Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tyger Tyger Burning Bright

Amazing show, amazing performances, shocking and hilarious and truly sad. Go see it.

And I totally met Robin Williams. Oh hi, I totally remember seeing Aladdin in theatres. Talk about comedic genius, holy shit, man.

And as incredible as Mr. Williams is as the Tiger, it's truly the rest of the cast who make this show phenomenal. Particularly, in my opinion, Arian Moayed as Musa. Truly, truly incredible performances by all involved. Beautiful set. Beautiful direction. Stunning show.

And I met Robin Williams. I wished him good luck for their opening performance tomorrow night, and he seemed surprised that I didn't just tell him how wonderful he was or how long I've loved his work.

I need to see more shows.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I have to roar and roar and roar, and God help me if someone ever actually hears it.

Coming to the realization that there are, perhaps, three people on this entire earth who truly know me. And that one of those three is not me.

Also I should wear warpaint more often. I should do an urban art installation. The Face of New York: Refracted Youth. Or something existential like that. With a hat on the ground for donations, but I label it RECYCLABLES. I'm such an artist. I want to puke.

Finalizing the touches to my intern application. Possibly scoping some out in NYC. We'll see. Still mad at the universe. Looking for my puzzle pieces and they're like, halfway across the globe, probably.

[Is it so wrong to want to play by my rules, now? Don't give me that look when I stand my ground, dammit. Don't talk around me like I don't know. Skanky bitch, I am not. Assertive and independent, I would like to be. I just hover in this grey area of inaction.]

I will be uploading more class discussions with playwrights. Our discussion with Rajiv Joseph today was really fascinating. His play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo opens this Thursday starring Robin Williams as the Tiger.

Okay. Focus. Intern application. GO.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Know the Universe, and Her Name is Irony

I understand that, as an artist, having honest, open, and fully real life experiences is essential to developing the muscle of expression. I get it. I'm still a baby, I'm working on it.

I understand that, as a human, emotional blogging is a pain in the ass and nobody gives two shits about my bad days or what I had for lunch or whether my face hurts today or whatever. I'm working on it.

I also understand that, in the effort to share my artistic journey, there are going to be awkward combinations of the two above situations. Unfortunately, more often than not. My regurgitating of information simply becomes whining about lack of work ethic or how singing is hard with a sore throat or how I suck at dancing.

So, if that isn't what you hoped for when you got into this, I'm sorry, because it wasn't what I anticipated either. I imagined repeating lessons for you, sharing what I'm learning.

But I guess sharing what I'm learning is more about dragging you along the journey through myself, since that's what art is. And I do this for art.

So discover yourself through my discovering of myself. See how bad I fuck up and know that it happens and is supposed to happen. I'm a freaking hypocrite and complain about how hard it all is and fuss fuss fuss and my feet hurt and I wish people were nicer, but I'm giving you life advice I wish someone would give me and I could actually listen to.

And all of this is coming from one unexpected text yesterday and one slightly expected realization tonight. Unrelated, but, as usual, a murky fork in the road.

Why do good things happen to me in a way that makes it hurt? Why is there always a crossroads, a confusing, unclear, grey area I can't step through without hurting myself or someone else?


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sweet Dreams are Made of This 2.0

I had two dreams that I vaguely remember - one involved Doctor Who (don't ask me which Doctor he was, I don't know the numbers well) saving me from some mundane existence involving small rooms, dull people, unfolded laundry and luggage, and then dragging me about on an adventure of some sort where I was leaping from industrial platforms. He was very attractive.

The other involved getting a callback to Rent - I received the call through a phone and an old truck's radio, people at my house were skeptical and mean, I went to the callback and it was like, a cafeteria filled with as many people as were at the initial auditions, and we were supposed to bring sheet music or scripts and I didn't have either.

