Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Avant

Something funky fresh that won't send me into a tailspin. Let's give it a shot. Pale skin, red hair, colorful eyes and red lips. Let's see if I can't set my own fashion.

Having a welcome back/housewarming party this evening. I love having my own space, but it's getting a bit lonely, so I'm filling this tiny apartment up with my music theatre studio friends to share summer stories and feel the love. Because there is lots and lots of love to be had.

Here's hoping I get a job interview soon. I need one so badly. Got my fingers crossed!

Landed one theatrical project already - a reading of a new musical. I'm very excited. Time to dust off the acting chops and see what's cooking inside.

Cheers and love! More info when I get it. Getting some new books for school soon, and at least one of them has been on my WANTNOWPLEASE list for a while, so I'll share that when I get my hands on it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

One Year Ago

Exactly one year ago, today, I was waking up in NYC alone for the first time. I'd moved into my new dorm on Lafayette Street and was more than a little nervous.

Oh, how times have changed.

It always amazes me, how things change in one year - every year it just floors me and I know it shouldn't surprise me anymore, but it does. Weird. Rolling right along, we are.

Beautiful day today - got a workout to do, school stuff to prep, and I definitely want to get outside today.

I'm feeling better already.

Have some music it's impossible not to smile to. Now I want to dance. My darling Michelle gets here on Friday and I can't waitttt :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blow Myself Away

Hurricane Irene was a little bit of a let down - some late night gusting had me edgy for my windows, but New York made it out only slightly waterlogged. Everyone I know is safe, and now my hometown is waiting for the battering to be over.

Hurricane Harley, however, is another story.


I've had a melodramatic, confusing couple of days. I feel like all the stress of the past few weeks has just been bubbling up and bubbling up and in one, fell, disastrous swoop, it all came to a peak and forced me to sit down and examine what's going on in my head and my life.

Trying too hard to fix something has the distinct probability of only making things worse - I've never gone wrong letting life play out, and I should keep that in mind, from now on. That doesn't mean letting everything happen passively, hell no, but it means trusting where I'm going a little more than I have been.

Doing my first work out session in probably over a month. My body is aching for movement, for release. The joys of a yoga ball - simple happiness in plastic rubber sticking to my humid skin and my muscles burning. I'm going to work out until I can't think, and then I'm going to eat lunch, shower, and possibly investigate the streets of the Village to see what it's like, post-storm. It's like investigating myself, after Hurricane Harley has passed over.

My theatrical passion is, in fact, a metaphor for my own life, methinks. Trying so hard to force a mask to fit, to squeeze into a personality, it just looks false and ends badly. Peeling off layers is gentler, more freeing, and far closer to the truth.

Let's straighten up, Harlequin baby. One more year at NYU and then you're a real person, with a piece of paper that says so and everything! We have to make it worth it.

Love to you.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Irene

I take a leap and extend myself, reach out, try to shake things up, expand who I am a little, and, in response, the universe throws shock and shame and embarrassment my way in forms I could never imagine. Unfortunate coincidence of timing? Probably. But that doesn't make me feel better.

It's a curious coincidence that, for major expansive movements I try to make, personally, where I try to stretch and see if I can't change my shape, something crashes down that makes me want to retreat into the safety of my antisocial, geeky, artistic little shell and remain as I am. Mistakes or coincidence or happenstance, whatever it is that messes so fully with me, it gets me good. I don't know whether it's a test for me to keep pushing, or if it's a warning to stop losing my balance.

In conjunction with my stormy mental/emotional state, there is a hurricane creeping up the east coast, and the rain has begun here in Manhattan. All transportation has been cut. No trains in or out, no subways anywhere on the island. Battery Park and Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn have been issued mandatory evacuations (though anyone who is still here is stuck - no transport).

I'm not too worried - I have food and water and enough of it to last for a good few days, worst case scenario. I just wish I weren't by myself. Kinda sucks on my own right now. Too much thinking, not enough living.

Have some music. Long live the Lizard King.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cosmic Love

Some words from the Village Voice for my star sign.

