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Archive for February, 2010

Well, I just had a really productive rehearsal with The Canadian.

New York City: Day 184

And by “productive”, I mean we sat on the floor of her apartment and talked for an hour-and-a-half. In the middle of our bonding session on the kitchen floor, I was suddenly aware of the absurd number of mouse traps littering their apartment. Yes, there is a mouse. Jessica, who doesn’t seem too phased by him, calls him Bernard. Awesome.

I spent the majority of my day at The New School for Drama covered in glitter. And temporary mermaid tattoos. The mermaid tattoos were my fault, but apparently, Bethany’s weekend was a lot cooler than mine. She went to a full-on Princess Party and left with party favors that included a ring with Disney princesses on it that opened up to reveal lip gloss and a hefty supply of body glitter. This is also awesome.

Tuesday antics with The Poet

And, while I’m still speaking of all things that are awesome, I’m currently working on a paper for Script Analysis that keeps getting weirder and weirder by the moment. The nice thing, though, is that since I’m writing a paper in character as someone how happens to be a crack-addict, I feel like I can turn in a paper written totally in stream-of-consciousness and be completely justified. We’ll find out, I suppose. In the odd and detailed backstory I’ve created for this character, she has dreams of opening her own restaurant after she lives with her good friend, movie actor Jon Seda for awhile in Baltimore. She also has a strong obsession with the Woolworth Building.

And, welcome to graduate school.

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Yeah. Remember what I said about Mondays not requiring as much coffee as the other days of the week?

New York City: Day 183

That’s bologna. For whatever reason, my eyelids are refusing to stay open, so I just wandered over to my sad and tiny coffee machine to make a sad and tiny pot of coffee. And with this pot of coffee, I am using my last coffee filter. My Mom and I bought the filters when she was helping me move in back in August (thanks, Mom!), which means I am currently brewing my 100th pot of New York City coffee.

183 days. 1oo pots of coffee. …I’m not quite the addict I imagined I was. We just won’t talk about how many cups of java I’ve had upstairs in the boys’ apartment or how many times my mug has been refilled at Bus Stop or 11th Street Cafe.

I’m trying to do my ‘s’ work for Neutral American Speech, but I can only think of the teaching trick one of the other professors is using to help her students. “Your ‘s’ should be said as though you’re spraying a tiny fairy with perfume. Just the tiniest little…’s’… there.” If someone hits an ‘s’ too hard, she’ll start coughing and say, “Now look what you’ve done! Everyone will think your fairy is a tramp!” (sigh)

I have so much work to do, but I’m finding it damn near impossible to do anything remotely productive. I’ve been sitting here contemplating putting on the layers necessary to walk to Duane Reade to buy laundry detergent just so I can put off writing these papers. Also, my knock-off Word Processing application is continually trying to change the word “monologue” to “mongoose”. It was cute at first, Word Processing. Now, I’m annoyed. And I don’t want to play your game anymore. A monologue is not a mongoose and I’m pretty sure my professors are not going to appreciate your humor.

Monologue or mongoose, it’s time to press on with these Alexander papers that have been looming for three weeks and are due tomorrow. I’ve been wasting entirely too much time watching hilarious Youtube videos of gross misinterpretations of the Alexander Technique, but I found one clip that actually shows good old F.M. himself. I think I might be a little bit in love.

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I’m a big fan of Mondays at The New School for Drama.

New York City: Day 183

Mondays mean really engaging discussions, ample rehearsal time, and two less cups of coffee than I usually consume to get through my day.

Off I go to join my classmates for Theatre History. I imagine that one day in the not-so-distant future, I’ll dedicate an entire entry to my love for that class and my secret desire to someday teach Theatre History with the kind of passion and seemly endless amounts of knowledge that Gary Vena does. We’re supposed to be talking about Playboy of the Western World and Riders to the Sea today, but since the snow day has us a bit behind, I imagine we’ll be continuing our discussion about the Russians. The wonderful, silly Russians.

After classes this afternoon, I have All My Sons rehearsal. Today, I also have to write two papers for Alexander Technique, memorize and transcribe a hefty chunk of text for Neutral American Speech, research and read for my Theatre History panel, write a paper for Script Analysis, get out another set of e-mail for the Collective, work on the mission statement for the Collective, memorize a monologue for Vocal Production, read Far Away, reapply for Financial Aid, reserve tickets for The Caucasian Chalk Circle, rehearse for Final Placement and squeeze in some Closer rehearsal, as well.

I love graduate school.

Also, today is World Thinking Day. Apparently. Who knew? Andrew Bird’s song seems appropriate today:

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well, my friends

I had a miraculous dinner last night.

