Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Physical Exposure 2

So I went back to reread THIS (click) post before writing this one.

I stripped down again for my art (I did this summer as well, in Note to Self, but with a sheet wrapped around me I was more covered than I normally am) yesterday. I performed an autodrama for my acting class with Kent Gash (I did one last year as well, and it would appear I didn't bother blogging about my experience with it, which is unfortunate, because it was quite a moment) - to explain briefly, it's a themed, theatrical performance of the high points or influential moments of your life, done in ten minutes, and no more.

Last year my life metaphor was a script with the scenes out of order, this year it was removing the armor I have created because of things that have happened to me. I'll get pictures of the suit up soon - it's stashed at school since I didn't have a chance to bring it home. As my pieces of armor were taken off, I told the stories that had affected me to create my psychological and emotional armor in my life, and beneath my armor I was in nothing but my bra and underwear. I had decided that if I was going to be exposing myself emotionally by telling these exceptionally painful and unflattering stories of myself, why not go all the way and show off my whole body? Physical exposure was a part of my stories, it mirrored what my brain was doing, so I decided to brave my class staring at the completely exposed version of myself.

I've gotten stark on stage before, so why was this different? I was being overtly sexual in Some Girl(s), I was standing still while speaking in my autodrama. Why was it a different kind of danger?

Because it was all me. It was my life, it was my face, they were my words. I couldn't hide behind a script, I couldn't blame it on a character. Whatever they got to see was me and no one else, whatever ugliness and shame and hurt and strangeness they got to see could not be tucked away or filtered. It was not just for audiences of people I did not know - it was for peers I have to face every day and socially survive with.

But I chose to do it for myself, to challenge and be real and risk things I would never have done years ago. I'm so glad I did it.

Kind of neat to have a follow-up blog post about a topic I got to explore down the road. Maybe there will be a part 3 someday if they make me go nudist on y'all.

Love love.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Addendum

Words are dangerous. I, of all people, should realize that. I won't fluff this up with my usual bullshit imagery or emotional, hipster, useless language crap.

I write/post spur of the moment. Because of that, I fucked up. I fucked it up with this, so I'm going to apologize with this too. I should have been a little more aware and less caught up in my own griping and problems to know that emphatic words need to be used only when they're really meant.

You deserve better than the result of an in the moment splat of unfair shit. If I'd actually meant any of it, I wouldn't be bothered by your hurt. I deserve what you're giving me. So I apologize. I'm actually super proud of you for what you have accomplished. That's what should have come out.

Next set of paints is on me.

Store In A Cool, Dry Place

And NYC is NOT a cool, dry place. Damned humidity and lingering summer ick.

Been hella busy around here - insanely busy. Everyone in my studio is getting sick, and I'm just praying I can balance everything enough to remain healthy, because getting sick is the absolute last thing I can deal with right now.

Some updates on the Life.

- Studio 30 hours a week
Physical Acting
Song Performance
Collaboration class with the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program
Sight Singing
Music Theory

- Auditions for school productions
(Fruitless, as of yet.)

- Work
Halloween Adventure NYC 12 hours a week (and it's getting wild in there...)

- Academic Classes
(too much theoretical reading!!! SHUT UP WAGNER. WE KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.)
Playwrighting Practicum
Yay creative writing :)

- Homework
Readings, writings, textbook work, projects, assigned shows to go see

Wait, what's that?

So, yeah. There's all that. Plus wanting to maintain friendships so finding time to visit with people. Plus extra stuff I want to do, like workshops with Audible.com and arranging auditions with them so I can try to be an audiobook narrator. Like readings for musicals (cheesy though they may be) and recordings of the numbers.

I've got a lot on my plate and it's beginning to take its toll, but all I can do is keep trying and hope for the best. My heart aches sometimes, just because I know life isn't slowing down and I've chosen to be this crazy and busy but I still miss being with people and having friends when I need them there. I miss Commando and Unicorn. I miss friends my own age. I love my studio friends so, so much, but they are only just 18, some of them, and I need my older friends. There is a very large difference between almost 19 and almost 22.

Sending all my love. Keep the strength, gotta keep fighting. Art is resisting me this year. I have Senioritis. I want my life.