"If you're in the mood for outlandish feats and exotic adventures (which I suspect you might be), I suggest you try something more life-enhancing, like making love for an hour, eating an organic gourmet feast, then making love for another hour. It's a good time for you to be wild, maybe even extreme, about getting the healing you need."

And some music for the day.



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Contents May Settle

Back in New York, New York, and I'm closer to content. Somehow it's soothing here. I'm restless and shaken and bothered, but being here makes me feel better, I guess.

I received a new deck in the mail yesterday, and I did myself a reading this morning. It's going to take a while to learn the cards and get used to them, but I think they'll be good for me. I'm starting something new, they said, but I'm confused and unsure (90% were reversed, how fun) and I feel stuck by a lot of things out of my control. I just have to keep going, though, and it won't end pretty, I just have to keep trying.

I need to shake up my life. The past few days at home really rattled me, and I feel like I need to find the seam of myself and rip it open, pull myself out of whatever I am right now and become the next phase of me. I need something dangerous, I need something new, I need to be doing.

The job hunt continues and success continues to elude me. I feel out of shape - I've been eating emotionally for weeks now. So much for all the work I did earlier in the summer.

Shake it up like a bottle of paint, splatter the canvas and see what happens to me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Look


That tried and true and ever impossible question has arisen again - to cut or not to cut?

Part of me wants long, thick, shiny hair, as far as it will go. Gorgeous artsy waterfall hair to catch the light. The other part of me wants to hack it off and give it shaggy, sharp edges, short and quirky and dangerous.

I've wanted both extremes for a while, but always been too indecisive to really have either. So here I am, hours before a hair appointment (the last for a while, since I never make it home during the semester), debating.

The main factor influencing my decision is always the theatre. What look do I need? What look will get me parts? How do I flaunt my best features with what I can manipulate on my body? What look is manageable? What look will limit roles for me? That's why I'm afraid to hack it off. Wigs exist, but I'd rather not bank on those. I'll talk to my hairdresser and see what she thinks.


This trip home has not been what I expected it to be. The past few days in particular - I feel like someone drained my brain out, or drained something out of me. I think it's time to head back to the city. I can't find too much peace anywhere, but peaceful isn't for me, perhaps.

And today is the birthday of a very wonderful and magical unicorn. :) Happy Birthday, Jen!

Looking for Light

We are not saints, we are not heroes. Our lives are lived in the quiet corners of the ordinary. We build tiny hearth fires, sometimes barely strong enough to give off warmth. But to the person lost in the darkness, our tiny flame may be the road to safety, the path to salvation. It is not given us to know who is lost in the darkness that surrounds us or even if our light is seen. We can only know that against even the smallest of lights, darkness cannot stand. A sailor lost at sea can be guided home by a single candle. A person lost in a wood can be led to safety by a flickering flame. It is not an issue of quality or intensity or purity. It is simply an issue of the presence of light.
Kent Nerburn

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Exit

I should write a play about the people who have exited my life. More have left because I love them than those who have left because of dislike.

"Life isn't fair. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something."
I learned that when I was eight years old, reading The Princess Bride. Hit me in the face with it one more time, universe, why don't you. Stop making me bitter before my time. Let me feel something good.


Did some splatter painting yesterday, as part of the decor for my apartment (home in CT covering pegboard with color to make some storage in my teeny space), and I understand now why Pollock painted the way he did, or any violent abstract artist does what they do. It's fun to fling and twist and throw and let your anger or joy fly out of you with the motions you make. It's a release. It's almost a more pure representation of emotion, because the brain can't get in the way by trying to make it something else than what it is.

I have to check on it, see how it dried, and then decide if it needs more color. It might. I want lots of color. Today will be an artsy day. A crafty day. I want to make things. I want to paint my face. I want to vomit my feelings where others have to see them, have to feel them, have to wonder what makes that kind of thing happen.


I understand why he has to leave. It just sucks. Again, Harley? Again. You were drunk, but not that drunk. You heard him.