New York City: Day 182

The Poet and I celebrated his birthday at Blaue Gans in Tribeca. I understand now why chef Kurt Gutenbrunner is a legend in these parts. The food at this Austro-German restaurant is almost too good for words. The wonderful beer was complimented by the wonderful atmosphere. The wurst haus features a large, wide room with long, communal tables and high walls covered with German art-world ad posters.

Though I was tempted by the bratwurst, I went for one of the specials that night: Sauteed duck breast with red cabbage and brioche dumplings. (Oh. my. word.) Christopher had another special: Venison goulash with spatzle and glazed chestnuts. Yum-o.

If my wallet weren’t so barren and my student loans so looming, I would eat at Blaue Gans every night of the week.

Today has found me busily preparing for the first meeting of the Creative Collective I’m starting with some of my dear friends. It’s really a writing group of sorts with eventual goals of publication and performance. Christopher and I are both bringing in poems to workshop tonight. It should prove to be a fun evening.

On that note, it’s off to Park Slope for friends, Collective business and wine.

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You’re my blue sky.

I’d like to dedicate this post to wishing the happiest of birthdays to my Poet Friend.

New York City: Day 181

Hey. It's my birthday!

I’m suddenly remembering the night I met Chris. We were sitting next to each other, the only people in the front row of an Open Mic Night in the West Village. I’m remembering how hard we tried to stifle our laughter during one of the performances. A man got up to do a monologue he’d written himself (shocker!) in which he played Death during an apocalyptic zombie rampage. If I remember correctly, the monologue took place in a Starbucks. Apparently Death likes mocha lattes.

Later that night, Chris told me not only that he’d been born on National Pancake Day, but that he also shared a birthday with Kurt Cobain.

It would seem that February 20th is a good day to be born.

In 1792, the United States Postal Service was established on this day.
In 1872, New York’s own Metropolitan Museum of Art opened on February 20th.
The 21st Amendment that ended Prohibition in the US was proposed on this day in 1933.
Ansel Adams was born today. So was Sidney Poitier, Mike Leigh, Kurt Cobain, and (be still my heart!) Rihanna.
It’s also the Feast Day of Saint Wulfric of Haselbury. But that’s for another time.
And, on February 20th, 1987, American poet C.P. Hughes was born.

Happy Birthday, Christopher. This is for you.

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“We gotta duel.”

This morning, I woke up to two songbirds singing rather loudly outside. It sounded like they were in the room. Sure enough, when I got up to investigate I discovered that they were sitting on the air conditioning unit right outside my window on the 14th floor.

New York City: Day 176

Though there’s still over a month before the first day of spring, waking up to my feathered friends was a pleasant surprise and a nice way to start the morning. In any case, it was much more pleasant than looking out the window in the boys’ apartment on the 16th floor a few weeks ago and seeing this:

I should be in Theatre History right now. I want to be in Theatre History right now. But, today is Presidents Day. So, a big Happy Birthday to Abe and George. The Poet and I honored our former Presidents by having a delicious brunch by the Seaport at Andrews.

Please note that Christopher was able to demolish two plates of food in the time that it took me to prepare my waffle.

I feel like I should be doing something more to honor my Founding Fathers today. Apparently the town of Eustis, Florida has been having an annual “George Fest” since 1902. The festivities begin today and run for a week. Events include a spaghetti dinner, fireworks, grocery cart races, photos with Betsey Johnson and Benjamin Franklin, and a “celebrity” hot dog eating contest. Unfortunately this year, the annual Citrus Squeeze has been cancelled. We’ll have to wait another year to see more innovative juicing processes.

Also, in Alabama, they don’t celebrate Presidents Day. Today, our friends in the south are celebrating Washington and Jefferson Day. Jefferson was born in April. Honestly, Alabama?

Today, I want to be in Eustis. Instead, I’m going to continue to brave the cold here in Manhattan and head to the West Village for our first rehearsal of All My Sons as an entirely healthy cast. (Knock on wood.) Then hopefully I’ll get some time to rehearse Closer with Jacob later on tonight. This could get awkward. Jacob-Sebastian Phillips is a dear friend of mine here and a wonderful, wonderful actor. However, in one project he is playing my loving brother. In another project, he’s playing my loving… lover. Lover/brother?– we’re not doing Greek tragedy here. We usually rehearse these things back-to-back. And that’s weird. Ah, well. Such is the life of an MFA Acting student.

Happy Presidents Day to everyone. But especially to the folks racing their shopping carts in Eustis.

And, yes, I’ve posted this before. And, no, Hamilton was never President. But, this is funny. So, enjoy:

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It’s that time of year again.

New York City: Day 175

Yes, it is Valentine’s Day, but it also the day on which, 25 years ago, playwright Daniel Pearle was born.

