Sunday, January 24, 2010

Semester 2

I have officially moved back into my dorm, I'm all cozied up with my stuff ready to go for ACTF, and now I'm thinking of taking a nap before running Bat Boy lines and prepping for a last minute rehearsal at 5 for Festival. I kind of want to stay awake though, just so my new roomie doesn't walk into her new dorm to a sleeping girl.

I have classes tomorrow and the showcase for the faculty tomorrow night, then we leave at 8am on Tuesday for New Hampshire. I don't know if I'll get to posting anything before then, and hopefully I'll keep some kind of record of Festival so I can share what went down. I doubt I'll have enough free time to write anything during the week, but we'll see. It's a different setup than last year, so maybe I will have time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

"The arts need not apologize to anyone."

A few snippets, courtesy of The Washington Post.

"... Attendance at art museums was down 13 percent from 2003 to 2008, the index found, while audiences at popular music events were down 6 percent. More people are taking classes in knitting and ceramics, as an arts participation survey by the National Endowment for the Arts reported last year.

Increasingly, people turn to the Internet for their arts consumption, whether they're seeking snippets of concerts or replays of stand-up comedy routines. The remote arts experience, [Randy] Cohen pointed out, is also made easier by the explosion of offerings on cable television and simulcasts of performances by such groups as the Metropolitan Opera."

"... In the index, the health of the arts was measured by finances, capacity, participation and competitiveness. "Arts participation is falling because the alternative uses of time are winning out," said Arthur C. Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute.

Index supporters said arts groups face many challenges, but most are likely to begin an economic rebound in 2011. Cohen said about one-third of arts groups are not making their budgets. Bill Ivey, the former NEA chairman, said it was troubling that the number of trained artists graduating from college had grown while the overall employment of artists was only slightly increasing."

Theatre is suffering alongside traditional medium art. Support as much as you can. Go to exhibits, support local galleries and troupes and bands.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teach Me

Straw Hat auditionees are announced tomorrow - crossing my fingers for some serious opportunities to open up.

Working on Bat Boy lines for the next few days. I'm leaving New Haven tonight, but I'll be back on Sunday to move back into my dorm and get ready for ACTF, one week from today. Today was an interesting day, to say the least.

And, in other news, some words that I'll never get to say, but need to be said.

"This is stupid. This is the most stupid thing I have ever heard of. This isn't about you - it's about the students. This is about the kids who come here, looking to learn - you should be trying to teach them and give them what they so desperately want, a chance and an education, not some pointless selfish feud. I came here to be taught by anyone who was willing to teach me. I still am. There should be no monarchy, no executioner! This is about teaching! Not pointing fingers, not sabotaging your fellow educators, but really giving the students the experience and help they want and need. I will not sit here and let you do this to anyone anymore. I want to learn from everyone. So stop this bullshit and teach me."

I've started to stop sitting quietly. Those particular words, however, will have to wait.

Monday, Rehearsal 2

A day late, whatever. Happy belated Martin Luther King Jr. Day - we need to keep fighting for the dream.

I actually only wanted to post because my Straw Hat application has been received and processed and it's such a relief to be able to get onto the Members Area part of the website. I was really nervous it had been sent in too late, but it was processed yesterday and I'm all set for a little while to wait and see about an audition slot.

Rehearsal 2 went fairly well - I'm at least off book for my monologue now, which I am totally in love with for whatever reason. We're moving The Baby Dance to our first performance slot, which I actually need to go do online now.

Last rehearsal (?) today? Back to school on Sunday - it's been crazy.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday, Rehearsal 1

First rehearsal with my ACTF coach and scene partner. It was refreshing to be able to get back into working one on one with another living person - there's only so many times you can run lines before you know your cues and you can't make progress on your own anymore.

We were both off book, which was a great start, though DMD (my partner) is a little shaky on her Shakespeare because she's not used to it, but she's going to be an excellent Emilia (Othello) and I'm sure once she gets comfortable with the language it'll be spot on. Our timing for that scene is also pretty good, since we have 3 minutes to do it and we ran it in about 2:20 when we timed it.

The other scene, from The Baby Dance, had felt kind of bland to me. I'd done Desdemona's character work for a month back in the fall for the actual production, so all of her nuances and lines were well known to me, but Wanda from this play was a stranger and it was hard to understand the character at first. But as soon as DMD and I sat down and started running it, the dynamic between them was sharp and excellent. I have much more faith in that scene now that I've worked it a little bit.

My work for the weekend will include my monologue, priority number one, and then to really find the living of the characters within the acting.

My sickness is still a bit of a problem, since my vocal support is lacking and my voice and my whole being tires out very easily. It's hard to maintain that energy that I want and is required onstage, especially when I'm not feeling 100%. Hopefully I'm getting better quickly and can fight it out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Turns out azithromycin was not the antibiotic I needed. I've spent the last four days waiting for the magical healing power of prescription medication to kick in, to no avail.

Went back to the clinic today, after I finally figured out this wasn't going to work no matter how much faith I put into it. They gave me a new antibiotic to treat tonsilitis instead of strep. Since, you know, I don't have strep. I have tonsilitis.

But this new pill is huge, bright blue, and I have to take it four times a day for ten days. Hefty doses, yes, but I'm already feeling better. One side of my throat has calmed itself already, and with the aid of prescription strength painkillers, I've been able to eat and drink something substantial today.