Seeing my photog darling Karen Schlink this afternoon, hopefully. :) Some shutter speed smiles for me will be nice.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rust


I have this vibrating, almost painful mess of creativity storming around inside of me, and yet my eyes keep closing and I have to file the ideas away until I'm not too weary or too busy or too unsure to go do.

I'm home, now. Home home, "away from the rat race," as dad calls it. I see New York on TV shows and I see it as my new home, bent through the filter of editing so that strangers get a tiny slice of the funky pie. They don't see my quiet street, or the hollow sidewalks, or hot nights and empty beds. New York is a strange beast, and it's odd to see it through a stranger's eyes.

Home is nice. Home is my cats. Home is real food, and space to spread out. Home is a secret pocket tucked far away from where my world can batter it into numbness with horns and lights and sore heels.

I haven't told too many people I'm home. I like my time here to belong to me. I will see who I want to see. I have things to do and this is my recovery time. A recharge. A sweetness.

Summer, without projects, makes me languid. The heat pushes me downward until I flatten myself against the crevices in the floor of my life to try and escape the sunburn and the humidity and the stink of sweat. Distractions help me fight the season that seeks to atrophy me. And I only say this now because I have too much time until my next project begins. I need something now. I need to be doing to be living.

I can only finish writing under pressure of a deadline. I should start self-imposing deadlines and see what comes out.

Et cetera. Exeterra. I'm itching to just run and run and run and go and leap and fly and fall completely out of control, just to exist in my full capacity. But my body says no, you need to recharge your battery or you will burn out, and then what good are you to anyone?

I've been free of this internship for a matter of days and already I feel myself beginning to rust over. I hated it, wanted to escape, and now look at me, antsy as hell and clawing through pages of books and pounds of food and galaxies of ideas, just to feel alive.

I don't handle boredom well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guilding

I've been having a hell of a time dealing with technological deficiencies in my new apartment (ungrounded plugs, cable with no TV, internet with no compatible drivers to make it work), but a few updates prior to my vanishing into the wilds of the unplugged world again.


Move = success! I need storage, since I'm living in a minefield of boxes, but it's a lovely little place and I can't wait to be truly comfortable there. Air conditioning is working, too.

Internship = over! I miss my friends. The last week was a bit of an emotional upheaval, for no apparent reason, other than I reached that edge where I looked out and saw how strangely incapable I am at interpersonal relationships, sometimes. I don't miss the managerial bullshit, but I do miss performing and I miss my new friends. I want to be going on tour.

Job = impossible to find! Work-study, don't fail me now... I don't have the schedule flexibility or the talent or desire to become a pole dancer.

And I am also apparently eligible to become a legit member of the Dramatists Guild of America, since I have now had a work staged in front of a paying audience in New York City. Not just student or associate, but full member. I'm currently too poor to join up (130/yr for full members), but it's really pretty cool.

I'm really feeling rather shitty at the moment, so I'm going to head back home (holing up in Tisch is fun and all, but I just want home internet, please), possibly eat something or take a shower, just to wipe away this feeling. Whatever it is.

I'll be headed back to the homestead in a day or two. I love New York, but I need a break before I actually do go crazy. I can feel it creeping up on me like a shadow.

Mm. I'd like some edamame. Nom.

Friday, August 12, 2011

On your mark.

Get set.


GO.

(Moving day. Cross your fingers everyone survives.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kiss Me

NY Times article about the delicacies of a stage kiss. CLICK.

Excerpts:

But in the theater, as in life, a kiss is hardly just a kiss. Whether bestowed on the lips, the cheek, the hand or any other part of the anatomy, the simple application of the lips to someone else’s body can illuminate all sorts of different, and often contradictory, feelings.

About Sydney Theatre Company's Uncle Vanya, the kiss between Cate Blanchette's Yelena and Hugo Weaving's Astrov:

She agrees to kiss him goodbye. She tosses her purse onto the sofa (as a vigilant fashion plate should) and leans into a kiss. Their lips almost meet, but then she turns her head and the image becomes absurd. You are acutely conscious of those two mouths that didn’t connect. They seem almost to hover grotesquely on their own, like lips from a Surrealist painting.

