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Archive for October, 2009

Hey, us kids know…

Fridays at The New School for Drama make me question my sanity. In a good way. 

New York City: Day 56

Early this morning, I was absent-mindedly drinking my coffee and getting caught up on the Facebook world that I’m so far removed from these days. Siri’s status made me laugh: “Friday schedule: sit in a cold theatre, play a sad 4-year-old, wiggle on the floor with friends, bang shampoo bottles together. Just another day at NSD…”

Sometimes I wish that someone would take a video camera and just pop in on the various studios in the building on any given day. It would make a stellar documentary. It would also make people think that we were all completely out of our minds.  

I started the day with entirely too much honey in my coffee. All signs point to a beautiful Friday. 

 

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A winter hat is called a tuque in Canada, apparently. Or so Jessica’s Canadian boyfriend informed me yesterday. 

New York City: Day 55

Weather.com tells me that my trip to class this morning will take place in what feels like 37 degree weather. And it’s only mid-October. Needless to say, I’ll be busting out the hat and scarf this morning… 

Today promises to be a long day. I have class from 8:30 AM until 6:55 PM, an audition at 7:05 followed by rehearsal until 10. It could be longer, I guess. And, on the bright side, I need to start preparing myself for what life will be like once rehearsals for our various projects pick up. Still, it’s just not the kind of day I needed while I’m still trying to get rid of the tail end of this virus. Ah, well. C’est la vie… 

Time to tackle Thursday. 

 

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I need to stop being so polite. 

New York City: Day 53

This morning I jumped on the 3 train at about 7:45 to make it to the West Village for my 8:30 class. When I boarded the train a Fulton street, the car was pretty crowded, so I slid into an open seat between two very large men. I mean, these were big guys. We were all rather snug, but it was a cold morning, so I decided to embrace it as a chance to stock up on some body heat before I had to made the trek down 8th and Bank.

The majority of the passengers on the train got off at Park. In fact, there were only a handful of people left in the car after that stop. But Big Guy on my left didn’t move over to fill in the many open seats on the other side of him. In fact, he’d started to slump onto me. After a moment, his head was fully on my shoulder and he was audibly snoring. There were only a few people on the train and Big Guy had straight-up fallen asleep on me.

My first thought was, Oh god. He’s going to crush me. Then I thought, He’s probably really tired. I should just let him sleep. The woman sitting across the car was just laughing. My eyes kept shifting awkwardly. If I pretend not to notice that this man’s asleep on me, it’ll be fine. I can only imagine how ridiculous we looked. A tiny (probably frightened-looking) girl with a giant man asleep on her shoulder. The train stopping at the Chambers Street station woke up my fatigued friend who looked bolted straight up, looked at me in a rather panicked fashion, and proceeded to move to the other end of the car without saying a word. 

Awkward. 

In other subway news, today was the first day that I’ve begun to recognize people on the train. I found that realization entirely more exciting than it probably should be. Just another indication that this place is finally starting to be “home”. 

Oh. Also, I saw a woman blatantly reading an “adult” magazine on my train ride home from school tonight. She was sitting in an end-seat, slipped it out of a black plastic bag and just sat there “reading” it. (Does one read those things?) The woman standing and holding onto the pole next to her was staring at the pages as they turned with a horrified expression on her face. 

Horrified, perhaps. But she certainly made no effort to look away. 

 

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Ma ligne de chance

Today I went fly-fishing in upstate New York. I met the ghost of Robert Frost. He wasn’t very pleasant. He was pretty rude, actually. In fact, he still wanted to kill himself. I told him he was already dead, but that just pissed him off. He walked away grumbling and tried to kick a tree. It didn’t work out very well since he’s a ghost. 

New York City: Day 52 

Today I built a series of rope bridges to connect the buildings surrounding mine in the Financial District. The government isn’t too happy about the bridge from my bedroom window into the Federal Reserve. 

Ok. I didn’t do either of those things. (Or did I?)

No. Today was a rather uneventful Monday. I made the trek over the Bank Street in my coat and my beret (yes, I’m that pretentious) to meet Siri and Mariah before our Theatre History presentation. 

Commedia Dell’Arte really excites me. I’m pretty thrilled that I ended up on this particular panel. While I’m really intrigued by all theatre history, there’s something about Commedia, about the masks, that has me really eager to keep digging. I’m desperate to take another World History course in conjunction with my Theatre History classes. Understanding the political and social climate of Italy at the time that Commedia was just finding its feet as an art-form has been completely fascinating. I wonder what the policies on auditing undergraduate history courses as a graduate student are… 

After getting really excited about Renaissance Theatre in Italy, I made my way back to Williams Street and took a glorious Monday nap. The ache had started to creep back into my muscles– that small dose of sleep was much-needed. Once I woke up, The Poet and I rearranged my space. After a month-and-a-half of living here, there is finally art on the walls. All of the boxes are finally gone. And I finally feel like I live here. Yes, my bedroom is in the kitchen– but now it feels like my bedroom in the kitchen. 

Since school’s gotten into full swing and time in between classes and rehearsals is largely spent reading or sleeping, I’ve neglected the walks I’d gotten so fond of taking when I first moved here. After moving around my furniture and putting a few nails in the wall, Chris suggested that we take a stroll. I’m so glad we did. I’ve really missed our walks. Battery Park is a pretty spectacular place to be at twilight. The sky and water move with each other in ways I can’t describe.

8:15 finds me cozy and warm at Williams Street. I’m about to head down to the lounge to study Neutral American Speech with Mack. I still haven’t quite gotten used to how beautiful the lights are here at night. I feel lucky to get to look out my window.

