a killer day--in a good way! A quick overview: met Amy Lee, grabbed coffee at Jason's stall, went over to Sir John Soane's Museum, walked up to Farringdon for some gluten-free beer, had high tea at Athenaeum, and then ended up at SHUNT for this month's D&D and some kick ass music from a band that's so new (it was only their second gig) that they didn't even have a name yet. I was worried about taking the day off completely from work, but it was so nice to have a release, and because of it (and the wisdom and reassurance gleamed from the D&D session) I feel more ready to take on the rest of this process to the end--even if it gets a little choppy along the way. Bring it, bitches.

I wish I had more time/energy to blog about specifics, but sadly, I don't. I'm hitting my bed NOW because I need the sleep, but I feel really revved up and excited for everything to come. More another time, perhaps, when I'm not passing out as I write this...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

One More Time

At the request of Ms. Jen Schriever, I'm throwing this up here. It's all I'll have to offer for the next few days. Please forgive the quality and general rambleness--I desperately need a vacation, and also desperately need to make up the work I neglected while doing this.

In reality though, I don't need a vacation. All I really want is a salad. Okay, and maybe also a cheeseburger. I have always been a woman of simple needs.

(Mike--if you have watched this, you will have noticed: the video is doing that thing AGAIN. What the frak is wrong?!)