Archive for September, 2010

Let me count the ways graduate school has stolen back into my heart today.

New York City: Year 2, Day 33

I spent the morning in rehearsal for Three Women Against the Sea where Angie, Daliya, and I (the aforementioned three women) were all inhabiting weird head-spaces. And thank God for that, because I was glad to laugh. Strange head-spaces and all, I was having a particularly good sensory day, so really, I got to spend the morning laughing with two of my friends while smoking a cigarette on a beach in San Luis Obispo in the middle of a September night. That’s One.

Later in the afternoon during Classics, Evangeline drew a rose on my wrist. The stem and thorns curved under my arm and reached to my elbow. There’s a smudge near a freckle on my hand that’s supposed to be a bumble bee.

While I was getting pseudo-tatted, Ari was Romeo. Casey worked with him awhile on Romeo’s last speech before turning to me and saying, “Lindsey. Lay down over here and play dead.” The ground was cold, but as Casey and Ari worked the speech, I listened to a man trying to say goodbye to his dead wife, and I stopped shivering. My eyes were closed, but I heard, “ O my love! my wife!/Death, that hath suck’d the honey of thy breath,/Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty:/Thou art not conquer’d…” and I could see him.

At the end of the speech, I felt Ari slump beside me. Then, I drew a long breath and opened my eyes. Today for a few moments, I got to be Juliet. That’s Two.

Tonight, my homework will include watching La Strada (again) and various other videos of clowns in preparation to meet my clown again tomorrow in the hopes of hearing, “Good, Clown!” That’s Three.

Tonight, I’ll practice some stage combat with my boyfriend in our tiny apartment, probably while sharing a beer or two. That’s Four.

Graduate school, we can be friends again today.

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June, July, and August seem like figments of my imagination today.

New York City: Year 2, Day 22

The summer feels like something I dreamed of  in the dead sleeps I’ve been falling into after class and rehearsals lately. I’ve only just beginning the third week of classes, but it feels like I never left The New School for Drama.

It’s Sunday and I spent all day at school rehearsing, reading, writing, researching, visiting the vending machine on the second floor. At the moment, I’m sitting in my cozy apartment across from a tired Chris waiting for an order of Chinese food that was placed two hours ago and trying to memorize the Act I prologue in Henry V. “O for a muse of fire” keeps turning into “O for some crab rangoon”. Sorry, Shakespeare.

Papers and classes and rehearsals amass, but good news! In an exciting bit of casting, I will be playing the littlest of the famed Three Sisters in The Chekhov Project, coming to New York City in the Spring of 2011. I’m quite excited to becoming intimately acquainted with Irina, little idealist that she is.

As the weeks become longer and more and more full of work, I need to think of Irina. “Man must work, work in the sweat of his brow. No matter who he is, that’s the whole point of his life. And all his happiness.” Of course, she ends up renouncing work, agreeing to marry a man she doesn’t love who lets himself be killed in a duel, and leaving her sisters to run off to work again and probably become an alcoholic. On second thought, when the work starts weighing heavy, perhaps I’ll think of this weekend.

It was beautiful.

On Friday night, Christopher read a few of his poems at a reading at The Night Owl here in Brooklyn. I’m a proud girlfriend, proud of his damn fine poetry and of his willingness to share it. I may have had one beer too many and shared some words myself, but that’s another story. The Poet and I had a perfect Saturday, forsaking our work to wander bookstores, indulge in ice cream, browse the farmer’s market, listen to some music, read in the park, and celebrate with friends. Here are some photos of the day.

McGorlick Park.

I’m gearing up for a rough week. I need to hang onto these images. Sanity, Health… don’t fail me now.

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I should be in Dialects right now, but I am not. Thank you, Grover Cleveland.

New York City: Year 2, Day 16

And many thanks to all of you hard-working folks out there with, you know… jobs. Labor Day has me feeling pretty worthless. While I love being a servant of Academia, I have no trade. I know the International Phonetic Alphabet like the back of my hand. I can analyze the hell out of a dramatic text. I’ll talk to you for days about Theatre History. But, I can’t fix your car or help with your taxes or build you a house. Theatre is incredibly important. I’m not saying that what I have to offer the community isn’t essential. We need art. But sometimes I wonder what it would be like if my services produced something tangible. …but perhaps that’s for another time.

