Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dissertation? I have no idea what you're talking about...

I've come to terms with the fact that I've basically taken July off. I have gone to a concert, thrown a dinner party, seen two plays, been to talks about the futures of documentary and animation, gone to the movies (A LOT), done a lot of jogging, gone to a talk about The Wire that featured David Simon and George Pelecanos, have started a rehearsal & generative process for a festival of work that will go up at the end of September, auditioned, and started reading a really good novel. What I have not done is an extensive amount of any work on my dissertation. I did manage to contact my interview subject over the Facebook (Yes: the Facebook) and have sent him off a list of questions. This man is actually important, and very busy, and I will not be in the same country as him for a time, so e-mail interview it is. Now I'm just awaiting his response. I have also gone to the V&A's Theatre Archives, located at Hammersmith in the magnificent Blythe House to watch recordings of Improbable shows, which I thought would help in my dissertation, but upon viewing I've found that they probably won't. The two performances I watched were great, but had little to do with what I'm actually writing my dissertation on. Still, any excuse and opportunity to see Improbable's work is a good one, and I enjoyed that morning.

However, aside from sending off the interview questions, and the occassional skimming of some critical or theoretical text, I have really done nothing. I acknowledge this and accept it (there's really nothing I can do about it now), and plan to change. Yes, I will alter this downward spiral I'm riding and turn around and go upupup to academic and theatrical glory. And this journey will start soon, almost immediately. In three days. But August 1st, that's the day, the flood waters will hit and everything will start to fall into place. This is the plan.

It's unfortunate that hardly anything I ever plan on ends up happening. Alas.

That being said, I plan to get my head in gear about my work shortly. I also plan to blog a bit more. I'm really going to try--truly, I am. I know I always say it, but this time I mean it. I've changed. Can't we give it one more chance? Please?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Story About a Pencil: REDUX

As promised:

video

It is essentially the exact same film as before, but cut a little differently. I literally had to go back and piece it together from scratch ("Oh iMovie, why do you hate me so much?"), but I used the previous film as a guide. As I post this, around 1AM in London, I am also GChatting with Marley Magaziner (yes: that is her real name), who is sitting in a black box in New York, co-hosting the Tank's Silent Night event, and has looped my film to play 15 times in a row as people are getting in and settling themselves down for an evening of silent entertainment. I am sitting in my bed, snuggled up in my pajamas under my duvet. The modern age astonishes me.

To those in the States--Goodnight.

To those in the UK--Good morning.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Pencil Film LIVES!!! (But silently still...)

My little pencil film will have a transatlantic showing this Friday as part of The Tank's Silent Night fundraiser. Basically the venue (home of SLAM!, a weekly competitive playwrighting competition I used to frequent) has been getting complaints from the neighbors about the noise. Yes, those theatrical types can be awfully rowdy. So organizers Stefania and Marley have arranged to hold a fundraiser of completely silent performances. Since the film still exists without a soundtrack (I can't get ahold of an organ--or an organist), I offered it up for the evening's agenda. I've spent the last couple days re-cutting the thing (I wasn't totally happy with how it came out the first time), and I'll post the new version on Saturday, after the fundraiser. If you're in NYC, head down to 345 W. 45th St. at 8PM on Friday, and remember: keep it down!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Accidental Art--an Experiment in Theatre Making

A nice interview with project leader Nessah Muthy, Ph.D. student Tania Batzoglou, director Anouke Brook, and myself did for the London Theatre Blog about the Accidental Festival piece I did, Accidental Art. Go here.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Look at the New Homestead

As per requested by my parents, here's a little tour of the flat I'm holed up at the moment. My flatmate Loukia makes a brief appearance as well.

video

I'll try to write a real entry tomorrow. I promise. To try.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Desperate Housewife-dom

I finished moving into my new flat Saturday morning, and have been essentially nesting this past week. I cannot express in words adequately how overjoyed I am to have a kitchen again--it makes all the difference in the world. I have bought groceries several times this week and have been relishing being able to cook food for myself, so much so that I will be having a little dinner party next week, complete with friends, liquor, and a lot of home cooked Cuban food courtesy of me. May my abuela, the greatest cook who ever lived, smile down on me from heaven that day, and guide my hands as I season, stir, and saute up a storm. I'm really excited: I do love being a domestic.

Just to catch up what's gone on the past couple weeks, the Turbulence Festival closed nicely with England 2009, a performance composed of short vignettes that were devised during the day of the performance using assigned stimuli that were collected from various locations across England. My group got a box full of chalk from the white cliffs of Dover<--and yes, the only thing I knew about Dover up until that day was the song named after said cliffs. Rather predictably, dealing with the chalk (and flour substituting for chalk) was a focal point of what my ensemble produced, and as in Stage Two, I ended the performance covered in stuff:

Looks like a bad minstrel show.

The Fourth of July here was nice. After dropping of my last bag and unpacking a bit in the new flat, I headed out to Camden to Max and Amy's for an American celebration and gathering. En route, I bought a huge case of Budweiser and two six packs of Coke--classic flavours of American culture.

An American super-hero.

I made salsa and platanos, a favorite Cuban snack that will also be a fixture at the dinner I host next week. You may ask, why serve a Cuban dish at an American celebration. Well, firstly, they are delicious. Secondly, the Cubans, like the Americans, were also revolutionaries. And thirdly, they were fried: very American indeed.

Fried bananas=Deliciousness.

We were joined by US citizens Heidi, Caitlin, and Elizabeths Fazzio and Gibbs, as well as the ever fabulous Greek, Maria. We cooked, drank, ate (a lot--it was an American holiday, after all), and finished off the evening by emptying bags of English Breakfast tea into the Regent's Canal while yelling "No taxation without representation!", followed by setting off a large confetti shooter. It was a delightful evening, and even though it didn't supply the light show of Macy's, it was definitely a great substitute.

I will try to update more over the next few days to make up for my near non-existence over the past couple weeks. Right now, though--I should go clean my kitchen from today's culinary flurry.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What I do when I put off work:

It's past midnight, and I have just over twelve hours before the paper I'm writing about character building in a devising process on is due. Predictably, I've been putting it off. I wrote a strong outline, but then thought of a great cover page image, and have spent about an hour working on that.

Lame? Perhaps. Completely human? Absolutely. Here's what I've come up with so far:


Completely narcissistic? Could be. But I don't kid around when I call myself an actor, alright?

In the saddest news I've heard in some time, Karl Malden is dead. More on this tomorrow (today).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Play Reading Challenge: Momentary Break

I'm not reading any more plays this week. I'll make it up to you--and to me, I promise. The week is just too full, and there isn't any time for it.

That being said, I will leave you now.