Last night, The Poet and I watched Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou.      It. was. fantastic.     Because I’ve been thinking about the film all day, I leave you with Anna Karina:  

 

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It’s Sunday and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. 

New York City: Day 51 

While I’m still a bit on the achey side, I actually feel like a normal human being today. It’s a fantastic feeling after over a week of wondering if H1N1 was morphing me into some sort of Mutant Blob Mucus Creature. 

I’m actually a little bit nervous about returning to classes tomorrow. I’m having visions of my classmates fleeing when they see me approach. Jacob (bless his heart) came to visit me last night, but he wouldn’t come inside the apartment. I was supposed to meet Siri and Mariah in Brooklyn to work on our presentation, but we decided that a Skype meeting would be better, so as not to spread any swine-related germs that may still be lurking. I anticipate being the cohort outcast for a few days. It will probably look something like this:  

But every situation has its bright side. I’ve been sleeping away most of my days trying to fight off this curious virus. During those mid-day sleeps, I’ve been having the most vivid dreams. I dreamt yesterday that my sister and I were chasing after a giant, runaway  gum-ball that was obviously of some serious significance in our lives. This morning, I was dreaming that Chris came to me, excited for me to hear a new poem he’d written. I only remember the first line: “I think of you as in the north”. The poem continued from there. After waking up this morning, I tried to remember the rest, but I couldn’t. In my dream, he read a few more lines before saying, “And blah blah blah…. you get the idea.” The lingering mental image is still making me laugh. A poet, mid-poem saying, “And blah blah blah… you get the idea.” 

I can’t get that line out of my head. “I think of you as in the north.” Chris wrote it in my dream, but I dreamt it, so is it mine? I’m not saying that the line is anything on its own, but it’s certainly something I foresee myself using. And the idea of art produced in a dream (literally!) is a concept I haven’t been able to get out of my head for the majority of the day. It’s wild, really…  

My mind’s been in many places today, trying to wrap itself around many things. Mariah, Siri, and I are giving a presentation in the morning on Commedia Dell’Arte, Commedia Erudita, and Machiavelli’s The Mandrake. I’ve fallen in love with masks in general. (Don’t worry. We’re definitely incorporating surgical masks into our presentation.)

But the thing I can’t stop reading about is the mandrake root. Not Machiavelli’s play, but mandrake roots themselves. The mythology and folklore surrounding them is fascinating. Check out Genesis, Chapter 30. Leah uses mandrakes in order to conceive a son with Jacob. There’s one legend that says that mandrakes were formed out of the same clay with which Adam was formed. Since they resemble humans with little root torsos, little root arms, and little root legs, mandrakes were often thought to be used by witches. People get creepy with anything slightly anthropomorphic, don’t they? Myths surrounding this plant are abundant– hang it above your bed to help you sleep better, wear it around your neck to ward off enemies. But (!) be sure to sound a trumpet just as you’re pulling out of the ground. Their shrieks kill people, you know. The tid-bit I found most fascinating is the belief that mandrakes grow only in patches of the earth where semen has fallen from the body of a hanged man. Yeah. You read that correctly. 

Perhaps I should’ve studied Mythology and Folklore. 

 

How very cuddly. In an anthropomorphic way. 

In preparation for tomorrow’s presentation, tonight’s song goes out to Scaramouche, one of Commedia Dell’Arte’s stock characters. Will you do the fandango?

 

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It’s October 9th…

Happy Leif Erikson Day!

New York City: Day 49

 

 

Ok. I’d actually update, but I have the (wait for it…) Swine Flu. (!!!) Everyone run! But, really. It’s pretty nasty. I’m ready to be done with this illness. H1N1, I rebuke thee! 

Back to bed.

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fever dream

Gah. I’ve been terribly absent from blog-land for the last week. Any second I’ve had away from school and rehearsals, I’ve been spending trying to get some rest. 

New York City: Day 47

Forgive me. I’ve caught The Actor Plague. I’m still doing my best to fight it, but it keeps morphing on me. Right now, it’s taking its toll in the form of body aches, chills, a hacking cough and green phlegm. Cute. 

Quick recap of the things I can think of right now:

Jason taught me to waltz before Acting on Thursday. 

Saturday, I was lucky enough to see my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins for the day. We spent most of the afternoon at The Cloisters before having dinner at The Village Den and going to mass at St. Patrick’s. I loved seeing them. 

Sunday is a fever-y blur. The thing I remember most is waking up after sleeping all day to what sounded like gunfire very close to the apartment. There were bright flashes of light being reflected off of the building across from mine and one loud boom right after another. I remember sitting up in bed and thinking, It’s a Sunday night in early October. No holidays. Those aren’t fireworks. Chris was just standing, looking out the window. I must’ve looked panicked. Very calmly, he suggested that maybe it was robots taking over the city. When it didn’t let up   he said, “What do you think? Should we pack up and get out of Dodge?” Long story short, turns out they were celebrating the centennial of the Manhattan Bridge. Jeezle petes…

Monday is another fever-y blur, though I did see LeAnn Rimes walk past me on 8th as I was leaving Theatre History. She was with a posse of really trendy gay men. I was with Chris. She and I were both smiling and we kind of just stared at each other as we walked past. Hey, LeAnn. What’s up? They’ve been filming a movie in the West Village near school for the past couple of days, so I wonder if she’s connected with that somehow…

Speaking of movies, I had a fever-induced dream that I won the Academy Award for Best Actress and my mom’s friend Priscilla picked out my gown. And it was stunning. Thank you, Priscilla.

I’ve been sitting up for far too long. Back to bed go I. 

 

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