But there’s more. Yelena and Astrov kiss again, abruptly – and fully – and it’s like two planets colliding. Ms. Blanchett and Mr. Weaving tumble through the room, limbs flailing, like a single runaway vehicle, falling apart as it hurtles forward. Ms. Blanchett winds up on the floor, alone. And I felt the humor, heroism and pure loneliness of love according to Chekhov as I never had before.


(Yes, Harlequin still uses the Spotlight as a method of sharing theatrical learnings and musings as well, not just her own crazy summer foibles.)

T-minus...


Harlequin is officially on the move (finally - never again, NY real estate, NEVER AGAIN). The parentals are coming in a U-Haul at 7am tomorrow and I am never, EVER going back to dorm living. I'm 21 years old, a senior in college, and so done with room inspections, signing my guests in, signing my guests out, liquor rules, window lock rules, roommate agreement contracts, shitty roommates, less than zero privacy, dorm parties, and everything else stupid that goes with living by school rules. I'm an adult. More of an adult than some people I've met who are far older than me.

Picture courtesy of Lindsey - it's a very empty little space, right now, and it feels a bit alien and inhospitable as of yet, but hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll be able to call it home. I want a place to call home. Dorm does not equal home. Home home is almost a vacation spot now. I need a New York home.

Second to last performance of my summer festival tonight. I got a darling surprise in the form of my high school director and some old friends making an impromptu appearance to come see me perform last night, and it made me all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

I'm supposed to be getting lunch uptown with a friend in an hour. We'll see how that goes, if I can get ready quick enough with the maintenance suddenly going on in my kitchen. :P

Love. Always.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mah Boomstick


Inspired by Bruce Campbell and Hyperbole and a Half. It should probably say "This is one reason why..."

I'm in a quirky sort of mood today. Cheers! :D

Halfy Birthday

I am exactly twenty one and one half years old today. Six months from this moment I will be twenty two. It is my half birthday. I didn't even realize that.

Sat in a diner with a friend and watched the sky turn pale over the buildings this morning. I haven't watched a night come and go like that for a very long time. My body will be punishing me for the next day or so, messing with my sleep schedule like this, but I could use a little detox anyway.

Wanted to mark the day somehow - it was a long night but it was wonderful, just to sit and talk. I haven't told my story to anyone new for a long time, and it hurt and was an interesting examination, seeing his reactions to some of the things I would say, but it's necessary to understand at least a little of how I appear to others. I certainly don't attract good men into my life, we discovered upon rehashing my story, hahaha.

I think I'm going to go crawl into the shower and soak until everything bad in my body just starts to ooze out of my pores or my eyes. All the grease, the anger, the excess sugar, the liquor, the frustration, the ache. Soak and scrub and condition and steam and then do some yoga and have some tea. If I didn't have to eat all of my food so moving is easier on Friday, I would try to do one of those 3-day-detox things. Liquid food until all of the toxins are purged from my system. I don't have an issue with ingesting toxins, because I feel you have to so that your body understands and can deal with it (and also because some toxins are delicious and don't you take away my yummies), and it's inevitable, in our society, but that being conscious of what you put in and how you need to compensate or take care of yourself is extremely important. Maybe I'll detox after the internship is over. I could seriously use it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Styx

Today has been quite a day. I spent the majority of it glued to this computer and my phone, battling miscommunications and waiting on other people, hoping and cursing and generally in a frenzy.

About my angst and rage last night – it has come to a conclusion, and there isn’t any way around it, that I can’t do the show. It just won’t work. I either take the semester off or I stay here. Since taking the semester off is not an option, there is only one option, so I’m staying here to finish school.