I had to reschedule tomorrow's rehearsal, since I'm still home and won't be leaving here until, at best, tomorrow night. Crossing my fingers that I will be in good enough shape to head to New Haven tomorrow. I've worked way too hard for way too long for something as stupid as a misdiagnosis to screw it all up.

Lesson of the week: treat illnesses early, and get the right treatment for it. And don't trust those Doctor Doctor M.D.'s blindly, make sure it's working. Follow it up if it doesn't feel right. You can't prevent yourself from getting sick all the time, but you can go about getting better in the right way.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Snail Mail

Postmarked my StrawHat audition application this afternoon (mum just informed me it was handed off to a postal worker to make sure it was sent without any security concerns screwing it up) after a night of frenzied finishing it up. I don't know how long it will take to get across the state, but now I just get to sit and wait for the Members Area of the StrawHat website to show that my application has been received, then accepted.

Still fighting whatever infection I picked up. It's better, but not enough. I can't eat much of anything and I don't like waiting around for the zithromax to start working. But we're headed in the right direction, to that's all good.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Five days before my venture into New Haven to work on ACTF stuff and actually enjoy myself for a week, I wake up in the morning with spots all over my tonsils.

WebMD, the hypochondriac's wet dream, informed me that I may have: strep throat, viral pharyngitis, tonsilitis, scarlet fever, mononucleosis, laryngitis, acute sinusitis, the common cold, dust exposure, indoor allergens, smoke exposure, heartburn epiglottitis, mumps, thermal burn of the mouth or throat, thyroid cancer, shingles, a hiatal hernia, toxic shock syndrome, or avian flu.

Pretty sure it's just strep or tonsilitis, because it's not really bad yet and I'm just tired, but the myriad of options makes me feel like I'm not very creative.

It's got to be karma for something, but I don't know what. And I'm sad. Here's to a quick recovery. Line recitations are awful difficult with a swollen throat.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter Vacation Lacks the Vacation

The most difficult part about this process, I have discovered, is plain motivation. I am entirely capable of getting everything done that needs to get done. I'm off book for The Baby Dance and Othello already, and I'm just about halfway done with my Spinning Into Butter monologue. I could have easily finished that monologue today, but I couldn't bring myself to. I don't know how to combat the overwhelming urge to wander off or take a nap or do anything but what is required. When curled up on the most cozy couch in creation, it's hard to deny yourself a good long nap.

And it's just being able to focus that gets difficult, with so many other things going on in my life. Personal issues, familial things, necessary cleaning, working out schedules and rehearsal times and placement exams (yup, new item on my to-do list), it's just this constant barrage of things that just have to be dealt with. But that's not what this blog is about, so I'll spare you the details.

It's a work in progress, organizing everything important. I'm managing fairly well, but I am running out of time. Next Thursday is when my week of rehearsals for ACTF begins, so I'll have to be entirely off book and done with text analysis as well. I need to send in my Straw Hat application, now that my headshot has been taken and my prints came in, thank you to Karen of Happenstance Portraits and Photography, (she's in the process of redoing her website and name and such). Once my application is in, I have to cross my fingers for an audition slot and then get working on audition material.

I've also begun to try and piece together something I should have started long ago, a collection of monologues I have worked on, known as a Monologue Morgue. While I was cleaning today (I hoard paper. I'm some kind of paper monger) I rediscovered some marked up monologues and threw them in a binder, and hopefully, when I get a minute, I'll start putting them all together in an organized fashion and go find stuff I've already done and start a real Morgue to have as a resource to take with me.

I will also need to drill Bat Boy into my head once I'm solid with the ACTF work. Straw Hat material will have to be worked on simultaneously.

I'm looking into exercises to relax the jaw muscles. I've recently discovered I clench my jaw and it explains the stiffness and inflexibility and inability to relax the zygomaticus muscles (thank you senior year anatomy), which is a real problem for someone who wants to make a life out of utilizing the function of her voice and face. Hopefully I'll have some information to share, if I get a chance to look it up and go through my Stage Speaking notes. I need to release the tension there. It's incredibly painful and very annoying.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Look

I'm in the process of giving the blog a facelift. New year, new look, I suppose. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 3 of the New Year

Happy Belated New Year to everyone, thank you for following me this long, if you've been reading this long, and if not, thank you for reading this at all - it's been an eventful year, and I've learned more than I ever imagined in the past 365 days. I'm not even close to where I want to be, but I'm shuffling my way up. Care to tag along for another year?

It's the third day of the new decade and already I've had half a dozen plans disappear in a puff of powder snow. It's that season, I suppose, but still - it really puts a damper on my feverish attempts to get work done. My headshots have been postponed indefinitely - again - I remain sans social life or ability to do much else besides memorize. And memorization requires a break every now and then or I'll explode.

Straw Hat application is due to be postmarked in less than 12 days, now, and I need at least one headshot print by then or I'm screwed. SECTs are in Kentucky and I don't have that kind of money right now to be booking flights and motels and all that jazz. I filled out the Straw Hat application, I just need to print it out and print my resume and get a headshot, plus the 35 dollar application fee and the 45 dollar audition fee and send it all in.

Snow - please cease fire.