I’ve been meaning to introduce my dear friends in creativity to the blogosphere for awhile now and Daniel being born seems like the perfect opportunity to introduce the playwrights. Above, you’ll see the five talented and beautiful playwrights of NSD’s Class of 2012. From left to right: Jessica, Danny, Debra, Becca, and the birthday boy himself, Daniel.

We celebrated Daniel’s birth last night at a bar in Nolita called Botanica. A cozy little basement bar, it could’ve passed for a neglected living room from the spacious old couches and coffee tables our group claimed. Botanica earned an A in my book when, a few minutes after our arrival, the DJ played Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)”. Is there anything better than dancing with The Poet to the Talking Heads. I doubt it.

Daniel’s parents ordered him a divine German Chocolate cake that found its way to the bar. So, there we were in a dark bar with a beautiful cake without any plates or silverware in sight. As I imagined they would, our hands went to work. It was amazing– all of my friends laughing in a dive bar with hands full of chocolate cake. Beautiful.

So, Happy Birthday to Daniel. And Happy Valentine’s Day!

I have to say, I’m quite proud of the dinosaur Valentine that I made for The Poet. Thanks to him, I’m now the proud owner of a new vase and a beautiful bunch of purple irises.

I also got really lovely Valentines from my Mom and Dad. Here’s to love today and every day. Happy February 14th, everyone.

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tonight

I’m sitting in bed, trying to read Charles Mee’s play Wintertime.

New York City: Day 173

At the moment, I’m only successful at listening to Puccini and crying.

Ragnar sent our MFA Acting bunch an e-mail this week, asking us to read Wintertime and come in with a few lines of text committed to heart before our movement class with him on Friday. This is the text I’m working with:

I am writing down my memories of you
and lighting them on fire
one by one
and when the last one is burned up
you will be gone from my heart.

I think I found Mee’s play at the right time in my training. The format is strikingly similar to how I wrote the performance piece that I’m attempting to expand into a longer solo performance. He also deals with the dream lives of his characters, which is a theme I haven’t been able to escape for the last few months. Then, in the middle of his second act, Mee writes, “music comes up at full, deafening volume: O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi”. This just so happens to be my favorite aria.

I listen to it compulsively. It never fails to make me cry.

So, tonight, here we sit. Angela, Puccini, Charles, and I.

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While braving the blizzard to pick up some necessities across the street at Zeytuna, I overheard a little blonde French boy shout, “Beaucoup de neige!” Lots of snow indeed, my little francophone child.

New York City: Day 172

This was moments after he ran down the cheese aisle shouting, “Fromage!” He did my heart good, that little one.

The snow is beautiful. I’ll be honest: I was a little bit angry yesterday when the powers-that-be cancelled today’s classes because it might snow. This afternoon, I get it. It’s not just snowing. It’s snowing.

Snowy Morning in the West Village

I took this photo last week as I walked to school on Thursday morning. It was a pleasant snow. This, however, is what’s going on today:

That, my friends, is the current view from my apartment in the Financial District. Some days, it’s not so bad.

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come on, early spring

Wait. There’s one more thing I need to mention on this, the 2nd of February.

(It’s still day 164 here in New York City.)

Today is Groundhog Day. Bill Murray taught me all about the holiday back in ’93. I know that Phil lives in the town library with his groundhog wife, Phyllis. I know that he can tell me how much longer I’ll have to freeze on my way to school. But Bill failed to mention that our friend Punxsutawney Phil has relatives on Staten Island.

In one of my classes this afternoon, everyone was going on and on about how Phil predicted more winter today but Chuck says it’s going to be an early spring. Excuse me– Chuck?

Yes. Charles G. Hogg is the official groundhog meteorologist of New York City, and yes, the title exists. (As a Georgian, I should also mention that there is a groundhog who lives in Lilburn named General Beauregard Lee who is an honorary Doctor of Weather Prognostication at the University of Georgia. Really. But, back to Chuck:) The ceremony for him to predict the duration of our winter is held at the Staten Island Zoo and is often attended by the major. Last year, Chuck bit Mayor Bloomberg.

Chuck claims to be more accurate than Phil. But, let’s be serious– from what I can tell, Chuck has only been at this for the last two decades, while Phil has been telling us when to pack up our coats since 1887. Phil also keeps classier company. He hangs out with guys who wear top hats and tuxedos and call themselves the Inner Circle. Also, every summer, Phil gets slipped some special Groundhog Punch (I’m not making this up) that extends his life for another seven years. I doubt Chuck gets any punch.

But, Chuck saw and early spring. Phil did not. …here’s hoping you’re right, Charles G. Hogg.

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