I hate weird dreams. I spend all my energy trying to analyze them and get nowhere.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Just defeated an abysmal paper, so while I would like to celebrate, I have concluded that the appropriate celebration is to collapse and sleep for 10 hours straight. Which I will do, as soon as my bathroom is not occupied. Who knew that metaphorical conceptual cannibalism could be so damn boring? But I have conquered it, and I feel like shredding the textbook with my teeth while laughing and roaring my victory. I'm a bit tired, can't you tell?

It felt very good to be back in the swing of things, in spite of how exhausted I am. I got a little delirious and giddy, but overall it's nice to have some kind of direction to be going in. Though there was the female open call for the national tour of Rock of Ages today and I was thinking about that for much of the morning, but soon that fantasy passed and I was back to studying.

My audition and subsequent first round callback was a topic of much discussion in studio today. I am proud of my achievement, but I wish people would stop talking about it and making it a big deal. I try to be humble (and it was one little callback, so why shouldn't I be humble? It's not like I was just offered all of Broadway on a silver platter) about everything I do, and I mean, I don't know why I dislike their admiration so much, but I just want to keep it in perspective, and wish they could too.

The weather is wreaking havoc with my throat and general well-being. Pounding down the vitamin C and D and hoping I can battle my impulsive sugar cravings long enough to keep me healthy until the weather turns. I've started taking my allergy meds again as well, to beat pollen to the punch. No miserable, runny nose days for me. No sir.

Off to try and catch up on some sleep and let my body recharge. Lots more work to be done tomorrow; it never ends. Internship work is my priority, unless something comes up that demands my immediate attention. Which it very well might.

The name of the game is the peppermint twist.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Update

So I meant to sit back last night and just type out what I've been thinking about these past few days, but since I hadn't been to bed before 4am for two days and last night managed to be another post-midnight evening, sleep was just too sweet to ignore, even for the pressing thoughts in my head.

This weekend was wonderful, but had an almost bittersweet tone to it. Not maudlin, but more melancholy aftertaste. The audition Friday was quite the experience (and no, I did not receive a follow-up call, but that's probably all for the best anyway), and was similar to Circle last year in that it was an experience that just gave me a taste of what can be out there and how much I want it.

Meg came to visit, and we hit the town and I realized how much I have yet to learn as a functioning, social human being. A man bought me a drink because I looked "bored out of my mind." I'm quite the social butterfly, if you couldn't tell. It was wonderful to see her. She'd been in Australia for most of the past year and I missed her very, very much. We went to see Treasure Island on Saturday night because she was also in Ken's Circle class last year, and we went for drinks with him afterwards and chatted and caught up and it was wonderful beyond words. I really do enjoy quiet, relaxed company talking about everything and nothing rather than braving bar scenes. But I'll have to learn it all, I suppose. Not the city to be quiet and meek in.

Sunday she went home, and I spent some time doing homework and feeling rather sad because I was by myself again, and it made me realize how much I miss having company I can talk to. I love my classmates here so much, but I'm not in the mindset of an 18-year old anymore. Even when I was 18, 19, I don't think I was the typical example of that age range anyway.

I think I am having a young adult life crisis? I don't know what you'd call it. This absolute burning need to have my own place, be working, paying my own bills, running the auditions circuit, taking classes, living my own life. Maybe baby bird has finally grown in her pinion feathers and is sick of watching the trees from far away. One of the most alluring things about the Rent auditions and the faint hope of possibly being cast was having to shift everything and live in New York, just to have this life of my own. I've realized I'm trying to figure out exactly what would make me the happiest, and what I have to do to get me to that point, and none of it is clear.

I dunno. Just one of those things simmering around inside my head.

Back to the grind now - I need to apply for internships ASAP or I'm totally fucked. I just scheduled an advisement appointment for class scheduling for next year. I have a voice lesson in an hour. Studio tomorrow. So my longing for my own life will have to be put on hold for a while, I guess.