It hurts, a lot, because it’s the first (definitely just typed “fiar” whilst listening to Queen’s “Liar,” haha) taste of real working actor life that I’ve had, and it was already out of my reach even before I began. It feels silly to have been so worked up, and I still feel foolish for having such unbelievable emotions about it, but I can’t help it. That ration versus emotion thing again.

That novel of emotional word vomit is mildly embarrassing, but I have to look at it and honor it and realize that they were (and still are) valid feelings. Just one more step in this process, and it kind of blows, but it’s meant to be, I guess. I’m so close to finishing school, and that’s what’s supposed to happen for me. That purple diploma.

I’m still a bit frenzied (I have the dumbest broker in all of NYC, I swear) from everything today, but I have a show tonight so I have to relax a bit and get focused. Also, if traffic cooperates, my unicorn will be visiting me. :)

Just gotta breathe. Ain’t no greener over the river Styx, little girl. Don’t forget.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Contract With The Gods


It’s so fitting. So fucking fitting.

I don’t even know how to describe my feelings right now. I’m like, so torn up that it just burns and burns and hurts and I want to scream and cry but I can’t because there is nothing to say. Logically, rationally, I know what will happen and I know what choice I have to make and there isn’t any way around it, really. But emotionally, even spiritually, it feels like, I just want to howl my rage and frustration and collapse to the ground, clawing at those sons of bitches gods above for the games they play with mortal man.

I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason – fate has dealt her hand and even when I can’t see the cards it’s always turned out for the better. I’ve always believed that. So for what fucked up reason would this happen? What does the universe need to prove? How can logic and emotion be so pitted against one another?

I was offered a part in a Greek Chorus of Iphegenia this evening, a production that is touring for a month or so across the US before returning to an Off-Broadway stage.

I signed my apartment lease this morning, for 12 months, legally binding me to the building.

We can only afford the apartment through my financial aid, since I am still enrolled in school and it counts as school housing.

If I take Iphegenia, I will have to take academic leave or withdraw for a semester, which means my financial aid will fall through, and we can’t pay rent without the aid. I have to be a student to afford housing right now.

School, or show.

My plan, or my dream.

One mind-blowing opportunity, or another.

I want this so bad. These sort of things don’t just fall into the laps of unsuspecting, na├»ve, young actresses every day. I don’t want to have to make a choice, and then regret my decision a year from now. I don’t want there to have to be a choice. I wish he’d never asked me. It wouldn’t hurt so bad.

I’m not a greedy, selfish, spoiled little girl trying to bleed her family dry to follow her dreams. It sounds that way. I feel like a parasite. But this – this is the thing my soul burns to do, perform, professionally, share that art with others, to do this FOR REAL. It’s what I’m here at school to do, and yet, school is here first. Financially, it comes first. I’m going to get information, see what loopholes I can duck through, but I know, in my heart, that this cannot happen, and the logic is strangling the emotion while my emotion smothers my logic.

Why do I have to choose? Why was I presented with this… this thing? This incredibly fortunate and beautiful and flattering opportunity, this dream (Greek theatre on the road? WTF!!!), this glimmer of my future, but knowing full well I cannot, in good conscience, even consider accepting when there is no way?

And the people involved… I know they are talented. I’ve worked with a few of them. I would kill to stay close with them. I’m getting all worked up again just thinking about it. I’m so young, and I feel trapped by this. And NYU is a dream too! Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade this place or the experiences there for anything – without it, I wouldn’t be having this meltdown of emotion and rational thought. NYU was the first big dream that came true, and opportunities are bubbling up around me that I can’t snag because I belong to the violet dream first. I am a baby leech, attached to my family and being transformed from an ugly leech into a vampire finch (look it up, bloodsuckers are damn cute). I’m everything and nothing. I’m free and living a dream but standing on the sidelines, watching them float in front of my nose.

I don’t know. I do know – that’s the problem. I do know, but my heart is thrashing and refusing to accept defeat, refusing to accept no as an answer.