Speaking of art…

On Saturday, The Poet and I made our second annual trip to The Met’s Summer HD Festival in Lincoln Center Plaza where the good people at the Metropolitan Opera show highlights from their Live in HD series outside in the plaza. Last year, Poet Friend and I spent our first date watching La Boheme. On Saturday, it was Turandot. Both Puccini operas, both directed by Franco Zeffirelli, both beautiful. It was amazing to see how many people were just staying long enough to listen to “Nessun Dorma”. It was a perfect night and I have the pictures to prove it:

I think I’ve decided that the gorgeous music outweighs the silliness of the sometimes very weak plot points. You’re forgiven, Puccini. Depending on how much work gets done today (hello, Scene Study paper!), we may venture back tonight. For those of you in NYC who have missed out so far, tonight is the Summer HD Festival’s last screening. Carmen. Tonight. Lincoln Center Plaza. 7:45. I highly recommend it. Also, watch this 7th grader tear up “Nessun Dorma”. It makes my heart happy.

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After the recent move to the wilds of Brooklyn, I thought I was done with moving for a while. But, no. On Monday, I made the move back to 151 Bank Street.

New York City: Year 2, Day 14

Did you catch that? That’s me trying to make light of the fact that I’ll be living at The New School for Drama from now until May. I say trying because, after one week, it’s already not terribly funny. 32 credit hours (that’s 10 classes) on top of rehearsals for Scene Study, rehearsals for Directing projects, rehearsals for Co-Lab, rehearsals for the main stage shows, and (oh, yeah) homework means that I’ll be wandering back to Greenpoint near the wee hours of the morning to sneak in a few hours of sleep before making the trek back to the West Village the next morning.

These days will be long, but I am prepared. My locker is now home to two boxes of oatmeal, two boxes of green tea, a bowl, a spoon, a mug, six notebooks, many textbooks, my tennis shoes, some aspirin, a box of tissues, a spare toothbrush, a change of clothes, a box of granola bars, an extra sweater, and a card from the Poet to make me smile.

Long days and all, it’s good to be back. I love my classes. I can tell that my Friday classes are going to be especially good to me. I start the day at 8:30 with Stage Combat, then it’s off to Theatrical Clown, both of which I am endlessly excited about. Sadly, we don’t get to start working with our noses for another two weeks— I’m an impatient little clown. On Friday afternoons, I have Co-Lab. For the first project, I’m working on a beautiful play by the wonderful Daniel Pearle called Three Women Against the Sea, which is a contemporary retelling of the story of Ruth and Naomi in the Old Testament.

It’s wonderful to be back in class, but the majority of my week was consumed by auditions.

At The New School for Drama, the 2nd Year Acting students audition at the beginning of the year for two main stage productions— one in the fall, one in the spring. (Am I repeating myself. I think I might be. Whatever.) In the fall, we’re doing Elmer Rice’s The Adding Machine directed by Lou Jacobs. In the spring, we take on The Chekhov Project, adapted by Robert Hoyt and directed by Casey Biggs. Initial auditions were on Wednesday night up in the theatre. Though the nervous energy throughout the halls made me want to vomit, I felt good about the work I brought in. On Thursday, my classmates and I nervously hovered around the call-board waiting for the Call-Back list to be posted. That night, I read for Judy in The Adding Machine with my pal Mackenzie (who is attached to my hip this semester— we have every single one of our classes together and happen to be cast in the same Co-Lab project) and last night, I read for Irina, the youngest of the famed Three Sisters for The Chekhov Project. I felt good about my Judy— the promiscuous little thing who enjoys late-night jaunts to graveyards. I was also happy with how my Chekhov call-back went. My sobs produced lots of laughter thanks to the twisted Chekhovian humor.

In any case, it’s all done with. Now the waiting game begins. Cast lists should go up Tuesday, though people are already buzzing about who’s playing what part and who heard what in the hallways about casting.

But none of that really matters, does it? Here I am, typing away, and I’d already forgotten about the feeling I came home on Wednesday night with. Shame on me.

I’d been feeling unsettled for the past few weeks. Something didn’t feel right. I was feeling restless and lost and stuck and all of those other nasty and cliché things. I also haven’t been onstage since early May. I hadn’t put together that perhaps I was feeling out of sorts because I’m an actor who wasn’t acting. As soon as a walked out of the theatre on Wednesday night, I knew that’s what had been wrong. My audition on the main stage lasted maybe four minutes, if that. But for just a few minutes, I was connecting with someone. Really connecting. I was doing work I could be proud of and making tiny statements about things that are very important to me, things that are close to my heart. One of my acting teachers nodded and smiled at me as I left the theatre and, as soon as I stepped into the lobby, I started to cry. It’s what had been missing. The entire walk home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how incredibly lucky I am to get to study what I love in this place with these people.

As the days at school get longer and I start running on less and less sleep, I need to hang on to that feeling. When I start whining about being exhausted and hungry and drained, someone remind me. Please?

This seems like the only appropriate thing to post in an update about auditioning. The original cast of A Chorus Line doing “I Hope I Get It”. Also appropriate since I auditioned for Bob LuPone on Wednesday– the head of The New School for Drama, yes, but also the fellow playing Zach in this here video, teaching dance combinations and making cuts and decisions. And so it continues…

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