EDIT: A little additional note I wanted to add after coming back to this from my day; I don't want this to sound like I'm truly unhappy, because I'm not. The audition gave me a bright validation that yes, with time and effort I can do this. I'm receiving praise and note from classmates, and my voice teacher is unsurprisingly quite pleased. It's just that I feel like I'm missing a piece of something, and I don't know what it is.

Friday, March 18, 2011


So I auditioned for RENT this morning, got a first round callback, then sang for the head of Bernard Tesley Casting.

Not bad for my first big girl audition. :)

Not sure what happens from here, but regardless, I am happy with how I did and amazed that they asked me to be called back, even if it was only quick and for a short time.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Break

Complete failure to blog over break. Whoops.

Auditioning for the new off-Broadway production of Rent tomorrow afternoon. First big girl audition. I'm so tired from travelling all day. Maybe later I'll update, but for now, Happy St. Patrick's Day, I'm back in NYC, and audition prep all tonight before tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

T minus 48 hours, and counting...

I love productive afternoons. I spent mine reading and reading and reading and reading some more, but at least Bathsheba Doran's plays were entertaining and a good read, so it wasn't tedious in the least. I think I'll either muster up the willpower to read some more for my Latin American Theatre class (though I've had quite enough of bland metaphors for one day, thankyouverymuch) or start doing text work and character arcs for my next acting project, Hedda Gabler.

Also going to bed very early tonight. 8:30 starts the madness tomorrow.

And I still haven't written about Ken and Treasure Island yet, I'm awful at keeping up. Yesterday could use a bit of scribbling about as well, considering it threw me for a few interesting loops I could have done without. But time waits for no one, and it's almost Thursday already.

I've figured out which three possible trains I'll be taking on Friday afternoon so that I can see my darling Jen and my dear Meg, who has been gone for 8 MONTHS on wild adventures Down Undah and I have missed her very much.

Working my less-than-shapely ass off, these days. Hopefully the madness will slow down in the coming week, so I can catch my breath.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spotlight: Stephen Belber

Trying something new...

I'm taking a class called Contemporary American Playwrights, taught by Steven Drukman, and every week we have a different playwright come in to talk about some of their work. This week we had Stephen Belber, and because of my connection to my own production of The Laramie Project, I was deeply interested in what he had to say. I've been tape recording the class discussions, and I'm going to try and see if I can embed some of them here, should anyone be interested in listening to some first-hand playwright conversations.

It's a long discussion, and some of it is a bit muffled, but I think it's not a bad recording, considering I have no editing program. And he has some very interesting things to say about his work and Laramie.


I'll be writing up on my Saturday with Michelle and Ken Schatz soon, but there is something personal I need to get out of the way before I can reindulge in the loveliness of theatre people.

The unpleasant side of young theatre people. And the unpleasant side of theatre teachers. And theatre in general.

Two emails today - TWO - regarding behaviour and absences and general college-ish things.

"This type of behavior and attitude is irresponsible and intolerable. I realize that you all have a lot going on, especially at this time of year. I get it, I've been there, and have a lot going on myself. I completely understand the level of stress you are under."

Yes, it's that time again - WORK ETHIC!

However, you need to do your work. You need to be prepared. You need to develop a work ethic that demonstrates that you are capable of being a PROFESSIONAL.

I've only been doing that since high school, because I was fortunate enough to have a director and friend who stressed a professional attitude above all else. And now, like then, people apparently would rather whine and squeak by on charm and talent. ((This relates to a discussion with Ken, actually, so this theme will continue when I'm less irritable))

I refuse to treat you like children, because you aren't children anymore. Please do yourselves a favor and start taking responsibility for your actions, and start taking your work seriously.
Good to know that I'm not the only one who has noticed this kind of thing. It pisses me off that we all have to receive the bitch-tastic emails that make me feel pathetic and amateur to be lumped in with people behaving like entitled children, but alas, I am among them. Among them am I.