Friday, September 16, 2011

In Plaster

There is literally no excuse for my cliche-emo-middle-schooler-obsession with Sylvia Plath and her tragic genius, except for the fact that I love her for the purity of her art and how she dredged her pain for the joy of her writing, and how, in essence, all artist's pain becomes their joy, and when we find it, we play.

Also, this particular poem is so FUCKING incredible I can't even think about anything else right now. It's going in my autodrama project. Oh yes, oh yes it is.

Sylvia Plath

In Plaster

I shall never get out of this!  There are two of me now:
 This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one,
 And the white person is certainly the superior one.
 She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints.
 At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality --
 She lay in bed with me like a dead body
 And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was

  Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints.
 I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold.
 I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer.
 I couldn't understand her stupid behavior!
 When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist.
 Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her:
 She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages.

  Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful.
 I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose
 Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain,
 And it was I who attracted everybody's attention,
 Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed.
 I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up --
 You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality.

  I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it.
 In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun
 From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice
 Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience:
 She humored my weakness like the best of nurses,
 Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly.
 In time our relationship grew more intense.

  She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish.
 I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself,
 As if my habits offended her in some way.
 She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded.
 And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces
 Simply because she looked after me so badly.
 Then I saw what the trouble was:  she thought she was immortal.

  She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior,
 And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful --
 Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse!
 And secretly she began to hope I'd die.
 Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely,
 And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case
 Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water.

  I wasn't in any position to get rid of her.
 She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp --
 I had forgotten how to walk or sit,
 So I was careful not to upset her in any way
 Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself.
 Living with her was like living with my own coffin:
 Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully.

  I used to think we might make a go of it together --
 After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close.
 Now I see it must be one or the other of us.
 She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy,
 But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit.
 I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her,
 And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me.

On The State of Art Today

"Where the Grecian artist found his only reward in the masterpiece, in its success, and the public aprobation: we have the modern artist, boarded, lodged and - paid. And thus we reach the central distinction between the two: with the Greeks their public art was very Art, with us it is artistic - Handicraft."

- Richard Wagner, Art and Revolution

The theatre is so commercialized. To perform on a big stage in New York you have to have a celebrity, or multiple smaller celebrities, or no one will risk your production. If it's a challenging, polarizing work, you'll be lucky to get it staged anywhere but a downtown studio, unless you have the money. Art for the appreciation of art has been relegated to a stereotype. Very rarely do you find something that is art and squeezes its way through the bars society has placed around the 'public art,' but when you do find it, hold on with everything you've got. Art is not easy. Art requires effort, on the part of the creator and the viewer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm Ready Whenever You Are, Autumn

I am in desperate need of a doctor for my hips. And back. Hopefully my schedule will allow for medicinal aid in the very, very near future. I have been googling my symptoms and who knows what I managed to fuck up inside my body this time.

Some quotes, to close the day. I'm exhausted and hurting and overwhelmed and realizing I am showing every symptom of Senioritis - I need a cookie and I don't have ANY.

"Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally." - David Frost

"Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success." - Dale Carnegie

"Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world. " - Lily Tomlin

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So, this isn't really a news flash of any kind, considering my personality and disposition, but HOLY CRAP THIS BUSINESS GIVES ME ANXIETY ISSUES.

Auditions stress me out; must pick perfect material, must have enough material to choose from, must have perfect performance of material for particular audition, must have perfect outfit to project perfect image, must have perfect entrance to the audition room, must not overanalyze post-audition.

Let's say I manage not to fuck up the majority of the previous requirements in drastically irreversible ways -THEN comes what I have diagnosed as SOPAAD: Sudden Onset Post-Audition Anxiety Disorder. (This may or may not be indicative of actual anxiety issues, but I am my own doctor, dammit) Symptoms include nervousness, irritability, fidgeting, headaches, discomfort, and frequent checking of email and social networking communications in the hopes that the cure will arrive any minute now.

I become positively beastly sometimes, and depending on the SOPAAD trigger, the levels of my bestial behavior can vary from occasional obvious sighing to general fussing and pacing all the way to sudden sharp outbursts that may or may not take the form of actual words. They can be interpreted as growling.


Saturday, September 10, 2011


"... if you are absolutely determined to give the public an inkling of something, you must explain it... beforehand."

