Archive for October, 2010

The clown (and I don’t mean the good, theatrical kind) who lives upstairs has been playing the Super Mario Brothers theme song on his crappy keyboard for half-an-hour.

New York City: Year 2, Day 52

I’m way past annoyed. The couple who live in the unit above mine sound like they’re over it, too. I don’t know, maybe it’s because they have a four-year-old. And a baby. Who should probably be sleeping this close to midnight. Look. Guy Who Lives Upstairs. Normally, your terrible renditions of video game songs and Goo Goo Doll covers only make me want to give you dirty looks in passing. Right now, though, I’m trying to study for my Dialects written midterm that is only a measly 8 hours away, and I’m not feeling so friendly.

This midterm is breathing down my neck, but my brain is so done. It’s tired. As is my body. I don’t know how it’s only Tuesday.

My teachers assure me that, all of the country, 2nd Year MFA Acting Candidates are busy being overworked and sleep-deprived. 2nd Year is the make-or-break year. The year where you figure out just how little sleep your body actually needs,how much information you can actually cram into your skull, how many roles you can prepare for at one time, and how little contact you actually need with the world outside of your MFA program.

I was at school for an average of 16 hours a day last week. I’m just… tired.

But, good things:

Rehearsals for The Adding Machine are awesome. Jeff Gonzales and Siri Hellerman who play Mr. and Mrs. Zero are just fantastic. And I’m learning so much from our amazing director, Lou Jacob.

I’m thrilled about my next Co-Lab piece. Let’s just say I’m convinced that Jessica Cohen stole my journal from when I was 12 and then wrote a play.

I took this when I was warming up in this stairwell this afternoon, getting ready to play Lady M in Classics. And it just makes me happy:

Alright, Dialects. I’m coming back to you and your sound changes. Maybe we’ll get along. If only my friend upstairs would give the current Billy Joel cover a rest…

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It’s a Sunday evening in early October. The darker half of the year is beginning.

New York City: Year 2, Day 50

Sitting at my desk and watching the sun set over the park, I can smell the pumpkin pie Chris has baking in the oven and I’m anxious for the coming nights of fake cobwebs, fallen leaves, and autumnal ale. I’ve been dreaming of corn husks and scarecrows. I spend my days wishing I could go apple picking. But mostly, I’m eager for the ghost stories that this month brings.

On Friday, our merry band of actors performed Daniel Pearle’s gorgeous play, Three Women Against the Sea. I’d fallen in love with this play, with Ruth, the character who I got to live with briefly. The play opens with Ruth sitting on the beach in the middle of the night smoking a cigarette. She is joined by her sister-in-law, Oli, who informs her she has called the police to help look for Nana, their mother-in-law. We learn that Ruth and Oli were married to Nana’s sons, Ben and Eli, who died in a plane crash three years earlier and that today is the anniversary of their death. The women fight, they cut each other, they comfort each other. It’s a beautiful play– heartbreaking and hilarious and hopeful all at the same time. Daniel Pearle is a genius.

The writer’s next assignment is to take one of the characters from the play they’d written and carry them over into another play.

I spent most of Friday morning working with my sensory choices for Three Women Against the Sea, getting ready for the show. During my brief lunch break between Stage Combat, Clown and our performance, I caught Daniel watching an N’Sync video on YouTube on his computer. When I gave him a What the hell? look he said, “Oh, it’s for my next play. It takes place before the crash. Ruth and Ben and Eli are dancing together.” I burst into tears.

After we performed, Daliya, Angie, and I sat next each other in the theater and listened to the readings of the new plays with the new casts. I rested my head on Angie’s shoulder as Daniel introduced Catherine as Ruth and Jeff as Ben. I had just been living with Ruth, as Ruth, onstage moments before and there I sat, residuals of her in my bones, watching my dead husband sing karaoke with his twin brother. I cried at the memory I hadn’t had before.

It’s a beautiful thing, when the theatre conjures ghosts.

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What are you doing this weekend, New Yorkers?

New York City: Year 2, Day 47

If I were you, I’d go see this…

The New School for Drama presents

by William Shakespeare
directed by Arin Arbus

October 7-9, 2010
Thursday-Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday matinee at 3:00 p.m.


Free general admission
Reservations recommended
For reservations, please call Ticket Central at 212.279.4200
or visit www.tickets.ticketcentral.com

For more information, visit

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