The best part is, in spite of this email, it will probably take some of them a good few years to really understand it, if they ever figure it out at all.

Another email. People have been calling out of voice lessons last minute (I'm guilty of this, I am not ashamed to admit) and that's been an organizational nightmare and accompanists get paid and all sorts of logistical things that are being compromised because people are getting sick. In response to this, we receive the following:

Please take extra care, continue to dress as if it's still winter, push the fluids and the vitamin C, and REST, including getting enough sleep. It's worth noting that many actor/singers who do 8 shows/week rely on 9 hrs sleep/night for vocal rest and repair.

So my un-collegiate habits of trying to sleep 8+ hours a night and not party and not eat shit food have been validated. That's nice.

I appreciate that it's tough with the work load and that mid-terms bring additional pressure, but please bear in mind that the good habits you create for yourselves now will stand you in good stead for your professional careers. Anything that you can do to protect yourselves, manage your time and succeed in taking advantage of the remarkable skill, energy and commitment that your teachers bring to your lessons will ultimately be rewarded and appreciated.
So, while that is merely helpful and mildly reprimanding, we have now been presented with the Paradox of Good Studentship due to both of these emails. This paradox has been well known to me for some time, and I have yet to discover an effective solution.

We are requested, in each of our classes, to do a "minimum" amount of outside work. This is generally an hour for each class, but some request more. ALSO this week is midterms. My game plan is generally as follows:

Once I return from classes, it is between 5pm and 6pm, usually. To get 8-9 hours of sleep, as directed (and desired, in my case), that means I must be asleep by 10:30pm, which is usually what I aim for. The amount of work I am supposed to do, in that five and a half hour span, usually equates to much more than five and a half hours. And this isn't counting my academic course work, or when I need to eat, or if I'm particularly exhausted, or any extra workshop that eats into my free time.

So, I know what they expect, but they truly, TRULY have to understand that, in a school setting, in the death throes of winter, with our kind of work, and our course load, it is really fucking impossible to do everything. So we sacrifice here to meet par there. And then there are the lazy idiots making people like me look like we're just not trying when we're actually struggling and working our ass off.

NOW. With that said, I am off to work on my sight singing midterm, swap laundry, possibly do dishes, practice choreography for four pieces, possibly start an internship application, possibly start selecting scenes for our next project, possibly practice piano, possibly organize my voice lesson recordings into an accessible practice file, and possibly do my Theatre in Latin America homework.

And they have the gall to think I'm being effing lazy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Few Things

Josette Bushell-Mingo's parting words to me: "Give 'em hell." I don't think she could have said anything more perfect.

I love heightened language texts. They are just pure poetry. I did (what some called "excessive," but that's another discussion to be had) text work for the brief Clytemnestra scene I did, but I did it for fun and because that's what one does when given a text to look over. Finding the beauty in the vowel sounds that connect and the imagery and how to articulate that through your voice and the many ways you can use your voice - It's been a while since someone reminded me of how heightened language is truly beautiful. So thank you for that, Josette.

As a friend of mine said so aptly last night, "the honeymoon phase is over." I love my classmates, I really do, in spite of some quirks and and idiosyncrasies that make me want to rip out my hair. But the glow of being new students in NYC at NYU has begun to fade and the reality of humanity is settling in, so cliques are forming, patiences are much thinner than they were before, and true colors are peeking through carefully crafted personalities.

As I mentioned, I did a lot of text work for the one scene I did yesterday, a quick little foray into Greek text that most people actually left on the floor of the theatre (another point I was appalled at, but that's another thing), and at one point during the day while I was going over it, a fellow classmate, who had already returned from his workshop, gave it a condescending glance and said "That's like, you did way more work than you had to. We just read it."