"They pretend to think writers and artists a lot of crackpots, and some of them would like to purge all works of art and everything spontaneous and quintessential, of every sign of superiority, and to bowdlerize them so that they could have been written by the public in collaboration. That is their point of view, and that of certain plagiarists, conscious and unconscious. Have we no right to consider the public from our point of view? - the public that claims that we are madmen suffering from a surfeit of what it regards as hallucinatory sensations produced in us by our exacerbated senses. From our point of view it is they who are the mad men, but of the opposite sort - what scientists would call idiots. They are suffering from a dearth of sensations, for their senses have remained so rudimentary that they can perceive nothing but immediate impressions. Does progress for them consist in drawing nearer to the brute beast or in gradually developing their embryonic cerebral convolutions?"

"Light is active and shade is passive, and light is not detached from shadow but, given sufficient time, penetrates it."

Snippets from Alfred Jarry

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Spurs in my intercostals

I'll keep this brief and to the point, with a tidbit or two I have to share from my first few days back at the madhouse known as NYU Tisch NSB. It feels wonderful to be finding a groove again.

Ceiling patched - room rearranging to commence when they prime the plaster. Yay for clean spaces.

I'm taking capoeira now, and holy hell does my body hurt. I have never felt muscle pain like this in my life. All my summer workouts probably saved me from complete physical collapse, but they didn't prepare me for the madness that is this art form. Standing hurts, sitting hurts, lying down hurts, breathing too deep hurts - and I can't figure out how to stretch my butt to make it loosen up!

I need to get a chiropractor and a physician to work on my back and figure out what's up with my hips, since both of those physical features are causing me severe issues already.

I have my starting schedule for my new job at Halloween Adventure NYC - but this did take away an opportunity for a new reading I was supposed to take part in. It's a give and take, and I'm disappointed, but grateful for what I do have right now.

A note on acting from my new acting teacher, Kent Gash, specifically on the topic of crying and being able to cry onstage, as prompted by a fellow classmate:

"Nobody in life ever tries to cry - we're always trying not to cry. That's what it is."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Long Live the Queen

First day of senior year - one would expect me to be filled with mixed feelings, some apprehension, the same drive I always have. This is true, but today there's more of a "kick ass and take names" vibe to my being. And I like that.

The reason for this bear-wrestling attitude is partly because it is His Majesty and Patron Saint of Badassery Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday today, and my heart is just full to the brim with love and respect. He is outsinging every angel in heaven, and I'll bet he's loving it.

The other reason for the she-hulk stance on life is that part of my ceiling caved in this morning. So that's super awesome - there's a hole in the ceiling and shattered plaster all over the floor.

I painted again last night - I got brave and tried shading and it didn't come out half bad. :) Our apartment is going to be filled with so much art it's vomitously wonderful.

Audition for A Bright Room Called Day tonight - and I intend to kick ass and take names.

Love! Go crank some Queen and bask in the heat from raw, undeniable talent. That's my plan, anyway.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Home Is Where the Art Is

My roommate flew in from Washington state yesterday, and already we've managed to designate a weekly/biweekly/monthly/whenever the hell we feel like it ART evening. When the ragged comforter gets spread on the floor, it's time to put on the tea kettle, pop in some music, and pull out our paints. It was so soothing - even though we have a CRAPTON to do before school (it's actually nauseatingly terrifying, thinking of all the things I need to do), it's quite necessary to create a zone of quiet, escapist happy. So I painted. :)

That's a crappy webcam of it. I think it's full title is "The First (A Tribute to Plaid/Highland Rape)." Alexander McQueen had a line called Highland Rape and it was beautiful. And very plaid. I don't paint much, so I paint abstract to avoid coping with my lack of acrylic ability. We have lots of cardboard, plenty of paint, and LOTS of wallspace, so who knows how many more there might be. If we have time.

I also landed a job yesterday, which is fucking fantastic. :) I have some paperwork to do before I can start, obviously, but hopefully the week after next I'll be starting a couple shifts at Halloween Adventure, NYC. I feel so much better already, knowing that I'll have even a tiny little paycheck coming in. It's something (and it's the EFFING HALLOWEEN STORE I'M SO STOKED.)

I have way too much to do today (work to do, people to see ((text me, George! I'm sorry!!!)), monologues to memorize, plays to get, it never ends), so I'm going to go do some of it and try not to go crazy in the process. Classes haven't even started yet (and classes are going to be a madhouse this year), I can't lose my marbles quite yet.

Love to you.