After Josette Bushell-Mingo’s workshop on Greek theatre, this is too perfect and poignant and painful. We went so deep into the Greeks, and I stood and reached for the sky and roared my grief and rage to the gods who watched silently as we suffered. Here I am, a chance to be that very thing on stage, and yet I am reduced to being that thing in my dorm room, my heart howling while my brain tries to cut off the flow of emotion before it kills me. I look to the sky and feel my teeth press against each other, my jaw stiffening and my lips thinning, my fingers clawing compulsively into my sheets and my skin as I battle myself over what is and isn’t. I am two beings, with these two choices, and these two controlling forces, my head and my heart. I feel schizophrenic and sick, I’m so torn in half.

But there isn’t anything to be torn about. I hate being a rational and an emotional being. It makes things so hard to understand.

Josette would have us walk the streets of Thebes, the timpani moving our blood more than our own heartbeat. And in her grounded, deep, beautiful voice, she would command us to “Stop. Make your contract with the gods.” And we would. I looked through that black ceiling into the face of whatever was there, and I was hurting, and I am hurting now. Those faces never met our eyes, though. Those gods, all powerful though they were, left mortal man to find their own way. I’m not going to get answers. No one will tell me how this should be, so I have to do my best, as I always do. Accept what happens. Fight. But not be stupid.

Being logical just fucking hurts! Dammit, I can’t be over emotional and just let it out because then my brain is like, knock it off, you’re being absurd. So I’m like, oh yes, that’s right, but when I try to rationalize away the hurting, it rears up and says but look at what could be, look what is here and why you are hurting!

So I’ll leave it at that. I’m looking for my contract with the gods and I’m getting no answers. I had a piece of cake. It didn’t make me feel much better.

I hate feelings.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happiness Hit Her Like a Bullet In The Back


Just one more reason I'm completely, totally, and unfailingly in love with this woman. Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine.

Time to joydance.

Claws

I've reached critical mass in terms of this internship - once I started really looking at apartments, and now that I have one, my mind has shifted into school mode and art mode again. My patience for the absurdities and inefficiencies at this theatre has reached an end, and, though I'm trying to fight it and stay dedicated, mentally I'm just not there anymore.

Performing isn't a problem - every performance is a test of my education and willpower and a chance to prove myself one more time, so performing is just as focused as ever (though the children's show leaves something to be desired...). Just the managerial crap, and tolerating people who don't deserve any tolerance, and faking smiles and subservience, and having no desire to help people who refused to help me.

As I was discussing with my dad this morning, I realized "When I was little i thought the grown up world was all professional, and that the stupid, mean kids would grow out of it. Now I know that those stupid, mean kids just grow up and take their petty, lazy behaviour with them, it just changes form. And it's not a fun moment of being disillusioned when you find out grown ups are just as awful as kids, they just have more power to make your life miserable or difficult." So what is a disillusioned, solitary young woman to do? Tighten my bootstraps and keep on keepin' on. Heavy sigh. That seems to always be the answer to my frustrations. Just hang on. Dig your claws in and hang on for dear life.



I had my tarot read the other day, and I find it interesting that every time I get a general spread done, the cards pick the exact same focal point to talk to me about. It's always "something you're determined to do, a project, or a serious focus." Yup. "You might be willing to be malicious about it." Yup. "You have to keep fighting, it's an uphill thing, but you're going to keep doing it." Yup. My whole being, all of my energy just points to this life I want to be living. I need to ask the cards about my emotional life, since, well, that seems to be what's getting sacrificed and where I'm hurting the most.

I really want a personal tarot deck. One that I can bond with and fits my personality and energy. My little beginner deck is great, but it's not me. I don't know where to find one I can love.

Waiting for a Mista Jay, or a Peter Parker to come find me. Or to find him.

I haven't got too much on my to-do list, at least not until I move and this internship is over, but I have enough to keep me occupied, if not a tad lonesome. Yoga, find a job, schedule my move, pack all of my stuff, find a job, write a recommendation for myself (since the woman who will sign it won't write it herself. Very professional, lady.), start the internship paper to earn my 8 credits, find a job. I guess I am pretty occupied, after all.

Love to you.