Just read it? Well, I beg your pardon, sir, but there is no such thing as "just" or "only" or "in general" in what I do, and there certainly isn't time to be half-assing and skating through opportunities like this. It really bothered me, because part of me felt like an overachiever and awkward for doing it, because I was the only one who did that much work. But when Josette came over to give us a brief set of directions to set our scene, she sounded delighted that I had text work done. "Oh, all written out, look at that!" Because that's what I love doing and it needs to get done.

I've been encountering more of this attitude lately, and it reminds me of struggles at my other school and really hits me where it hurts, because I thought I came here to be surrounded by those who embrace the art as much as I do. The craft.

Off to lunch and Brooklyn's Irondale Theatre for some Treasure Island and the ineffable Ken Schatz! (No clicks, this time, just google, hahah) Love to all.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's March 3rd, and it's two day old cheese.

Being dragged away from my sister, kicking and screaming, by the Greek armies in the streets of Troy to be raped and murdered was not on my agenda when I woke up this morning.

BUT IT WAS AWESOME. (Only performers would ever say that, jeez, but it's so true... I LOVED IT.)


Going to be playing Clytemnestra for the workshop tomorrow - I am so honored she chose me, but I'm so nervous! What did she see?! I can feel the energy and intensity just from working these two days, and I've already started using it in other classes when I perform. I used to hate Greek theatre, but now I think I could do it forever.

Not a bad day. Mid-term was rough, but it's done. More to continue doing. It never ends.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ah, midterms.

You know you've reached optimum stress levels when:

A) unused muscles ache for no good reason.
B) alienation of friends and family is nearly complete.
C) absurd effort = minimum result.
D) zero desire for food.
E) all of the above.

Roses. Think of roses.


Next post will hopefully be on the nature of skepticism, and how I have to figure out how to maneuver in a skeptical world. But for now... FIGURED BASS UNTIL I CROAK.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Food for thought.

Click it.

Losing My Religion

Kind of an epic day. A lot happened - more than usual for a Tuesday.

Josette Bushell-Mingo: There are no words for the kind of power, charisma and talent that this woman has. Kent (the head of NSB) called her a "force of nature," and that is an understatement. I never, EVER believed I would like or appreciate Greek theatre, simply because it has always been taught to me in the most boring way possible. Josette has brought the Greeks to life with a passion I was overwhelmed by. Her passion makes my passion look like the fading fleck of the ashes of a cigarette next to a massive, raging, bright as day bonfire.

The stage, the playing space, the working space, the theatre is a church. It is more sacred than anything I have ever felt. I know what I believe in.

Aside from Josette's GLORIOUSNESS, I also talked to my acting teacher today about how my third chakra felt all knotted and tangled and awful, but it was doing all right now. After class she had me come over so she could feel my stomach and my back where my third chakra is, and she started to move her hands and manipulate the energy. I can't even describe what it was like - it was incredible. I could feel things loosening and shifting, and all of a sudden my back and my front felt connected in a way I'd never been aware of. Like there was air passing from behind me, through me, and out the front, and vice versa. I just stood there, trying to feel everything and let her move around me. She worked around my heart, then circled me, and I could feel things lighten up everywhere her hands moved. It was almost dizzying, I didn't know what to expect or why these things were happening, because she wasn't even touching me.

She had me open my eyes and asked me how I felt, so I told her I felt lighter all over, that all the pieces of me fit together. She explained that somehow, through my life, at some point when I was very small, I had developed a defense for my heart. When it would be hurt, or in danger of being hurt, or exposed, I would lock it up and shove it downwards, creating this crunch against my third chakra, which explains so much. The shield feelings, the knottedness, the pain. She told me to visualize roses, a giant rose wherever I needed protecting. Roses, white roses everywhere, to protect me, my shields that would let me be protected (because my energy feels like it needs to be protected, and will retreat and lock up in its effort to do so) without hurting myself. I hope I can keep this going. It was really amazing - I've never had reiki work done on me before.

And, the cherry on top of my day, Anthony Rapp substitute taught my song performance class.

Remember... CLICK!